Frequently Asked Questions

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, an internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.

According to the National Associate of Colleges and Employers, to ensure that an experience—whether it is a traditional internship or one conducted remotely or virtually—is educational, and thus eligible to be considered a legitimate internship, all the following criteria must be met:

  • The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom.
  • It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
  • The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
  • The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
  • There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework.
  • There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
  • There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor. 
  • There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.

We encourage you to start by writing up a job description of the internship position. The job description outlines the scope of work that is achievable by the interns within the duration of the internship. We recommend that the job description to include the following.

  • Brief description of your company and the nature of your business
  • Description of the scope of work and task involved in the internships
  • Preferred start and end date
  • of weeks of internships
  • Paid or Unpaid. If paid, state wage per hour
  • Qualifications (education, skills & abilities) of an intern
  • Documents required to apply for the internships. E.g. Resume, Cover letter, Writing sample or Portfolio
  • Application link for submission of resume
  • Contact person
  • Application deadline

Please feel free to download the Employer Handbook for Internships for samples of job descriptions of internships.

Create an employer profile on Handshake, our in-house job posting site. Once your profile has been approved, you can post the internship position on Handshake. Send an email : if you have questions on Handshake.

We strongly recommend that employer pay interns.

We recommend : $15 per hour & above, depending on experience. Based on our experience, we have found that students are more likely to apply for paid internships and they are motivated to contribute towards their internships because they are receiving compensation for their work. It also provides equitable access of the internships to all students and not limit to those who may not be able to afford having an unpaid internship.

For employers, paid internships attract a larger pool of candidates and qualified candidates are more likely to apply. Employers can also leverage the internships to convert the internships to full time positions.

Employers can have unpaid internships as long as the internship meets all the “primary beneficiary” test set by the Department of Labor. Refer DOL’s fact sheet on unpaid internships (Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs Under the Fair Labor Standards Act).

Please feel free to download the Employer Handout for Internships The handout includes steps to onboard interns, best practices, sample job description of internships and best practices to onboard interns.

Employers do not award academic credit or issue a letter grade. The student will register for a class called Academic Internship Experience (EXPRL 191). They can receive 2-5 credits, depending on the total number of hours worked. We recommend at least 100 hours so that students have sufficient time to build relationships with co-workers and understand the nature of the employers’ business. The student pays a fee that provides liability insurance while they are interning.

The course structure is very flexible and the timing can adapt to meet your needs. We ask that you complete a Training_Agreement before the intern begins work and complete an Employer Evaluation form at the end of the internship. Refer to the Employer Handout for Internships for steps to post internships.

Last Updated June 27, 2022