Getting Academic Credit for an Internship

How do I register for an academic credit internship?

Each year, approximately 150 students complete their internship for academic credit.  While few majors or concentrations require an academic internship, students often find value in the opportunity to work with a faculty supervisor and devote time to their internship activities.  You can register for a domestic academic internship to gain credit for an internship in the U.S. (even if you are an international student) or an international academic internshipYou can also stop by the Piper Center and speak with a Peer Advisor who can answer your questions and guide you through the process.

Credit Options

  • For 1.0 credit, on-site experience plus academic work must total a minimum of 160 hours (120 on-site).
  • For 0.5 credit, on-site experience plus academic work must total a minimum of 100 hours (80 on-site). NOTE: 0.5-credit internships cannot be completed during Interim.
  • For 0.25 credit, on-site experience plus academic work must total a minimum of 65 hours (55 on-site). NOTE: 0.25-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. Signature from the department chair/program director is required if counting the academic internship toward a major or concentration.
  • 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.
  • Fortunately, it is possible to apply for an internship grant award for your internship if it takes place over interim or summer.

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)