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Internship requirements - Natural Sciences

An internship is a structured off-campus experience in which a student acquires and applies knowledge and skills while working in a responsible role within a community organization, business,
non-profit or government agency. Students choose to do internships for a variety of reasons including an interest in gaining practical skills and knowledge, exploring career opportunities, networking, and obtaining job recommendations.

BIOL 350I Internship in Biology is available to students who have been admitted to Metropolitan
State University, have successfully completed the pre-requisite and foundation courses of the Biology major, and have been formally accepted into the Biology major.

Note that the Natural Sciences Department currently permits up to 4 credits of individualized learning opportunities, including BIOL 350I, to be used as elective credit within the biology major, subject to advisor approval.

University requirements and guidelines

  • A student must intern a minimum of 40 hours for each semester credit earned.
  • Students must work with the Internship Office of the University to arrange the internship, develop appropriate learning objectives and competence statements, and complete the Academic Internship
  • Agreement (AIA), before registering. Once the AIA has been approved by the Natural Sciences Dept. faculty liaison and by the Internship Office, the student will be able to register for the Internship.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of, and adhere to, any financial aid, graduation, or other deadlines that might affect their registration.

Natural Sciences department requirements and guidelines 

Details for the Academic Internship Agreement (AIA):
Internship title must accurately describe the internship activity and must include three components:

  1. the word “Internship”
  2. the subject or main activity and
  3. the location or host organization.

Note that transcripts show only about 25 characters, including spaces, for a course title. 
Example: BIOL350I Minnesota Zoo Bird Internship may show on transcript as: MN Zoo Bird Internship

Academic focus of the internship must be biology. This includes applied topics such as the care of zoo animals, communication of biology topics to general audiences, exotic species removal and habitat restoration, interaction with persons with medical issues, laboratory work with cells, etc.

Faculty liaison serves as the Internship Evaluator.

Competence Statement will vary but must follow guidelines found in the Internship Handbook.
Learning strategies must include:

  1. Experiential learning at a level appropriate for an upper division science undergraduate;
  2. Keeping of a daily work journal, describing each day’s activities and reflecting on the experience;
  3. Self-directed reading and study of biological science related to the internship experience;
  4. Research and writing of a 6-8 page paper describing the internship experience and demonstrating knowledge and understanding of the relevant biological subjects.

Evaluation for all Natural Sciences Department internships is based on:

  1. A work journal that includes for each day a record of the date, times, internship activities and a brief (50-100 word) reflection on the experience.
  2. A written evaluation from the site supervisor
  3. A 6-8 page final paper describing what was done and what was learned during the internship including practical knowledge gained from the experience and the relevant biological science.
  4. An “exit interview” with the faculty liaison/internship evaluator. This generally takes the form of a 10 minute Powerpoint presentation to an appropriate biology class at Metropolitan State.

Internship deliverables

  1. The Work Journal must be uploaded to the Work Journal dropbox in the course D2L site. It can be a scan of hard-copy pages, or an electronic file created in a program such as Word or Excel.   It can be submitted as one file for the entire internship, or as separate files for each day, week, etc.   Each file must be clearly titled to indicate its content (e.g. “workjournal-for-week-of-3June”)

  2. The site supervisor’s evaluation should be sent directly from the site supervisor to the faculty liaison, either hard-copy or as an email attachment.

  3. The Final Paper must be uploaded to the Final Paper dropbox in the course D2L site AND to the

  4. Internship Final paper folder of the course site

  • The final paper (6-8 pages; 3000-5000 words plus bibliography) has two parts: an experience part that is first-person and describes the actual internship experience (3-5 pages) and a science part that explains the relevant biological science and includes at least 5 references from peer-reviewed scientific literature that have been read, used, and cited in the paper literature (3-5 pages).
  • “Peer-reviewed scientific literature” means journal articles like those cited in textbooks and found in the University Library databases JSTOR, EBSCO Host, (etc.). Textbooks, web pages, and newspaper & magazine articles are not peer-reviewed scientific literature.
  • The final paper must present your own thoughts and be written entirely in your own words. To assure that this requirement is met, the final paper must be uploaded to the class folder on the If the paper has a ‘similarity score’ of more than 5% it will not be accepted for credit.
  • The paper should be carefully proof-read and re-written as needed to meet the level of writing expected of upper division college work.
  • The writing tutors at the University’s Writing Center would love to help you with your final paper; Students who have worked with the writing tutors have been very satisfied with the experience

5. The Exit Interview presentation file (powerpoint) must be uploaded to the Exit Interview Presentation dropbox in the course D2L site AND the presentation made to an appropriate audience.

  • Carefully proof-read and re-write to meet the level expected of upper division college work.
  • The presentation is a 10-minute 10-slide PowerPoint presentation describing the internship experience, what was done, what was learned, whether you would recommend this internship activity to other students (or not), and why.
  • At the end of the Internship activity, the student & faculty liaison will choose an appropriate time, place, and audience for the exit interview presentation.