Receiving academic credit for internships enables you to set a joint learning agreement with Trinity College, a faculty sponsor, and your employer. Trinity College offers for-credit internships to sophomores, juniors, and seniors during the academic year as well as during the summer.
- Students typically intern for 8-10 hours per week for a total of about 100-120 hours per semester.
- Internships can be paid or unpaid.
- At the end of the semester, we ask the employer to complete a brief written evaluation of the student’s performance.
- The faculty sponsor confers a pass or fail grade based on student’s evaluation and the student’s written work.
Learn more about:
General Eligibility Requirements
- Matriculated undergraduate students.
- Sophomore or higher.
- Have not enrolled in more than two full internship credits prior to submitting paperwork (students can pursue any variation of half credit or one credit internships, but cannot exceed a total of two full credits).
- Students on an F1 visa are required to enroll their internship for credit in order to obtain CPT work authorization.
- Complete paperwork by deadline. If you have a conflict, please contact Heather Hodge.
- An internship will not be approved for credit if the student is primarily doing basic office or clerical work. The student must be practicing and developing relevant, practical skills.
- Credit cannot be awarded twice for the SAME internship. Likewise, if you or a direct relative are the owners of the company you are interning with, you will not be eligible to earn credit for the experience.
At Trinity, students are eligible to receive half credit or one credit for an internship experience during the fall, spring, and summer.
- “Exploratory Internships” are pass/fail and yield half credit.
- “Academic Internships” are paired with an internship course, and receive A-F letter grades, yielding one credit.
- Academic Internship Course List:
* Under special conditions, a student may seek approval to do an internship as an “Academic Internship” without a course attached, similar to an independent study*
Students who choose to earn academic credit for their internship experience must have a faculty sponsor. Students earn the credits for the academic component of their internship, not for the actual work they perform at the company or organization. With a sponsor, a student develops and completes assignments, papers, journals, and/or projects. The instructor then assigns a letter or pass/fail grade for the work, and the student receives credit.
- Students choose a faculty member with whom they will work with throughout the semester.
- Together, they identify a couple of goals for the student to achieve during the internship.
- They also schedule regular meetings and agree on written work to be completed during the semester.
Internship for Credit Enrollment Form and Steps
Before beginning an internship, a student submits an Internship for Credit Experience form by “Requesting an Experience” on Handshake. This is an agreement between the Sponsor, the Student and Field Supervisor.
Career Development has a three-step process for earning internship credit.
Step 1: Secure an internship by working independently or in partnership with a Career Coach.
Step 2: Secure a Faculty Sponsor – Once you have secured a Faculty Sponsor, you will need to schedule a meeting with them to discuss the following:
- What required written work will you complete for your Faculty Sponsor in fulfillment of the 0.5 credit you will receive?
- Outline the schedule of check-in meetings you will have with your Faculty Sponsor over the course of your internship.
- This form will provide Career Development with details about your internship and assignments you will be completing with your faculty sponsor to earn credit.
- After you submit your form, it will go through a 3-step approval process; each approver (Career Development, your internship supervisor and your faculty sponsor) will be sent an approval link to electronically approve your Internship Experience form via Handshake. You can keep track of who has approved or still needs to approve your form via Handshake-Experience.
- Once all three parties have approved your Internship Experience, Career Development will send your name to Registrar and you will be manually enrolled in a Half Credit Exploratory Internship. Please note Summer Tuition and fees for credit.
View Detailed Academic Calendar for submission deadlines. If you have further questions about this process, please feel free to schedule an appointment with one of our Career Development Career Coaches.
Responsibilities During the Internship:
- The student should conscientiously fulfill all the responsibilities defined in the internship form and expected of a motivated intern and serious college student. Significant lapses in meeting these responsibilities may result in termination of the internship and/or academic failure.
- The student should keep a detailed record of goals, responsibilities, and accomplishments during the internship.
- On a regular basis, the student should discuss his or her progress and performance with the on-site supervisor.
- The student should maintain contact with the faculty sponsor by phone, letter, or in person. This contact with the sponsor must include the student’s written mid-point assessment of the internship.
Responsibilities After the Internship:
- Present the term paper, project, exhibit, or other materials to the faculty sponsor for discussion and evaluation of the internship. The student must meet the pre-established deadlines for submitting all required materials.
- The student must remind the on-site supervisor to complete an evaluation of the intern at the conclusion of the internship and submitted to the faculty sponsor. The on-site supervisor’s evaluation of the intern is an important component of the faculty member’s evaluation of the project for academic credit.
Can credit be applied retroactively for internships I have already completed?
No, you cannot receive academic credit for a previously completed internship. Internships for credit include academic work and ongoing meetings with a faculty sponsor, which must be completed concurrent to the internship.
Do I need to earn credit for my internship?
Unless you are an international student, you do not need to earn academic credit. Earning credit incorporates an academic component to the experience, which creates greater opportunity for reflection and academic integration. Some internships may require you to earn academic credit to prove you are the primary beneficiary of the experience. However, whether you receive credit or not, your internship will reflect the same on your résumé, personal statement, or in an interview.
What is the definition of an internship, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)?
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.
What is the criteria for an experience to be defined as an internship?
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 by the NACE definition, 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.
If these criteria are followed, it is the opinion of NACE that the experience can be considered a legitimate internship.
What are the guidelines for an on-site supervisor?
- The on-site supervisor must clearly be qualified by professional experience and affiliations, job status, professional credentials, etc., to guide and evaluate the internship activity. The student’s parent(s) or an immediate family member may not serve as the on-site supervisor.
- The on-site supervisor is not responsible for providing housing for or remuneration to the student intern. The student intern remains responsible for his or her general well-being, health, and living expenses. An internship may, however, become a paid position if the supervisor so desires.