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Experiential Learning Center (ELC)

What Defines an Internship?

Internships provide off-campus work experience that directly relates to a student's major field of study. Internships give you the opportunity to explore and apply academic theory in the professional world. During the process, you'll develop new skills and gain valuable real-world knowledge that sets you apart from other applicants upon graduation. 


 Academic vs Non-Academic


Academic Internship

Academic Credit: Student earns academic credit

Compensation: Paid and unpaid opportunities

GPA Requirement: Minimum GPA - 2.75

Hours Required: Part-time: 4-12 hours per week for a minimum of 10 weeks. Summer can be full-time. Student must complete a minimum of 135 hours to earn three credits, or 45 work hours for one credit

Length of Experience: Typically one semester offered fall, spring, and summer semesters

University Requirements: Complete Learning Agreement, academic assignments, and internship evaluation

Supervision: Employer Supervisor and Faculty Sponsor Support from Internship Advisor/Coordinator

Cost: Students pay regular tuition for the appropriate number of credits

Employer Evaluation: Required

Grade: Faculty assigns pass/fail or letter grade

Transcript Documentation: Appears on student's Academic Transcript​

Non-Academic Internship

Academic Credit: No academic credit offered

Compensation: Ideally paid, but not always (volunteer waiver and Learning Agreement required)

GPA Requirement: Minimum GPA - 2.0

Hours Required: Approximately 135 hours of work over a semester

Length of Experience: May continue for multiple semesters. Students often are given progressively more challenging assignments

University Requirements: Complete Learning Agreement and internship evaluation as well as waiver (with CU Denver and employer)

Supervision: Employer Supervisor Support from Internship Advisor/Coordinator

Cost: No cost to student

Employer Evaluation: Required

Grade: No grade

Transcript Documentation: Doesn't appear on student's Academic Transcript. Internship Advisor/Coordinator provides certification of completion.

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