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Experiential Learning Center

What Defines an Internship?

Simply put, internships provide off-campus work experience that directly relates to a student's major field of study.  Essentially, internships give you the opportunity to explore and apply academic theory in the professional world.  in 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

# of Hours Required:  Typically 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 3 credits (1 college credit = 45 work hours)

Length of Experience:  Typically 1 semester Offered Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters

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

Supervision:  Employer Supervisor & 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 - 2.0

# of 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 UCD and employer)

Supervision:  Employer Supervisor Support from Internship Advisor/Coordinator

Cost:  No cost to student

Employer Evaluation:  Required

Grade:  No grade

Transcript Documentation:  Does not appear on student's Academic Transcript.  Internship Advisor/Coordinator provides certification of completion. ​

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