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The Credited Internship Process


FAQ for Credited Internships

What is a Credited Internship?
How Do I Get Started?
Where Do I Get An Internship?
What If I Need Help?
Internship Credits, Hours and Costs
What Does My Faculty Sponsor Do?
What is an Academic Internship Contract?
UMass Rules About Credited Internships
Once You Accept An Internship
Clarify Your Housing and Financial Aid
Professionalism At The Internship Site
After The Internship


What is a Credited Internship?

A credited internship is a position in a company or organization that provides you with a professional-level educational or training experience while earning academic credit. Credited internships can take place year round and may or may not be paid. To participate in a credited internship, you must have 45 credits and a 2.0 GPA overall. (For exceptions to these rules, speak with your academic dean). In addition, you must complete your internship prior to graduation. If you are too close to graduation or have already graduated, you may be able to apply through our Post Graduate Internship Program.


How Do I Get Started?

Registration for all internships and co-ops starts and end with our CareerConnect system, which you access with your NetID and password.  Putting together an internship has 4 major parts: your internship site supervisor, your faculty sponsor, CareerConnect and, the most important part, YOU.  

  • Your site supervisor is the person who agrees to directly supervise you at their place of business.
  • Your faculty sponsor ensures the internship has an academic component and connects with your personal program of study.
  • CareerConnect is where all information about your internship is entered and stored (e.g. contracts, evaluations).
  • YOU are the person responsible for bringing together all of the parties above, ensuring that all parts of the registration process are completed by all parties, and confirming that your plans will comply with the requirements of your major.

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Where Do I Get An Internship?

Students enter the process of securing an internship in different ways. Some find internships on their own and begin the registration process through CareerConnect. Others need assistance in finding and applying for positions and may seek our help earlier. CareerConnect is also our private database of job and internship opportunities. Login to CareerConnect, click the Opportunities tab up top and make use of the advanced search filters as appropriate. Check frequently as it is updated daily with new opportunities.

Tips For Getting The Most Out Of CareerConnect:

  • Update your personal and academic profiles first; confirm that your major is correct
  • Using fewer filters can increase your search results
  • The more you use CareerConnect the faster the system will learn your interests and make customized suggestions
  • To apply for internships through CareerConnect you may first need to upload a resume through the system

During the process of finding your internship, you must find and meet with a faculty member who will agree to be your faculty sponsor.

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What If I Need Help?

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Internship Credits, Hours and Costs

  • Fall and Spring semester internship credits are part of regular tuition  --  so no extra cost for full-time students.
  • Summer or Winter session internship credits are registered through Continuing and Professional Education and are paid by the student, per credit, in addition to regular semester tuition.  A maximum of four credits is allowed for winter session internships and a maximum of 14 credits is allowed for summer session.
  • A UMass Amherst student can earn a total of 18 credits for internships during the course of your degree, depending upon the guidelines of your department and major.  Seek an undergraduate advisor from your major for information on major requirements and limitations.
  • Credits are registered under UMass 298Y or your major's x98 practicums, are usually earned as general elective credits, and count towards graduation credit totals. Most are graded Pass/Fail, but some departments may use graded practicum credits.

The Field Experience Office recommends that students agree to work roughly 40 hours per credit over the course of a semester. For a 15-week semester, use this chart to estimate how many hours per week are needed to earn the desired number of credits. For winter or summer internships, the total number of hours determines the amount of credits earned.




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What Does My Faculty Sponsor Do?

When you participate in an internship, you need a faculty sponsor to help determine the amount of credits you will earn and to guide and evaluate the academic component of your placement. Although the internship will be like a job, it is actually an academic experience, and the credit you receive will be for that academic component. Your sponsor will usually require a graded paper, journal, or project that reflects what you have learned from your experiences. Choose a faculty sponsor whose academic work is closely related to your internship field.

Faculty?  Please read Sponsoring an Internship for information on your responsibilities and expectations as a faculty sponsor.

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What's an Academic Internship Contract?

The Academic Internship Contract is an agreement between you, your faculty sponsor, and the Field Experience Office that clearly states the academic content and expectations of your internship placement. You and your faculty sponsor will determine what kind of work you will do for your credit, what type of credit, and how many you will earn. Some departments have their own academic contracts and the Field Experience Office will accept these as well.

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UMass Rules About Credited Internships

  • You can use any websites you like, or you can develop your own internship and bring it to us for registration.  However, you CANNOT work for family or in someone's private home for credit
  • If you do not have a minimum of 45 credits completed with a minimum GPA of 2.0, you will need to get an additional signature from your Academic Dean.  When you enter the contract online, CareerConnect will generate this Dean's form for you to print, get signed, and then scan and upload as part of your Internship Contract submission.  IMPORTANT: When registering your contract, you must Save As Draft, then later upload the additional signed Dean's form BEFORE submitting your Contract.  Once you click Submit on CareerConnect, you will be UNABLE to submit any addition permission forms that may be required.
  • If your internship takes you away from the UMass Amherst campus during the Fall or Spring semester, you will need to sign a Placements Requirements form before you leave.  IMPORTANT: When registering your contract, you must Save As Draft, then later upload the additional signed Placements Requirements form BEFORE submitting your Contract.  Once you click Submit on CareerConnect, you will be UNABLE to submit any addition permission forms that may be required.
  • If you are applying to an international internship, you MUST check in with the International programs Office (IPO) at 467 Hills South, 413-545-2843
  • If you are an international student, you MUST check in with the International Programs Office (IPO) regarding visas -- 467 South Hills, 413-545-2843

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Once You Accept an Internship

  • Login to CareerConnect again, go to your Profile, select Internship/Co-op, and complete a Contract
  • Once you complete and submit your Contract, CareerConnect will email a link to your faculty sponsor for approval
  • Tell your faculty sponsor that they will receive a computer-generated email with a customized link
  • Your faculty sponsor will indicate their agreement by clicking that link
  • Important: Your internship will not be official until your faculty sponsor clicks this link, so politely remind them if necessary

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Clarify Your Housing and Financial Aid

After you accept a credited internship position, you may also need to check in with the following campus offices:

Residential Life Student Services
235 Whitmore Administration Building
Phone: 413-545-2100
If you accept a full-time internship, remember to cancel your housing for the semester you’ll be away and arrange housing for the semester after your internship. 

Financial Aid Services
255 Whitmore Administration Building
Phone: 413-545-0801
Students who receive financial aid should meet with Sharon Pinkney, the Financial Aid liaison for internship and co-op students. 

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Professionalism at the Internship Site

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst interns are known for their professionalism in the workplace.  As an intern you represent both your own professional character and the reputation of the University of Massachusetts.  Career Services has worked diligently to create a community of employers that enjoy the benefits of hiring UMass students.  It is likely that you were given an internship on the basis of previously successful and professional UMass interns that impressed the company in the recent past.  You are responsible for carrying that benefit through to future student interns by maintaining the professional reputation of the university. 
  • Complaints from your site supervisor will lead to discussions with your faculty sponsor, and Career Services, that may potentially lead to your forced withdrawal from the internship experience.
  • An intern who feels under-utilized or under-valued at their site should seek a polite conversation with their site supervisor to improve working conditions and the working relationship.
  • An intern who feels unsafe or unsupported by their site supervisor should immediately contact their faculty advisor and/or the Career Services Field Experience office at 413-545-2224.  The University is here to ensure that your internship experience is beneficial, educational, productive, and fair.

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After the Internship

  • To receive a grade, you and your site supervisor must equip your faculty sponsor with enough information to submit  your grade to SPIRE by the semester grading deadline.
  • Towards the end of the internship, you and your internship site supervisor will receive emails with final evaluation forms.  You BOTH need to click into the emails, complete the evaluations, and click Submit.  Be sure to submit these ASAP so that your faculty sponsor has time to calculate and enter your grade before the deadline.
  • You may wish to meet with a Career Services Advisor to discuss how to best present on your resume the skills gained from your internship experience.  Log onto CareerConnect to make an appointment with a Career Advisor.

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