Internship Program Overview

Internship Program Overview

The Center for Experiential Learning offers academic credit to undergraduate and graduate students who meet the program requirements and participate in internships.  An academic internship is a pre-planned upper division learning experience which builds upon what has been learned in the classroom setting. The goal of an internship is to offer students an opportunity to apply their theoretical background and skills to an experiential situation and explore a specific career field/s. Internships can be unpaid or paid experiences, students can earn academic credit for ONE internship per semester.

Although the intern is expected to make a significant contribution to the workplace, college level learning must be the central focus of all internships. Credit is awarded not just for the hours you work at the internship site, but also for the academic component (required assignments) of your internship as outlined on the required learning agreement. Student interns will complete an Experiential Learning Application to apply to our program and, upon acceptance, develop a Learning Agreement to complete with a faculty sponsor within their major. The learning agreement will include the type of credit to be earned, information on the internship site, number of hours to be worked, the duties of the internship, the learning objectives of the student as well as the academic assignments to be completed.  Learning Agreements are completed within The Experience Network and submitted to your faculty sponsor, internship site supervisor and the Director of the Center for Experiential Learning electronically for approval.

Internships are graded with a grade of H (Honors), S (Satisfactory) or U (Unsatisfactory).  This grade does not affect your overall GPA.  Students must meet all requirements of the internship (complete the academic assignments and time sheets, work the required total hours and receive a positive evaluation from their internship site) in order to pass and receive internship credit.

Please take a minute to become familiar with some Experiential Learning Terms:


Academic Assignments - Academic assignments interns are assigned by a faculty sponsor to evaluate learning.  The faculty sponsor chooses and grades these assignments.

CEL – The Center for Experiential Learning located in 145 Marano Campus Center. (COMPASS).

Experiential Learning Application – Required for registration by the semester deadline and prior to the submission of your Learning Agreement.

Faculty Sponsor – A faculty member, from your major department, who will serve as the instructor of your internship.  The faculty member gives and reviews assignments, verifies your time sheets and assigns a final grade for the internship.  The faculty sponsor is available to advise and mentor your internship.

Final Summary - The final product of your internship experience is a required scholarly paper with specific guidelines provided by the Center for Experiential Learning.  These guidelines can be found in your Resource Library in the Experience Network.

Internship – Upper division credit awarded to students who work at a specific placement and complete academic assignments and submit time sheets for internship credit.

Placement Site -The company you will be working for as an intern.

Learning Agreement – Required contract between the student, a faculty sponsor, site supervisor and the Center for Experiential Learning outlining the responsibilities a student must fulfill in order to be awarded academic credit for an internship.  This is your contract to receive credit and it is completed online after registration.

Learning Objectives - Carefully thought out statements detailing what you hope to learn from your experiential learning experience.

Position Description – An online form (available in The Experience Network) to be completed by your work site supervisor to describe your internship duties.

Site Supervisor  - The professional who will be supervising you at your internship site.

Site Supervisor Evaluation – The evaluation your internship supervisor completes evaluating your performance at the internship.  The evaluation is emailed to your supervisor by the Center for Experiential Learning.

Program Prerequisites

Students must meet the following internship prerequisites to register for credit.  Some departments have additional prerequisites for their departmental internship credit, check the college catalog for departmental prerequisites.

  • 2.5 GPA
  • Junior or Senior Class Standing or Graduate Student

If you do not meet the above prerequisites, see your academic advisor immediately to discuss a Prerequisite Deviation.  Submit your Prerequisite Deviation with your Experiential Learning Application.  Prerequisite Deviations are at the discretion of your academic advisor and major department.

Internship Work Sites and Supervision

Internships are available everywhere and the CEL has connections with thousands of organizations locally and even worldwide.  All of our resources are available to you on our Find an Internship website.  You can also contact our office to request an appointment to get help with your internship search.

Internship sites must be with established organizations/companies.  Internships with student led groups or clubs do not qualify for academic credit and students cannot earn credit working for a company they own.  The purpose of an internship is for the student to gain real-world experience and to network with professionals.  Therefore, students that receive academic credit for an internship may not be supervised by other students, family members or themselves.

Students who are already employed at a part time or full time job cannot earn credit for their existing position/job.  Internships require that students attain new knowledge and learn at the college level.  Students in this situation would have to have internship duties outside of their regular job so these guidelines are met. 

Work Hours = Credit

Internship students must work their internship hours during the semester they are registered for.

To earn:                       Over the course of the semester, you must work a total of:     

1 credit                        40 hours  (averages 2-3 hours per week)

2 credits                       80 hours  (averages 5-6 hours per week)

3 credits                       120 hours  (averages 8-9 hours per week)

4 credits                       160 hours  (averages 10-11 hours per week)

5 credits                       200 hours  (averages 13-14 hours per week)

6 credits                       240 hours  (averages 16 hours per week)

7 credits                       280 hours  (averages 18-19 hours per week)

8 credits                       320 hours (averages 21 hours per week)

9 credits                       360 hours (averages 24 hours per week)

10 credits                      400 hours (averages 27 hours per week)

11 credits                      440 hours (averages 30 hours per week)

12 credits                      480 hours (averages 32 hours per week)

Assignments = Credit

Internship students are required to complete academic assignments designed to document their learning throughout the semester.  The number of assignments required is based on the number of credits being earned.

ALL students will be required to complete the following assignments:

  • Midterm Summary of tasks & responsibilities or a sponsor assigned project
  • Career Package – To include cover letter, updated resume and thank you letter
  • Time Sheets signed by your internship site supervisor
  • Final Summary Paper


Students earning 2 - 12 credits will be given additional assignments:

For 1-4 credits                        ONE additional assignment

For 5-7 credits                        TWO additional assignments

For 8-10 credits                      THREE additional assignments

For 11-12 credits                     FOUR additional assignments


The additional assignments may include:

  • A specific project developed by the faculty sponsor
  • Detailed daily logs or reflective journals*
  • Scholarly topic papers
  • Professional Portfolio or E-portfolio*
  • Presentations to classes or groups
  • Work samples
  • Job Search Packet to include a comprehensive job search plan, networking strategies, 3 companies of interest, list of professional organizations in the field and 3 potential job openings*
  • Elevator speech


Register for Credit - Undergraduates

Registration for an internship takes place during the same time frame (Add/Drop Period) as traditional courses with specific deadlines for each semester.  The semester deadlines can be found on the Experiential Learning Application.  Students are required to be registered prior to the start of their internship and during the semester they will be working their internship hours.  Registration takes place when you submit your Experiential Learning Application.  Internship credit is upper division credit that is available in the fall, spring, summer and winter sessions.  Internship credit is included in your full time tuition costs in the fall and spring.

Tuition for summer and winter session internships is billed by the credit hour like any other academic course: Summer and Winter Session tuition is due within 24 hours of registration.          

Students can earn a total of 15 internship credits towards their degree requirements.  The maximum number of credits available each semester:

Fall, Spring & Summer:                              Maximum 12 credits

Winter Session:                                          Maximum 3 credits

Students can earn GST or department credit (based on department approval), the following credit options are available:

ART 498               ECO 498                JLM 498               SOC 498     

BIO 498                GER 498                MAT 498               SUS 498

BRC 498               *GST 498              MET 498               TED 498

BUS 498               HIS 498                  MUS 498               THT 498

CHE 498               HSC 498                POL 498               WST 498

CMA 498               ISC 498                  PSY 498               ZOO 498

COM 498

*GST 498 is upper division elective credit, all others count as departmental credit.


Register for Credit – Graduates

Graduate students can earn academic credit by registering for GST 691, this course is available for 2-6 credits.  Graduate students must have a 2.5 GPA and be enrolled in a graduate degree program at SUNY Oswego to be eligible to earn graduate internship credit.  Registration for an internship takes place during the same time frame as traditional courses with specific deadlines for each semester.  The semester deadlines can be found on the Internship Application.  Students are required to be registered prior to the start of their internship and during the semester they will be working their internship hours.  Registration takes place when you submit your Internship Application. 

Course Overload

If adding internship credit to your schedule creates a course overload, you will need to have your academic advisor give you overload approval prior to submitting your Experiential Learning Application.

Next Steps

Log in to The Experience Network and print the Internship Application Packet.  The application packet is in the Internship Students Start Here folder in your Resource Library.

Students in the following internship programs need to print the additional documentation in The Experience Network specific to their program (this information can be found in the Special Internship Programs folder):

  • Health & Wellness Majors earning HSC 498 credit
  • Oswego Hospital Interns working with Dr. Jim MacKenzie
  • Walt Disney World College Program Interns

Continue the internship process by following the instructions on the Internship Checklist which is part of the Experiential Learning Application Packet.