Career Development

Frequently Asked Questions About Internships



1. What is an internship?
An internship is a practical work experience that enables a student to gain knowledge and skills within an organization, industry, or functional area that reflects the student's academic and professional interests.
2. Why should I do one?
The advantages of doing an internship are significant. An internship provides:
  • the opportunity to explore a career field and gain relevant work experience
  • a chance to develop transferable skills valued by employers
  • networking opportunities with professionals in your field of interest
  • experience with the job search process
3. Can an internship be paid and credit-bearing simultaneously?
Yes, an internship can be paid and registered for academic credit. Internships approved for one unit of credit require a minimum of 180 hours and an academic component.
4. Can I do an internship for more than 1 unit?
Two-unit internships are rare; however, students may pursue a two-unit internship if the internship project(s) and academic component are deemed substantial enough by the faculty sponsor, site supervisor, and Career Development.
5. How is an academic internship graded?
Academic internships are graded on a credit/no credit basis, based on:
  • completion of 180 hours per unit of credit
  • favorable evaluations from the internship site
  • completion of the academic component

Letter grades are occasionally approved for internships that are highly academic in nature. If you wish to receive a letter grade, you first need to obtain support from your faculty sponsor. You then petition the Dean of the College for approval of a letter grade. You must do so no later than two weeks following the beginning date of your internship. Your petition letter must include:
  • A discussion of what is exceptionally academic about your internship
  • A copy of your internship application and proposal
  • A letter of support from your faculty sponsor indicating why he or she supports your request as well as information on how your internship comprises an exceptional academic experience
  • A bibliography showing required reading for the internship
6. What if I can't find a full-time faculty member to sponsor me?
This is a departmental issue that must be addressed by the faculty chair of the academic department.
7. How do I find an internship?

Start early!

Develop a professional resume and bring a printed copy with you to Career Development drop-in hours: Mon - Fri 12 - 4 p.m.  Upload your revised resume to Handshake

Identify internship opportunities of interest. Career Development may assist you with your internship search, however, it’s your responsibility to find one.

Here are some strategies to maximize your search:

  • Use Handshake to view posted internship opportunities.
  • Reach out to your connections! Talk to family members, friends, co-workers, professors, your advisors, recent Clark alumni, etc. 
  • Research organizations within your field of interest and contact them directly
  • Utilize relevant internship sites and databases.
8. Once my internship is approved, is there any other paperwork to complete?
It is the student's responsibility to complete a mid-semester and final semester evaluation form. The evaluation forms are part of the grading process. Students should remind their site supervisors to submit the employer mid-semester and final evaluation forms as these are necessary to receive a final grade.