Domestic Academic Internships

Traditional Academic Internship

Internship & Reflection Seminar (recommended for Interim internships)

Students who will be completing an Interim internship that requires at least 120 hours and who would like to receive academic credit are strongly encouraged to register for an Internship & Reflection Seminar (ID 295) Interim course, which will require 3 hours of virtual meetings each week. The course will be graded pass/fail and will provide students will have the opportunity to reflect on their experiences and consider how they can prepare for a productive and satisfying professional life:
1.  Internship & Reflection Seminar (ID 295) — For sophomores, juniors and seniors who will be completing an Interim internship in any career field. Meets virtually for three hours/week. 
2.  Internship & Reflection Seminar (KINES 295) — For juniors and seniors who will be completing a pre-health Interim internship (especially Kinesiology majors). Meets Fridays from 1- 4:oo p.m. (in-person, with the potential to join remotely)

Students who are not able to participate in either of the Internship & Reflection Seminars or who need faculty supervision from a faculty member in a specific department have the option to register for a traditional academic internship (294/394). See below for more details.

Requirements & Deadlines

  • Deadlines to register for a domestic academic internship during the 2021-2022 academic year
    • Fall: September 22
    • Interim: December 15
    • Spring: February 21
    • Summer: June 3It is often possible for students to register register for an academic internship after a deadline, but it is possible that the experience will take longer to get approved and that the Registrar’s Office may charge a Late Add Fee.
  • Credit Options (*special policies for Interim)
    – 1.0 credit: internship plus academic work must total a min. of 160 hours (120 devoted to internship).
    – 0.5 credit: internship plus academic work must total a min. of 100 hours (80 devoted to internship).
    – 0.25 credit: internship plus academic work must total a min. of 65 hours (55 devoted to internship).
    *For Interim: 0.25-credit academic internships may not be taken during Interim. Neither a 0.5 credit academic internship nor the sum of two 0.5 credit academic internships taken during Interim may count toward the graduation requirement that three full course credits must be earned during three separate Interims. 
  • International students:
    If you will be living in the U.S. while completing part or all of the internship (even if the employer is outside of the U.S.) you are required to register for academic internship credit and receive CPT authorization. You are not required to register for an academic internship if you will be living outside of the U.S. for the entire duration of the internship. If you are registering for an Interim internship you are encouraged to register for the Internship Reflection Seminar (ID 295), rather than a “traditional” academic internship. 
  • Required Orientation: See here for dates
  • 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). If you intend for your internship to fulfill a requirement in your major/emphasis/concentration, please talk to the Dept. Chair or Program Director, who can then submit a future exception of you in DegreePath.
  • First-year students are generally not eligible to register for an academic internship (exceptions require special approval).
  • Institutional Review Board: If your academic internship will involve research activities with human subjects, be sure to see the Institutional Review Board’s website for steps to have your research project reviewed well in advance of the start date of your internship.
  • Additional details in the Internship section of the Academic Catalog

Steps to Register for a “Traditional” Domestic Academic Internship

  1. Secure an internship
    Utilize the Piper Center to learn about internship opportunities and prepare your application materials.
  2. Identify and meet with a faculty supervisor
    The faculty supervisor is responsible for outlining, overseeing and evaluating academic activities associated with the internship.  Together you will agree upon the the academic requirements necessary for credit.  Students are encouraged to seek out faculty in their major.  (St. Olaf staff members, including assistant coaches, do not have faculty status, are therefore not eligible to serve as faculty supervisors.)
    Meet with your faculty supervisor and identify Academic Requirements.  Discuss your internship, preparation, and goals. Work with your faculty supervisor to identify specific academic requirements.  You will need to enter this information during the application process (Ongoing Evaluation/Reflection and Integrated Project/Closing Activity.)
    *International Students: Your faculty supervisor must in your major field of study.  If you are a double-major, the faculty supervisor should be in the major most closely aligned with the internship.  (Note: Faculty cannot be only in your concentration or emphasis – they must also be in your major department.)
  3. Identify Start and End Dates for the evaluation period of the internship
    Start and end dates should typically fall within the first and last day of classes for the term. 
    Domestic Students: You may engage (work) in the internship outside of these dates.  The dates you enter only reflect the period of time for which you will be evaluated for credit and minimum hours.
    – International Students: Your actual start and end dates of the internship must be listed – you may only engage (work) during those dates as they will match your work authorization period. The start date cannot take place before the first day of the term and the end date cannot be after the last day of the term. However, after the start of the semester students may request that the end date be extended beyond the last day of the term using the Term Date Letter.
  4. Start the Academic Internship Learning Agreement using the following link:
    Request an Experience
    (and select the Traditional Academic Internship survey)
  5. “Request an Experience” in Handshake
    After you request an experience your information will be reviewed by a representative in the Piper Center who will verify the information and initiate the electronic approval process.  Your faculty supervisor and site supervisor will then receive emails requesting that they approve of your experience.
    – International Students: Megan Carmes in the Taylor Center will be an additional approver.
  6. Approval Process and Credit Registration
    After your site supervisor, faculty supervisor, and the Piper Center have approved, the Registrar’s Office will automatically be notified and add your academic internship to SIS and send you an email confirmation.
  7. Attend an Academic Internship Orientation (interim and summer internships only)
    All students who register for an academic internship over Interim or summer are required to attend an in-person orientation that will focus on relevant policies and making the most of your internship experience (use link at top of the page for dates and times).

    If you have questions about registering for an academic internship: 
    Email Marietta Ruppe <ruppe2> and Nate Jacobi <jacobi> in the Piper Center or Use Handshake to schedule an appointment (designate the type of appointment as “Academic Internship Review”).The following video highlights the process by which site supervisors and faculty supervisors can approve an experience.  Please consider sharing with your supervisors if they have questions about the process.

Tips for Completing the Academic Internship Learning Agreement

  1. Start and End Dates
    Start and end dates should ideally fall within the first and last day of classes for the term.
    U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents: You may engage (work) in the internship outside of these dates.  The dates you enter only reflect the period of time for which you will be evaluated for credit and minimum hours.
    – International Students: Your actual start and end dates of the internship must be listed – you may only engage (work) in the internship during those dates as they will match your work authorizations period.  Please use start and end dates that correspond to all days in which you will be engaged in work.
  2. Credit Level (either 294 or 394)– If it is the student’s first academic internship it is typically 294. Typically, 394-credit includes a higher-level involvement or intensive research and a prior 294-level internship. 394 must be approved by the faculty supervisor.
  3. Academic Requirements/Methods of Assessment (academic activities)– Faculty supervisors are ultimately responsible for identifying methods of assessment, but most faculty supervisors want to select activities that are meaningful for the student. Consider suggesting activities that will be most meaningful for you. For example, maybe it would be meaningful for you to give a presentation, develop a web resource, or create a video, rather than, or in addition to, completing a final paper?

Summer Domestic Academic Internships

Students will be billed summer tuition rates for 0.25, 0.5 or 1.0 credit-bearing internship.  Summer tuition costs can be accessed HERE.

Benefits of Completing an Academic Internship

  • Apply your academic coursework to a real-world work situation.
  • Work with both a faculty and site supervisor to maximize learning.
  • Explore career options.
  • 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.

If you need a printed version of the legacy learning agreement, please click here (note: this form is obsolete and cannot be used for registration).

Questions? Email Nate Jacobi <jacobi> and Marietta Ruppe <ruppe2> in the Piper Center for Vocation and Career