Internships are fundamentally academic in nature in that they relate to your program of study, and are generally associated with a specific course in your program. Below is the overall policy for internship.
Students who wish to conduct an internship should begin the process of establishing an internship prior to the start of the semester in which they wish to do the internship. It is recommended that students begin to secure a potential site for internship by at least the period that registration opens for the next semester. This gives students, faculty, staff, and the site time to complete all required elements.
All application materials should be finalized by at least two weeks before the semester begins. Submission of application materials submitted after this period are not guaranteed to be approved. Students must seek authorization from several departments and various individuals, so read and understand the requirements well before the semester in which you intend to conduct your internship.
Please complete the Internship and Practicum Application.
INTERNSHIP AND PRACTICUM POLICY
FXUA offers opportunities for students to conduct practical, hands-on training where it is relevant and related to the program of study through internship or practicum opportunities. Such opportunities are offered as part of a course of study within applicable programs/majors.
Depending upon field-specific criteria, programs generally refer to these hands-on opportunities as an internship or a practicum. Because some professions refer to an in-field experience as a “practicum” (generally in education programs primarily focused on teaching), while others use “internship” (generally for programs in which the internship would be considered direct work experience), the determination of what to call an in-field experience is dependent upon the curriculum as determined by the faculty. While there may be curricular differences between these two terms as defined by the Schools, FXUA views these as the same for administrative purposes.
There are two types of internship (or practicum) experiences where curricularly relevant:
- Traditional Internship Courses: These courses are specifically designed as internship courses. Students enrolled in a traditional internship course complete all or most of their required time on-site in an internship facility. Some, but not all, internship courses require additional time in a lecture or seminar as defined by the course and School in which the internship is taken. Traditional internship courses are generally three (3) or more credits.
- Internship Qualified Courses: These courses offer students an opportunity to apply course content that they learn in traditional lecture courses, while also partaking in additional outside work related to the course content. Such opportunities are marked as “internship qualified” in the course description. No special marker indicates that the course included an internship on the transcript for these internship-qualified experiences.
Since academic credit is awarded for internships, students must be enrolled in a traditional internship course, or an internship qualified course in order to qualify for course credit. Students not enrolled in an internship course while participating in a practical experience are unable to receive credit for an internship. Approval to conduct an internship must be received prior to the start of the semester in which the student wishes to conduct an internship opportunity.
The period of the internship must correspond with the dates of a semester; time conducted before or after the semester start/end dates do not qualify to count toward the internship credit. Internship opportunities must be completed within the normal length of a single semester/term. While students are not permitted to conduct a single internship over multiple semester, where applicable, student may be able to conduct multiple internships over their program.
No experiential credit is awarded retroactively for an internship; prior work experience or work conducted during a course, but not preapproved, would not be eligible for credit for an internship.
Unless required in a program’s curriculum, there are no guarantees that all interested students will be able to participate in internships, as these opportunities are based on a student’s academic credentials, their eligibility, any potential internship interview, and/or site availability.
NOTE: Not all programs offer internship opportunities. Refer to individual programs for details on whether internship opportunities are available
Breakdown of Internship Hours
For the purposes of calculating time required on internships (both traditional and internship qualified courses), the Federal regulations for calculating credit hours and time (§600.2 of the Department of Education Federal Code) are used. Following these regulations, hours for each traditional internship course or internship-qualified courses are defined as follows: lecture courses comprise one credit for each 15 hours of face-to-face, one credit of for each 30 hours of laboratory, and one credit for each 45 hours of practicum/internship. Using these regulations, some examples are provided below.
All traditional internship courses and internship-qualified courses provide a breakdown of the hours required for completion of the internship on the course syllabus.
Traditional Internship Workload
Most traditional internship courses use a breakdown of workload equivalent to completion of three (3) credits on-site at the internship location. An example of the in-class breakdown of the workload requirement is provided below:
3.0 credits: 135 hours of practical experience
Occasionally, dependent upon the course/program content, some internship/practicum courses may also apply in-class time categorized as “seminar/lab time” in which students are required to attend seminar sessions as a component of the course content on-campus in addition to the off-site internship time. Such in-class seminars are related to the internship experience as a means of allowing students to discuss their experiences with other students/the professor in a semi-structured manner with a faculty member. An example of the breakdown of the in-class workload requirement for an internship combining on-campus and internship hours is below:
0.5 credit: 15 hours of seminar/lab instruction
2.5 credits: 115 hours of practical experience
Other workloads may be defined, dependent upon curricular content, on the syllabus and in the course description of the academic catalog. The workloads specified above are provided as a sample only.
Although rare, some programs, for curricular reasons, may require more credits for an internship/practicum experience. In order to determine the total number of hours required for internships, multiple each credit by 45 hours. For example, a six (6) credit internship would require 270 hours. These hours are reflected in the syllabus and in the academic catalog in the course descriptions.
Students taking internship-qualified courses complete the normal coursework and hours required for a traditional lecture course. These special courses allow students to apply what they learn from class in academically appropriate internship opportunities. Because internship qualified courses are taken in additional to traditional lecture time, students must be engaged in work directly related to the content of the lecture course. Students may be required to participate in all course required lectures, in addition to the internship work associated with the course. Although students may be engaged in hours related to internship time outside of the traditional hours of the class, students are still expected to complete all required work for the course. Internship time does not substitute for coursework.
Students approved for an internship in qualified courses must work with their instructors to define learning outcomes appropriate to both the course and the internship opportunity. The instructor will also determine a capstone or term project that would demonstrate achievement these learning outcomes prior to the start of the course.
Eligibility for Internship and Practicum Opportunities
In order to be eligible to complete an internship, a student must:
- Be enrolled in a program that includes a traditional internship course or an internship qualified course;
- Meet all required course pre-requisites prior to the start of the term in which the student intends to conduct the internship;
- Register for a course (either a traditional internship or an internship qualified course) prior to the first day of the semester;
- Be in good standing at the time of registration;
- Demonstrate the ability to secure an internship site before the first day of the semester; and
- Complete all required paperwork and commitments prior to the first day of the semester in which they wish to do an internship.
NOTE: Additional requirements may apply to students studying on an F-1 visa. Such students must refer to the “curricular practical training (CPT)” portion of the catalog for details on eligibility for F-1 students. International students must complete the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) authorization process in order to participate in the internship program. For more information on CPT, see the Regulations for International Students section or contact the Career Center.
Awarding of Course Credit
In order for students to be awarded credit for an internship opportunity, they must meet all of the following:
- Completion of all required internship coursework;
- Attending all required meetings with the course instructor; and
- Completion of the minimum number of hours as documented on the timesheet.
While the field experience courses require significant time on-site at an institution related to the appropriate program, the on-site supervisors do not contribute to the grade for the course. The grade for the course is assigned by the course-instructor. Achievement of the learning outcomes is observed through the submission of work to the course instructor, based upon work conducted during the internship course.
Establishing Internship Sites
The School Dean must approve and establish an internship agreement with any and all sites not already approved by the School. This approval must be secured prior to the conducting hours/work at the internship site. The internship agreement establishes the scope of the internship and the relationship between the student, FXUA, and the site.
Finding Internship or Practicum Sites
The Career Center assists students with the academic internship search and application processes. Students have access to past internship employers and other job search resources through the Career Center.