Internship FAQs

What is an internship? What’s in it for me? Find answers to the most commonly asked internship questions for Berea students, here!

  • What is an internship?
    An internship is a credit-bearing, supervised learning experience in the workplace. These experiences allow students to apply knowledge gained in the classroom in practical, career-related settings.
  • What’s in it for me, why should I do an internship?
    • To help clarify your career path
    • To gain valuable career-related experience for your resume
    • To learn new skills
    • To develop networking contacts and possible job connections or offers
  • How important is it?
    Ask other students who have done internships; ask employers; read statistics. All will state that internships are crucial. National student surveys conducted by NACE show new graduates who took part in an internship were more likely to receive job offers and higher starting salaries than their peers who did not.
  • Who is eligible to participate?

    Full-time students who are at least 18 years of age and in good standing (not on probation) who are rising sophomores, juniors and seniors are eligible to participate in internships.

    Although first-year students in good standing are permitted to do internships, we encourage the majority of students to wait until after their sophomore year. Many employers will require prior work experience, certain classes, or skills that some first-year students may not have yet, and often, student interests and career plans become clearer after the sophomore year.

    All students planning to participate in an internship should have completed Steps 1 & 2 in the Steps for Planning Participating in an Internship for Academic Credit by the deadlines to be eligible, and should also check with their faculty advisor and/or intended faculty sponsor before accepting any offer. Some departments require pre-approval.

  • Are internships paid?
    About two-thirds of all internships are unpaid, while some organizations are able to offer hourly wages or a stipend.
  • I can’t afford to do an unpaid internship. Is there any financial assistance available from the college?
    Berea acknowledges the costs associated with doing an internship and wants to ensure you have the opportunity to take part in one when you receive an offer.  There is funding available, and the amount an individual receives depends on the specifics of the internship. See Internship Funding for more information.
  • Will I be ‘placed’ in an internship?

    No. The Internship Program does not find an internship for you or “place” you in a position. You must apply for internships with potential internship sites as if you were applying for a job.

    In order to be eligible to participate in a Summer 2024 internship (even if you have participated in an internship previously), you are required to sign an Internship Agreement (by Feb. 1) and complete the Internship Prep Course in Moodle (by Feb. 15) so that you have the most up-to-date, accurate information and resources about internship eligibility, processes, searching/applying, funding, and more before you start applying for positions. See our Steps for Planning & Participating in an Internship for Academic Credit for more information.

  • Can I receive academic course credit?
    Yes. You can earn 1 course credit with a letter grade for an internship if you work at least 180 hours, but to receive funding for a summer internship, you must work 30-40 hours per week for 8-10 weeks (240-400 hours total). Some academic departments and programs (such as ANR, Business, and EPG) have specific expectations within these parameters.
  • Does an internship fulfill the Active Learning Experience (ALE) requirement?
    Yes. The internship courses numbered 395, 495, and UGR 020 fulfill the ALE requirement, but they do not satisfy one of the six perspective requirements.
  • Can I do an internship during the fall or spring terms?

    Although you can do an internship during fall or spring, most students do not have the time due to class and labor commitments. For those who do arrange a concurrent Fall or Spring internship, a minimum of 180 total work hours is required for academic credit and no funding is available.

    Under some circumstances, students may arrange full-time internships in other cities during the fall or spring, but they should consult with the Internship Office well ahead of time to learn about additional requirements and considerations. In this case, there could potentially be a refund from Financial Aid, but there is no funding from the Office of Internships.

  • When should I begin looking for a summer internship, and what steps do I follow to get an internship approved?

    Students should begin gathering information in the fall for a summer internship. Application deadlines for internships vary.  Some are as early as September or October (common for large accounting firms and the FBI, for example), but most deadlines are in early spring (February or March).

    To make sure you are eligible to participate and have the information you need, review and follow the required Steps for Planning & Participating in an Internship for Academic Credit.

When are the internship experience request (proposal) deadlines?

Students seeking internships for Summer 2024 must have:

  • Signed the Internship Agreement by February 1st  and completed the Internship Prep Course in Moodle by February 15th to be eligible to participate in a Summer 2024 internship (you do not need to have an offer to do these first two steps; in fact, we encourage you to do them before applying for internship positions).
  • The Internship Proposal Deadline is April 12th (proposal submitted to Handshake and approved by Faculty), so earlier submission is encouraged to have time for all approvals.
    • Late offers may be considered past that date, however funding will be delayed and is contingent upon remaining available funds.

The Summer internship proposal deadline date is also listed on the Academic Calendar sent to campus each fall and is available to students on the Registrar’s website.

Experience requests for fall and spring internships are due by the first day of classes for the respective term.

  • Can I withdraw from an internship?
    Withdrawal from an internship course is not permitted unless there are extenuating circumstances. This must be discussed with your Faculty Sponsor and the Internship Director. There may be financial ramifications if funding had been granted.
  • Are off-campus Undergraduate Research Experiences considered internships and available for funding?
    If an off-campus Undergraduate Research experience (UGR 020, for 0 credit) has been pre-approved by departmental faculty and does not offer any compensation, it can be considered an Undergraduate Research Internship and would be eligible for funding. UGR internships require a UGR internship Experience Planning Form and are subject internship deadlines and policies.
  • Can I do an international internship?

    Berea encourages international experiences through the Center for International Education (such as study abroad or BIST). Internships in international settings are only approved if they meet certain requirements, and funding is limited.

    If considering an international internship experience, is important to review the International Internship Guidelines and consult with the Office of Internships and the CIE.