What is an Academic Internship for Credit?

Internships for Academic Credit are opportunities where the student and employer develop a specific structure of the position via the job description. The student will need to seek approval of the structure of the internship for credit from his/her academic department. Academic departments handle granting credit for an internship.  The program requirements for internships for academic credit section provides a list of colleges/departments that offer internship courses.   Students and employers interested in gaining academic credit for an internship are encouraged to discuss the credit granting criteria with the appropriate course instructor prior to the start of the opportunity.

Benefits to the Employer

The added value employers find in participating in Academic Credit Internships is threefold:

  • Offering academic credit ensures unpaid internships adhere to the U.S. Department of Labor Wages and Hour Division standards for Internship Programs under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • Working closely with faculty through an Internship for Academic Credit guarantees the employer’s opportunity aligns with the classroom, and that skills or knowledge learned is transferrable to other employment settings.
  • The student and faculty network that employers gain through the relationship can provide a consistent pipeline for talent and innovative collaboration.

Program Requirements 

Currently, internship courses for academic credit are offered in all colleges at the undergraduate (60 optional internship credit courses, 13 mandatory) and graduate levels (64 optional internship courses, 32 mandatory).  Requirements for students to participate in and gain academic credit for their internship vary by the college/department.

Once you have posted your internship on Hire-A-Niner, employers are highly encouraged to connect with faculty/staff to learn about these college/department academic credit options.

The UCC reviews experiential learning postings submitted to the office, denying or approving positions based on established policies. If an employer or student requests that a position be considered for internship credit, the position is referred to the academic program for further review.

If a student and employer cannot be served by an Internship for Academic Credit in the colleges/departments, the UCC has a course (UCOL 3410) designed to allow students to take advantage of a workplace experiential learning opportunity for credit when other options are not available.

UCOL 3410 – Career Development Internship

Course Description:  Completing this internship requires at least 50 hours per credit hour of supervised employment that provides a meaningful work experience in which the student uses the competencies gained from their academic program.  An internship proposal form must be completed and approved by the University Career Center in consultation with the student’s major department prior to registration and the commencement of the work experience.  Typically, students cannot count the Career Development Internship towards their major or minor requirements (it counts as elective hours only); exceptions may be possible at the program's discretion.


A student must be a current junior or senior in an academic program (60+ hours on your transcript) with at least a 2.0 overall grade point average (GPA).  Summer tuition rates apply to the registration for UCOL 3410.

1-credit = 50 Site Hours

2-credit = 80 Site Hours

3-credit = 120 Site Hours

Contact Information

If you are interested in working with an Internship for Credit course instructor, or our UCOL 3410 course, please contact James Novak, Assistant Director for Experiential Education. If you have a student you want to hire in an unpaid opportunity, on a for-credit basis, but the student does not meet department/college requirements we will review the situation to assist you.