The academic internship program is open to students who:
- Have completed at least 30 units of credit prior to the start of their internship experience (i.e. Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors).
- Have not exceeded 12 credits worth of previous internship credit.
- Are in good academic standing.
Freshmen interested in securing career-related experience may find other part-time jobs or volunteer/service learning opportunities listed on our website. Please note that registering for internship credit is different than registering for an independent study or learning assistant role. Service learning such as volunteering and elected positions (e.g. Student Senate) can be good leadership and resume-building opportunities but are separate from internships.
*Effective spring 2018, students will be asked if they have been convicted of a felony when completing a Learning Contract for the Academic Internship Program. For students who may have previously been convicted of a felony, please review the college policy . Employers that host Purchase interns and serve as Internship Sites may also require an application asking potential interns to respond to this question and concern.
Identifying internship opportunities is very similar to hunting for a job; it requires that students use several avenues to find the opportunities that best suit their interests and goals.
There are a variety of internship opportunities in many fields on Purchase JobScore, our online job and internship site. In addition, students are encouraged to use the following resources:
- Faculty members are often excellent sources of internship opportunities within their field of expertise.
- Counselors in the Career Development Center can assist students in developing an internship to meet their individual needs.
- Personal contacts & resources such as prior work supervisors, friends, or family.
- Job and internship search sites and many other industry related sites can help you find opportunities to apply to.
Academic internships may be paid or unpaid in accordance with the US Department of Labor. An internship can be both paid and for academic credit. The Career Development Center strongly encourages for-profit internship sites to offer students compensation of at least minimum wage. Non-profit organizations are also encouraged to compensate interns and if not possible to offer a stipend, travel reimbursement, or housing expenses for a summer program. Please refer to the NACE Position Statement on the need for all internships to be paid and NACE’s Guide to Internships.
Here are two programs at Purchase College to help support unpaid interns:
Travel Reimbursement Grant for Unpaid Internships
Are you spending money to get to your unpaid internship? Some travel support funding may be available! Through the PCA/Career Development Internship Travel Reimbursement Grant, you may be eligible for travel reimbursement.
Please apply here for the Travel Grant and begin saving your receipts for reimbursement in case you may be eligible. We’ll let you know if your internship travel expenses are approved. You may be eligible for up to $250.00 per semester.
Purchase Academic Internship Stipend (PAIS)
The Career Development Center is excited to announce a recently established Purchase Academic Internship Stipend (PAIS), offering grant-funded stipends for those students already registered for unpaid, credit-bearing internships.
This grant supports experiential education for industries not traditionally providing compensation while empowering students to explore their career interests and gain professional preparation while still in college.
In order to register for an internship, students need to submit an online Learning Contract through Purchase JobScore for approval from the Career Development Center, their Internship Site Supervisor and their Faculty Sponsor. Registering for an internship is similar to registering for a course, in that all information/approvals need to be submitted before the drop/add deadline of the semester.
Students should follow their Internship Learning Contract as they would a syllabus. Approval is obtained from all parties involved to further substantiate this experience as a learning experience. Satisfying the requirements of the job description, academic project, hours, and credits is essential to successfully completing the internship.
Once you you secured an internship you will need to:
Obtain a Faculty Sponsor
This is a faculty member who will determine the academic appropriateness of proposed internship. Like an independent study, the faculty sponsor will oversee the academic (credit based) component of the internship. The Faculty Sponsor will assign a meaningful academic project as a component to the internship experience, upon which they will assign a grade. Students should seek out faculty who are knowledgeable in a discipline related to their internship area*. Be sure not to submit your Learning Contract unless you have asked and secured a Faculty Sponsor.
Submit Your Online Learning Contract
The Internship Learning Contract is a binding agreement between the student, site supervisor, faculty sponsor, and Career Development. The Internship Learning Contract is submitted online through Purchase JobScore. Once a student is logged in, they will select “Academic Internship Program” and then add a new Internship Learning Contract to be submitted for review and approval. View our video guide.
The Learning Contract requires review/approval of the following three parties:
- The Career Development Center: Career Center Staff provide the initial approval for all internships taken for credit.
- The Internship Site Supervisor: This is the person who supervises the student at their internship site. They must review/approve the on-line learning contract and include an internship description to ensure the experience has sufficient merit as a learning experience. If this person should change roles during the course of the internship, the student must notify the career center with the name of the new site supervisor. Please note that students cannot supervise or evaluate student interns in a credit-bearing internship.
- The Faculty Sponsor: The Faculty Sponsor will assign an academic project and indicate expected learning outcomes for the student and then submit their approval of the internship
Important Note: Though the internship site supervisor and faculty sponsor will receive notification that their approval is required, it is the responsibility of the student to make sure that the Site Supervisor and Faculty Sponsor approve the Academic Learning Contract and that once the approvals are in that the registered internship is on their DPR.
Registration must be completed by the extended internship registration deadline, which is typically a few days past the add/drop period. After this period, there is a late registration appeal period in the fall and spring semesters. Students can also register for an Academic Internship in the fall and the spring semesters as a “Short Course.” These are 1 or 2 credit internships (38 - 75 hrs. total) that open for registration in October for the fall semester and March for the spring semester.
Most academic departments limit the total number of credits any student can acquire through internships to 12 credits over 4 years at Purchase. Some departments have their own policies, so students should be sure to check with their advisor.
Number of Credits per Internship
The number of credits awarded for internships are based on how many hours students work at their internship site over a semester. The maximum credits for any single internship per semester is 4. They are calculated as follows:
4 Credits = 150 hours/semester (10 hours per week for 15 weeks)
3 Credits = 112.5 hours/semester (7.5 hours per week for 15 weeks)
2 Credits = 75 hours/semester (5 hours per week for 15 weeks)
1 Credits = 37.5 hours/semester (2.5 hours per week for 15 weeks)
Type of Credit
The type of credit awarded for internship credits is based on the Department of the student’s Faculty Sponsor for the internship experience. (Example: If a student’s faculty sponsor is within the Sociology department, students will receive SOC credits for their internship experience.)
Can I Receive Credit for an Internship that has Already been Completed?
Credits are awarded only for experience gained during the academic semester in which students undertake their internship. “Retroactive” credits cannot be awarded for an experience that has taken place before or after the semester in which the internship is undertaken.
Can I Intern at an Organization for More than One Semester for Receive Credit?
Students cannot “repeat” an internship experience: that is, they cannot receive credit for the same type of experience at the same organization for more than one semester.
If a student wishes to continue to intern at an organization for more than one semester and receive credit, their second internship role/description must be significantly different from their previous internship role, so that they are learning about new aspects of the position or field. New learning outcomes should be established and must be substantially different in nature or more advanced than the previous internship experience. Students should have any second internships reviewed and pre-approved by a career center staff member prior to registration.
Both the on-site supervisor and the faculty sponsor will monitor students’ progress throughout the internship and offer assistance as needed. Prior to the end of the internship, the on-site supervisor will receive a performance evaluation to completed and returned to the Career Development Center. On the basis of this evaluation and the assigned academic project, the faculty sponsor will determine a grade.
All students participating in the academic internship program are required to attend an internship seminar or individual meeting with one of the career counselors. Interns will reflect on the current skills they’re developing through this experience and learn strategies for gaining professional skills. This meeting is intended to allow the student to share their experience with others, network with students who may be interning in similar career fields, provide strategies to ensure a more successful experience, and allow for feedback from interns about their internship experiences.
After completing the seminar, you will obtain:
- How to identify and reflect on current skills developed through experience
- Learn strategies for gaining professional skills (e.g. networking, resume building, public speaking)
- A certificate of completion (students must complete the internship self-reflection survey to obtain their certificate)
All parties are expected to uphold the agreement made before the start of the semester. If absolutely necessary, some modifications can be made on occasion. Students should contact Career Development to request minor changes such as their site contact information or site supervisor name and title. If approved, the Internship Learning Contract will be updated and all parties will be notified.
After the add /drop period, students may not make major changes to their internships such as hours, credits, the sponsoring organization, or faculty sponsor. If an issue occurs that is beyond the student’s control, he/she must contact Career Development for possible special arrangements. Students are strongly encouraged to contact us as soon as possible for a potential resolution to be feasible.
Those students interested in summer session internships need to be aware that if the internship is taken for credit there are tuition costs per credit. Additionally, part time students should be aware that there are tuition costs during the summer as well as the academic year, similar as registering for a course. For example, a 4 credit internship will cost approximately $1200 for an in-state student. Students may work more than 150 hours at the summer internship and gain experience, but will only receive up to 4 credits for the experience.