To enroll in the Academic Internship program:
- You must have completed at least 28 semester credits at PLU, or 12 credits if a transfer student.
- You must be a continuing student, enrolled in the previous semester.
- You must have a 2.0 overall grade point average (your department may have higher GPA requirements).
- You must not have any outstanding holds on your account
To qualify as an academic internship, the position must be one of benefit to the employer. Job shadowing and observations alone do not qualify, though they may be beneficial as an aspect of your overall experience.
You will have the added benefit of a mentor/supervisor who will help support you. This mentor will guide your performance and enrich your experience with professional insight on your work and the career field as a whole. This distinguishes an internships from a regular job.
Once you have accepted an internship, contact your faculty sponsor. You must have a faculty sponsor to register for credit (to read about how to find a faculty sponsor, see: Search Process). Your faculty sponsor can help determine the academic side of your internship experience.
Complete a Learning Agreement. (Students taking an internship for credit from the School of Business should view these Learning Agreement instructions.) Follow the directions as provided. Your Learning Agreement should be signed and turned in before you begin your position and before you register.
Registration is done using an Independent Study Card. These are available at the Student Services Desk (usually they are in a pocket in the hallway outside the office), from your academic faculty or at the Academic Internship Office. You must get it signed by your faculty sponsor and an authorizing administrator, usually your department chair or the Director of the Academic Internship Office. You then submit it to the Student Services Desk or the Registrar’s Office before you begin your internship experience.
Registration deadlines are not restricted to the normal "Drop-Add" period. Because employers hire interns apart from the academic calendar, registration is flexible. The registration deadline is the last day of the first half of the semester in which you are doing your internship. After that date, your internship cannot be registered for an academic course in the current semester.
If your internship continues at least one full month into the following academic term, you may be eligible to register for the following term. The start and ending dates on the Learning Agreement and the dates of the signatures must clearly indicate that the internship did cover the period to qualify for the term you are registered. Check with your faculty sponsor or the department chair about specific requirements.
No experience may be registered as an internship for a former term or for a former position.
How Many Credits?
Your academic department will guide you in obtaining the number of credits you seek. Each department has their own requirements. It is wise to check with your department before negotiating work hours with your employer.For the Academic Internship courses (AICE or COOP), you must work at least four hours per work period, at least two work periods per week, and at least 30 hours for each credit. Remember, your academic department may have other requirements. Contact your department for the requirements to enroll in a departmental internship.
Credits are billed for the term you are registered. Several factors determine the number of credits for which you may register. You should work with your academic advisor to determine the number of credits that will fit best with your academic program, and if those credits should be registered through a course in your academic department or as electives.
Most internships are for a full semester, or the full summer. A part-time internship that is less than a half semester does not qualify as an internship, though it may still be a quality experience from which you can learn much.
J-Term is the only time you can earn internship credits in just one month. Your J-Term internship must be full time (35 or more hours per week) to earn university credit. J-Term credits for internships are set at 1 to 4.
Remember, your internship may not end when you meet the number of hours required for the number of credits for which you have registered. Often, the number of hours needed to achieve the credits you have registered for is met before the end of the term. Your obligation, however, is to work with the employer for the stated period. There should be an end date entered on the Learning Agreement so there is no misunderstanding.
Work & Class Schedules
Most PLU students enroll in their internship during a semester when they are also taking a class or two on campus. This requires a work schedule that allows you to be on campus to go to class. It requires vigilance on your part to fulfill classroom obligations as well as meet your responsibilities at your internship experience. Most employers are flexible when the internship is part-time to allow for your class schedule. Keep in mind the required minimum number of hours of work for each credit. Two or more days per week is recommended. You may exceed those minimums without registering for more credits.
Some students work full-time at their internship, dedicating the entire semester to learning on the job. Some employers require a full-time commitment. Full-time positions are much more likely to be paid than part-time positions. Most students prefer a full-time internship during the Summer Term. Job postings will indicate whether the employer is offering a full-time or part-time internship.
PLU is committed to providing equal opportunity in employment and in education for all members of the University community without regard to an individual's race, color, creed, religion, gender, national origin, age, mental or physical disability, marital status, sexual orientation or any other status protected by law.