University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Sponsoring an Internship

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 an assignment - a paper, journal, or project, the instructor then awards a grade for the work, and the student receives credit.

Internship Requirements
Academic Contract
Credit Amounts
Registering Credits
Evaluating a Student's Performance
Reporting a Grade

Internship Requirements

Most students on campus are eligible for internship credit. Students must have at least 45 credits and a 2.0 GPA or they need special permission from their Dean's Office to participate.

Academic Contract

Before beginning an internship, a student completes the Academic Contract with a faculty sponsor. This is an agreement between the sponsor, the student and the Field Experience Office. The student and faculty member agree on the work the student will do for the credits, how many credits, and what type of credit it will be. The specifics of credit arrangements vary from department to department, but there is basic credit information on the back of the contract. It should be noted that some departments have their own academic contracts and the Field Experience Office will accept these as well. During the placement internship the Field Experience Office will send the faculty member information on the student's duties and performance in order to help the sponsor evaluate the student's experience.

Credit Amounts

Faculty members should check with their departments for the amount and type of credit students can receive in that specific department. Students may receive a maximum of 18 credits over the course of their academic careers. As a rough guide, the Field Experience Office estimates that interns should work 40 hours per credit. This may vary slightly within departments and at different organizations.

Registering Credits

Internships are registered under Practicum numbers 298, 398, or 498 and students must complete the registration at the beginning of the semester in which they are interning. The specifics of credit arrangements vary from department to department. Faculty members should check with their departments for the amount and type of departmental credit students can receive. Students may also register internships as UMass 298Y credit. This is non-departmental credit that applies toward graduation and is mandatory pass/fail.

If you have any questions, please contact the Field Experience office at 413-545-6265. We are here to assist you in this process.

Evaluating a Student's Performance

Over the course of a student's internship the faculty sponsor will receive the following from the Field Experience Office:

  • A copy of the signed academic contract
  • A copy of the student's position description as filled out by the student's supervisor
  • A copy of the supervisor's final evaluation of the student's performance

Using these materials, along with any assignments the student submits, the faculty sponsor will grade the student on the internship experience.

Reporting a Grade

Grades for internships are due on the same schedule as class grades. Summer grades are due by the end of the third summer session. Faculty who are awarding department credit should check with their department's scheduling representative to see how grading for internships has been arranged. Those awarding general UMass 298Y credits will find their individual grade rosters through SPIRE. UMass 298Y is a mandatory pass/fail course.