Getting Academic Credit for an Internship

Students have the option of pursuing academic credit for an internship. As part of an academic internship students participate in academic activities with support from a faculty supervisor.

Registration Requirements & Process

Please see the following links for information on the process for pursuing an academic internship, required forms, deadlines, etc.
1. Domestic Academic Internship
*International Students and Internships (please see link for details and policies)
2. International Academic Internship

Academic Internship Info Session: Thurs., November 6th, 11:30am- 12:15pm (location T.B.D.)
Peer Advisors in the Piper Center can also who can help answer your questions and guide you through the process.

Credit Options

  • - For 1.0 credit, internship plus academic work must total a minimum of 160 hours (120 devoted to the internship).
    – For 0.5 credit, internship plus academic work must total a minimum of 100 hours (80 devoted to the internship).
    – For 0.25 credit, internship plus academic work must total a minimum of 65 hours (55 devoted to the internship).
    NOTE: 0.25 and 0.5-credit internships cannot be completed during Interim.
  • The academic internship counts as an elective credit and does not fulfill GE requirements. It can sometimes be counted toward the major or concentration (with approval from the department chair/program director).

Other Important Information

  • Getting credit from St. Olaf can cost money. For the most up-to-date information on the cost of each credit visit the Office of the Registrar.
  • Internship Grant Award: Students who are pursuing unpaid or underpaid internships during interim or summer (including academic internships) may be eligible to apply for a grant award. Please see link for details.

What is an Academic Internship? (from the St. Olaf Academic Catalog)
Academic internships are viewed as an integral part of a student’s academic life at St. Olaf College. An academic internship is a planned, supervised, experiential learning project integrating study and practical work. As a credit-bearing experience it allows students to acquire and apply knowledge through direct experience in a field related to their academic program. The academic internship is intended to integrate on-site learning with the knowledge base of a related discipline. Academic integrity is assured through established department/program criteria, faculty supervision, an academic internship learning plan, and guidance from the The Piper Center for Vocation and Career.

Benefits of Completing an Academic Internship

  • Apply your academic coursework to a real-world work situation.
  • Participate in reflection activities and receive support from a faculty supervisor to maximize learning.
  • Explore career options and obtain practical and professional experience in a field of interest.
  • Receive a P/N grade and notation as academic internship on your official transcript.
  • Network with professionals.

Federal Guidelines for Unpaid Internships (minimum wage, Fair Labor Standards Act)

Students will find companies and organizations that offer unpaid internship opportunities. It is important that students understand why organizations offer unpaid internships, and that students do necessary research before deciding to sign on to an unpaid internship opportunity. Piper Center staff are available to help with any questions or concerns, and we strongly encourage students to talk with us before approaching an organization with questions about compensation. Students may receive pay from an organization during their internship AND register for academic internship credit through St. Olaf. A few resources students should be aware of:

  1. Employee Rights Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
  2. Federal Guidelines for Unpaid Internships Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)