The Credited Internship Process
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.
Students enter the process of securing an internship in different ways. Some may find internships on their own and come to Career Services to arrange credit and process paperwork. Others may need more assistance in finding and applying for positions and may seek our help earlier.
No matter how you secure an internship, once you have accepted an offer, you must make contact with the Field Experience Office to process necessary paperwork.
Other Important Steps
Once You Accept an Internship
Credit Hours Chart
- Attend an “Introduction to Internships/Co-ops” workshop for an overview of the field experience process. These sessions are held in 508 Goodell, beginning September 4th, 2012. (See Event Calendar for details.)
- Register and explore internships listings through UMass Amherst CareerConnect/eRecruiting and other Web sites. Go to Finding Internships and Co-ops for information on UMass Amherst CareerConnect/eRecruiting, as well as other tips for finding positions.
- Visit Career Services during Walk-in Hours (M-F, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.) for help with your resume or cover letters. Bring a draft with you for the first visit, as well as information on any specific field experience opportunity you are pursuing.
- Upload your resume to eRecruiting and other Web sites and begin applying to interesting internships. Check listings frequently as new positions are added weekly. Go to Applying for Internships and Co-ops for suggestions on this process.
- Keep a record of all internship offers and notify the Field Experience Office immediately when you accept a position.
- Obtain a blank Academic Contract from the Field Experience Office. Arrange for a faculty member to sponsor you, complete the Academic Contract, and have your faculty member sign it to authorize your credits. Your sponsor should provide you with the course number and the amount of credits they are authorizing. Return the Academic Contract to Field Experience Office. (See below for more details on faculty sponsors and the Academic Contract.)
Register your internship credits.
For UMass 298Y credits, you must register through the Field Experience Office.
For Departmental Credits, check with your department on the registration procedure.
For winter session and summer session credits, register through Continuing and Professional Education. A Field Experience staff member will give you a registration form when you submit your Academic Contract. Payment must be made directly to Continuing Education and is calculated per credit. A maximum of four credits is allowed for winter session internships and a maximum of 14 credits is allowed for summer session.
After you accept a credited internship position and check in with the Field Experience Office, you may also need to check with the following campus offices:
Housing Assignment Office
235 Whitmore Administration Building
Remember to cancel housing for the semester you’ll be away and arrange housing for the semester after your internship.
Financial Aid Services
255 Whitmore Administration Building
Students who receive financial aid meet with Pat Echols, the Financial Aid liaison for internship and co-op students.
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- Meet with Field Experience staff member.
- Have your supervisor fill out a Position Description form and return it to the Field Experience Office.
- Field Experience staff may contact you to arrange a site visit OR we will mail a Mid-Term Evaluation to you (please make sure we have your current local address).
- At the completion of the internship, both you and your on-site supervisor will be asked to submit final evaluation forms to the Field Experience Office.
- Complete the academic work/project so that your sponsor can post a grade and you can receive your credits.
You may meet with a career adviser or Field Experience staff member when you return, to help you develop a career plan that builds on your internship experience.
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When you participate in an internship, you will 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 sponsor whose academic work is closely related to your internship field.
Visit the Faculty section for information on your responsibilities and expectations as a faculty sponsor.
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The Academic Contract is an agreement between you, your faculty sponsor, and the Field Experience Office that clarifies the academic content and expectations of your internship placement. Obtain one at the Field Experience Office and be sure to read the back for complete information. You and your sponsor will determine what kind of work you will do for your credit, what type of credit, and how many you will earn. The specifics of credit arrangements vary from department to department, but there is basic credit information on the back of the contract that will guide you. Some departments have their own academic contracts and the Field Experience Office will accept these as well. While you are out on the internship, the Field Experience Office will send information on your internship to your faculty member so they can evaluate your experience.
For UMass 298Y credits, you will need an additional signature from the sponsor's departmental chair or the departmental liaison with the Field Experience Office.
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Your sponsor will check with your department for the amount and type of credit students can receive. You can receive a maximum of 18 internship credits over the course of your academic career. As a rough guide, the Field Experience Office estimates that students should work 40 hours per credit. This may vary within departments and at different organizations.
Below is a guide for you to go by for a semester long internship (40 hours = 1 credit). Hours should be adjusted for winter session and summer.