What is an Internship?
The NDSU Career Center defines an internship as paid work experience related to students’ academic majors or career goals and taken for academic credit. Employers hire internship students to achieve company goals by providing work opportunities to students whose skill sets are relevant to the position offered.
Why participate in an Internship Experience?
- Test a career decision before graduation
- Gain a competitive edge in the professional job market
- Gain “real life” experience
- Earn money to help with college expenses
- Network with professionals and potential employers
- Improve resume writing, job searching and interviewing skills
What kind of employers or worksites might I find?
You will find a broad range of opportunities. Some are large corporations representing a wide scope of career fields, such as: technology, manufacturing, financial services, sales and communications. Many students work in smaller businesses, gaining important entrepreneurial experience. Others are employed at nonprofit agencies and government offices.
Will I have enough of the skills that employers might expect?
Employers realize students are developing their skills as they continue their education and plan appropriate work levels.
Will other students be working there?
It depends on the employer. Smaller businesses are less likely to have other students, while larger companies may employ multiple students each term.
How can I work and still be a student?
By registering for 3 credits through the NDSU Career Center (working 300 hours or more per semester) students maintain full-time student status even if they are not taking any additional credits. During this time, student loans do not enter repayment.
How does an internship fit into my schedule?
Internship Experience may be completed during any semester. Options include:
- Parallel: Students work part-time with a local employer and still take classes at NDSU
- Alternating: Students alternate between attending classes on campus full-time for a semester and working full-time on an internship assignment for a semester
- One Semester: Students work on an internship assignment for one semester only
- Consecutive: Students work 2 or 3 semesters in a row
How do I find an internship?
Many students will find and apply for the internship position of their choice through a posting on CAREERlink.
Some students find internship experience on their own and want to earn credit. Other areas to search include:
- Career Fairs
- Company websites
- Academic departments
- Newspaper/independent job search
How many credits can I earn?
Credits earned based on the number of hours worked per semester.
- 100-199 hours per semester = 1 credit
- 200-299 hours per semester = 2 credits
- 300+ hours per semester = 3 credits
Are there enrollment requirements?
- Minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA prior to internship registration
- Internship is directly related to the student’s academic major and/or career goals
- Duties are clearly defined and at the professional or paraprofessional level
- Students must be engaged in learning by actively participating in the work experience
- Students must work on-site (working remotely is not allowed)
- Students must be paid at least N.D. minimum wage
- Students must be covered under their employer’s Worker’s Compensation insurance or comparable vocational training insurance
Why would I want to register for Internship Experience credits instead of just working a part-time job?
Students who participate in an internship experience are stronger job applicants after they graduate because they have acquired prior, related experience generally sought by employers.
Additionally, students registered for the program have the benefit of maintaining full-time student status and have the academic credits reflected on their transcripts.
How do I register for internship credits?
Appointments are required to register for credits and to complete the necessary registration paperwork. Call (701)-231-7111 to schedule an appointment. Students will come to the Career Center at 306 Ceres Hall and should plan to spend 15-20 minutes completing the registration.
If a student is extending an out-of-town experience (or is registering from out-of-town for the first time), contact the Internship Program Coordinator at (701-231-7111) to make alternate arrangements.
What is the cost?
Credits are billed at the in-state tuition rate and are based on a student’s major, plus university fees. There are no additional continuing education fees. Internship credits are not covered under the tuition cap.
Students are responsible for paying for their credits, unless covered by the employer or a third party. A growing number of employers are making the investment in NDSU students by paying the cost of the student’s credits. However, this is not a requirement of the employer, and will depend upon each individual experience.
How does an internship fit into graduation requirements?
Every college recognizes internship credits differently, so it is important for students to discuss where these credits will be applied to their curriculum with their faculty advisor. Most commonly, students use the internship credits in the following areas:
- Fulfill a curriculum requirement
- Technical elective credits
- Free elective credits
How are internship experience graded?
- Undergraduate students are graded Pass/Fail and Graduate students are graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.
- “Pass”grades do not affect students’ GPA; “Fail” grades are calculated into students’ GPA
- Graduate students’ GPA is not affected unless the internship is part of a student’s course plan
- If all required items are not returned on time, students will receive an incomplete grade. An incomplete grade must be resolved by mid-term of the following semester or it will be converted into a failing grade.
- Credits are not given a letter grade intentionally. Internship Experiences are intended to give students the opportunity to test a career path, not to impact their GPA.
What is needed to earn a Passing or Satisfactory grade?
All students are required to:
- Complete an Internship record in CAREERlink (found under Profile)
- Complete a midterm evaluation (completed in CAREERlink)
- Complete a final evaluation (to be completed by both the student and supervisor in CAREERlink).
- Some students receive an assignment from their faculty advisor given at the beginning of the semester, and due at the end of the semester. Once the advisor reviews the assignment and deems it satisfactory, the advisor will notify the Career Center.
Under what circumstances would I receive a Failing or Unsatisfactory grade?
- The student does not return required documentation by midterm of the following semester
- The student separates employment early without due cause
- The student is terminated from employment for poor performance or unprofessional conduct
Am I eligible for financial aid?
Yes. NDSU Financial Aid & Scholarship Office will evaluate a student’s eligibility for federal financial aid based on their number of enrolled credits. If the student is enrolled for credits in addition to their internship experience, they will count toward total enrollment for financial aid awarding purposes.
Types of federal aid that students may be awarded include the Pell Grant, Direct Loans, Perkins Loan and SEOG. Federal Work-Study is not awarded since the student is already employed. North Dakota residents will also receive consideration for the North Dakota State Grant. Students seeking federal or state financial aid are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) annually at www.fafsa.ed.gov, and eligibility for aid is based on the completed FAFSA.
If you have additional costs associated with your internship such as dual housing (maintaining housing both locally and in the city of your internship), commuting costs, required uniforms or clothing for a specific dress code, etc., you may request a budget increase to allow for additional aid by completing the Budget Increase Request Form at http://www.ndsu.edu/bisonconnection/finaid/other/budget_increase_request/.
For more information on financial aid, contact One Stop at (701).231.6200.
Does an incomplete grade affect financial aid for the following semester?
Yes. Incomplete grades are treated as failing grades for financial aid purposes during the evaluation of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). If a student’s financial aid is affected, the student will receive an email from the financial aid office alerting them of their SAP status of either financial aid warning or financial aid disqualification. When an incomplete grade is changed the Career Center will contact the Financial Aid & Scholarship Office to notify if the grade change and the student’s SAP status will be reevaluated at that time.
For more information on financial aid, contact One Stop at (701).231.6200.
Are there additional requirements for international students?
“Yes. Although the Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP) considers the Internship Program a form of curricular practical training (CPT), F-1 students must complete a full academic year (2 semester – fall and spring, excluding summer) at NDSU prior to participating in an off-campus experience.”
Prior to registering for internship credits, students need to contact the International Students and Study Abroad Services to complete the CPT application.
For more information, contact the International Students and Study Abroad Services at (701).231.7895.
How do I drop or change internship credits?
Please contact the Internship Manager, (701).231.7111 to discuss the process.