Center for Experiential Learning

Our Programs

Experience-Based Education offers credit-bearing programs for SUNY Oswego students who want to apply their classroom learning to the real world as a student intern.  Students can work a predetermined number of hours at a paid or unpaid internship while completing academic assignments related to their learning.   Academic credit is earned based on their total work hours and the completion of the academic assignments.  You will find course specifics and registration information here.

Why should I be an Intern?

Internships - GST or Departmental 498 credit

Service Learning - GST 302

Graduate Internships - GST 691

Register for Courses

Why should I be an Intern?

Employment - With the tight economy and fewer jobs available, an internship experience will stand out in the eyes of employers. It will help solve the "Catch 22" Can't get a job without experience, can't get experience without a job.

Theory into Practice- An internship experience can add meaning to your academic program by allowing you to apply theories and knowledge learned in the classroom to actual work situations.

New Knowledge- It provides you with opportunities to acquire knowledge or methods specific to a field or workplace that may not be covered in the classroom.

Learn by Doing - An internship provides you with an alternative method of learning through actual hands-on experience.

Expectations of the World of Work - Through working with professionals you have the opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge of their responsibilities as well as the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to be effective in the workplace.

Personal Growth - Having to solve problems in new unfamiliar situations can enhance your self-confidence and point out areas which you need to improve.

Awareness Through Community Involvement - You will develop a better understanding of your role and potential contributions to society.


Internships - GST or Departmental 498 Credit and GST 398

What is an internship?

An internship is the supervised, paid or unpaid, placement of a student in a business, industry, non-profit agency, governmental unit, or other work setting for a semester or summer for college credits.  It is an UPPER DIVISION learning experience which will provide students with the opportunity to apply their theoretical background and skills to an experiential situation.  Students will gain further insight into their interests through academic assignments that reflect on their learning.  The number of academic assignments is based on the number of credits you wish to earn.

All internships must be preplanned.  Once an internship is secured, students should immediately visit the Student Section of our website to obtain their learning agreement.  It is recommended that you begin planning early in the semester prior to your anticipated experience. 

The amount of academic credit to be awarded for an internship is determined by the responsibilities provided, and the amount of time the student is to work at the site.  Interns work 40 hours for each credit to be earned.  For example, a 3 credit internship would require a total of 120 work hours.  You can receive pay or a stipend for your internship and receive academic credit.

Fall or Spring Semester - Students can earn 2-12 credits.

Summer - Students can earn 1-9 credits.

View the chart showing how work hours convert to credit.

View the academic assignments required for 398/498 level internships.

An internship (398/498 course) is graded pass/fail and shows on your transcript as "Internship"

What are the prerequisites for earning internship credit?

  1. Develop a Learning Agreement (available online) with a faculty member from your major or minor.
  2. Select the type of credit you would like to earn (Departmental or General Studies credit). 
  3. Be of Junior or Senior standing (First Year and Sophomores are eligible for GST 303).
  4. Have completed 60 semester hours.
    (Transfer students must have completed 2 semesters at Oswego)
  5. Have a minimum 2.5 GPA.
  6. Participate in a part-time or full-time work experience in the local community or other location.     Work experiences on-campus will earn GST 303 or GST 398 credit.
  7. Obtain a final grade: (H) Honors, (S) Satisfactory, (U) Unsatisfactory

How do I get an internship?

    1. Start a semester prior to your anticipated internship (the early bird catches the worm, so to speak).
    2. Learn more about our program by attending an Internship Information Session.
    3. Visit Laker Leads and our Find an Internship page to search for possible internships. 
    4. Contact prospective internship sites and follow their application procedures to apply.

    Once I have an Internship Position, then what?

      1. Visit our web site and select the semester of your internship for instructions and the registration procedures.
      2. Complete the Internship Learning Agreement with a faculty sponsor from your major department (instructions will be provided).
      3. Obtain all signatures (Faculty Sponsor, Academic Advisor, Department Chair, and Internship Site Supervisor).
      4. Return your Learning Agreement to 145 Campus Center for Final Approval and registration.  Learning Agreements are due by the last ADD day of the semester.

      After Learning Agreement approval, what next?

      EBE will email you a copy of your approved learning agreement.  If adding the internship credit will cause an overload of credits for the semester, your advisor will have to give you overload approval.  Summer registration is done through EBE with payment for the credit made through your myoswego account. 

        How do I complete the internship?

        1. Work the required number of hours at the internship site.
          1. Complete all academic assignments/requirements per your Learning Agreement.
          2. Submit your academic assignments to your faculty sponsor by the due date and submit your time sheets to EBE by the last day of classes.  EBE is required to have a copy of your time sheets, we are not able to assign a final grade for your experience until we have received your time sheets and your site supervisors evaluation.
          3. The Site Supervisor provides on-going supervision, and completes an evaluation form on your performance at the end of the semester, the evaluation form is sent to your supervisor by EBE and used in determining your final grade.  Please check with EBE during the last week of classes to verify your supervisor has returned this form to us.

          How is an internship graded?

          The final grade for your internship is determined by your faculty sponsor through the evaluation of your assignments and your site supervisor's evaluation.  The final grade for your internship does not affect your GPA.   Internships (498 credit)  are graded:  H - Honors S - Satisfactory U - Unsatisfactory.

          You can earn a total of 15 internship credits towards your degree program.

          Service Learning - GST 302

          Service Learning:

          Service Learning (GST 302) is a one-credit course where you enhance classroom learning through service to the community. You can choose from more than 130 service-learning placement sites.

          Each student enrolled in GST 302 is required to complete a minimum of 20 hours of service, three written assignments, journals and participate in three discussion groups.   See the GST 302 syllabus (Word doc)

          GST 302 is also offered in the form of a two-credit course. This course is reserved for Group Leaders and contains higher requirements than the one credit course offering.

          For more information and to register, please visit the Community Service and Service Learning website.


          Graduate Internships - GST 691

          Graduate internships for up to 6 credits are available to students who have been accepted into a Graduate Program at SUNY Oswego.  The procedures for a graduate internship are the same as the GST 398/498 internship.  Please refer to that section above for more information.