Domestic Academic Internships

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.

Credit Options and Required Number of Hours

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 0.5credit 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 and CPT
  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Requirement:
    • If you will be physically 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.
    • If you will be living outside of the U.S. for the entire duration of the internship, then you are not required to register for an academic internship and receive CPT.
  • Start and End Dates for International Students who need CPT
    • Start date – the earliest possible start date is the first day of the semester.
    • End date – students must initially submit an end date for the last day of the semester (at the latest). After the internship has started, students can request to change the end date and extend the internship past the end of the semester. To request an extension please email Megan Carmes <carmes> and cc’ Nate Jacobi <jacobi>. Note that the internship can only be extended to the day before the first day of the next semester. 
  • Summer Academic Internships Requiring CPT
    • If you are registering for a Summer internship and need CPT authorization you are encouraged to register for the Summer 2023 Internship & Reflection Seminar (ID 295), rather than a “traditional” academic internship. Tuition for ID 295 will be covered by St. Olaf for students who need CPT.
      (this option will be available as an Experience Type in Handshake by February 2023
  • Faculty Supervision (if you register for a “traditional academic internship”
    • *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.)
Registration Deadlines
  • Deadlines to register:
    • Fall: September 16
    • Interim: December 14
    • Spring: February 14
    • Summer: June 9It may be possible for students to 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
General Requirements
  • The majority of the hours need to take place during the semester in which the credit is assigned. It is not possible to register for an academic internship if the majority of the hours take place during the extended holiday break.
  • The academic internship counts as an elective credit.
  • Academic internships fulfill the Ole Experience in Practice (OLE) General Education (GE) Requirement. This GE will automatically be added by the Registrar’s Office after the completion of the semester if the students receives a P (passing) grade.
  • Academic internships 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.
  • 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.
  • First-year students are generally not eligible to register for an academic internship until the summer after the first year (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 policies can be found in the Internship section of the Academic Catalog
Interim Internship & Reflection Seminar

Students who will be completing an Interim internship that requires at least 120 hours and who would like to receive 1.0 academic credit are asked to register for one of the two Internship & Reflection Seminars:

  • Internship & Reflection Seminar (KINES 295) — For juniors and seniors who will be completing a pre-health Interim internship (especially Kinesiology majors). Meets in-person on Fridays from 1- 4:00 p.m. Taught by Matthew Neuger <neuger1>. Students who qualify can register directly through SIS.
  • Internship & Reflection Seminar (ID 295) — For sophomores, juniors and seniors who will be completing an Interim internship in any career field.  Meets virtually from 7-8:30 p.m. (CST) on Tuesdays and Thursdays during January. Taught by Elisabeth Alderks <alderk1> with support from the Piper Center. The course will be graded pass/fail and will provide students the opportunity to reflect on their experiences and consider how they can prepare for a productive and satisfying professional life.
    Students register by Requesting an Experience in Handshake and selecting one of the following:
            –  Interim 2023 Internship & Reflection Seminar (ID 295)  – Domestic Students Only
            –  Interim 2023 Internship & Reflection Seminar (ID 295) – International Students who Require CPT

    ***Students who meet one of the following criteria also have the option to register for a Traditional Academic Internship (details below):
    1.  The student received specific instructions to register for a traditional academic internship.
    2. The student’s internship schedule (or time zone difference) prevents them from participating in one of the two Internship & Reflection Seminars.
    3. The student needs faculty supervision from a faculty member in a specific department.
    4. The student would like to register for a 0.5-credit academic internship. Note that a 0.5-credit academic internship does not count towards the three Interim requirement. 
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.
  • Earn the Ole Experience in Practice (OEP) GE
  • Network with professionals.
Register for a Traditional Academic Internship
  1. Secure an internship
    Utilize the Piper Center to learn about internship opportunities.
  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.)
    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. Credit Level (either 294 or 394)– If it is your first academic internship you should choose 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.
  4. 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: Special policies regarding start and end dates. See “International Students” section (above).
  5. Request an Experience” in Handshake (and follow the instructions)
  6. Approval Process and Credit Registration
    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.
    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.
    – International Students: Megan Carmes in the Taylor Center will be an additional approver.
Additional Questions

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”).