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Internships and Co-ops

Information sessions about field experience are held in Goodell 508 weekly while classes are in session. (Click here Event Calendar to find out when.)

Field experience—co-ops and internships—will give you the chance to work in your field and build invaluable experience. With this type of experiential education, you will learn new skills, work alongside professionals in the field, and explore your career goals. It is one of the best ways to prepare for your career.

There is a wide range of field experience opportunities for students. You can intern during the academic year or during breaks, and work near UMass Amherst, or in another part of the country. Some positions are salaried, some offer stipends or housing, and others are entirely unpaid.

It is never too early to start thinking about getting some experience. Even first-year students may begin by participating in uncredited internships and other opportunities (volunteer work, campus activities, job shadowing, informational interviewing) to build skills and prepare for later field experience. Go to Other Opportunities for more ideas.

Laurie Roberts discusses her White House Internship

Differences Between Internships
and Co-ops

An internship is a position in an organization that provides you with a professional-level training experience. Internships happen year-round, they may be paid or unpaid, for credit or not. Credited internships require a faculty sponsor to determine the applicable number of credits. Here is the process for internship credits.

A co-op is a three- to nine-month position related to your major, for which you earn at least minimum wage. During a co-op, you will set school aside for a period of time, work at least 20 hours a week, and maintain your status as an enrolled UMass Amherst student without paying tuition. When you complete the co-op, it will appear on your transcript. Here is the process for co-ops.

Post Graduate Internship Program

If you want to do an internship after graduation, contact the Field Experience Office to learn more about our Post Graduate Internship Program.

Contact Information & Staff

Career Services Main Desk

Candice Serafino, Interim Director & Field Experience

Diane Smithers, Field Experience Office Supervisor

Todd Butynski Assistant Director of Field Experience

Compliance Message for Unpaid Internships

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is in compliance with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regarding unpaid internships. In order to protect themselves from any potential liability which could arise from the offering of an unpaid internship, the employer should make sure that the internship opportunity meets each of the six following guidelines developed by the WHD.

1. The training, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to what would be given in a vocational school or academic educational instruction;
2. The training is for the benefit of the trainees;
3. The trainees do not displace regular employees, but work under their close observation;
4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees, and on occasion the employer’s operations may actually be impeded;
5. The trainees are not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period; and
6. The employer and the trainees understand that the trainees are not entitled to wages of the time spent in training.

For more information go to the WHD’s website at:

If you have any questions, please contact: