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Internships

Metro State University's internship program is designed to assist students and sites in developing practical, challenging, and flexible opportunities in experiential learning that meet personal and professional goals while also gaining academic credit in their field of study. It is designed for maximum flexibility so that internships are meaningful for the student and of benefit to the participating businesses or organizations.

What is an internship?

An internship is a structured, credit-bearing field experience in which a student acquires and applies knowledge and skills while working within a community, business, or government setting.  Internships can be paid or unpaid and should contribute to the student’s academic learning goals.

Internships help students integrate theory and knowledge gained in the classroom with real world applications to develop professional skills, increase confidence, better understand interests, and build valuable networks.  In some cases, an internship experience can lead to a job offer with the organization.

Types of internships

Individual - (more common)

  • Student-designed internships are opportunities that students develop with an organization (non-profit, business, or government agency) that provide an experiential learning opportunity aligned with their learning goals.  Depending on the student’s department’s internship guidelines, this could include a current place of employment when new learning occurs.  Many organizations have internship programs developed with existing position descriptions while others may develop an internship experience specifically for a Metro State student.

Group internships - (less common)

  • Group internships are developed by faculty and offer students experience and community involvement while providing faculty-led seminars for discussion and reflection.

Why complete an internship for academic credit?

  • You will have the support of the Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship and a faculty member, so if problems arise, we are able to help resolve them.
  • Many employers prefer their interns earn credit because they have greater confidence the student will be more reliable and engaged.
  • It is an opportunity for a faculty member to get to know you and your work beyond the classroom experience. 
  • It is easier to commit the required time to complete the internship if it is built into your course load and schedule.
  • Earning credit for your internship contributes to your degree completion.

Finding an internship

Metro State students have several resources available to them to identify internship opportunities that align with their learning goals and major/minor.  Please note that Metro State University does not place students in internships, but rather provides resources to identify an internship opportunity that is right for you.  Students should plan to begin their internship search at least one semester before they start the experience, and often sooner.  For example, many companies hire summer interns in September or October of the previous year.

Internship facts

Scheduling and timeline

Metro State encourages flexibility in internships.  The internship site and the student both negotiate the internship schedule; however, it is the student's responsibility to be aware of any financial aid, registration, graduation, or other deadlines and plan accordingly.  Internship registration can happen fall, spring, or summer semester and must have a minimum of 40 hours for each credit earned. 

Compensation

Wages, stipends, or reimbursements to the Metro State intern are negotiated between the site and the student.  Although it is not required, sites are encouraged to develop some type of compensation; students can earn academic credit for both paid and unpaid internships.

Academic credits

Several colleges and departments at Metro State University have developed specific internship guidelines in addition to the university’s internship policy.  Students should review their department guidelines before they begin the internship search.  A Metro State faculty member (typically the internship Faculty Liaison for the department) will serve as the Learning Evaluator for the internship.  The Learning Evaluator is responsible for evaluating and grading based on the site supervisor’s report and any required deliverables.

Academic Internship policy

In order to register for an academic internship, participants must be either current Metro State University students or alumni with a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA and be in good academic standing, as defined in University Policy 2050 and Procedure 205.  Review the full Academic Internship Policy.

Tuition for academic internships

Tuition per credit for academic internships is the same as general credit rates.  View the current tuition rates.