Required Internship Program

Every undergraduate IST student is required to complete at least one internship for credit while they are completing the IST 495 class in order to graduate. Many students complete multiple internships before leaving campus, but they are not required to take the class multiple times. Most students report receiving a job offer from one of their internship providers. Through internships, you can test-drive a particular set of job duties, a company, or a career path to see if it truly suits your interests and skills.

The Office of Career Solutions and Corporate Engagement coordinates the college's internship requirement and provides resources to help you connect with the more than 300 organizations that recruit IST students–including Corporate Associates–but it is your responsibility to ensure you are meeting the requirements of the program. Review the resources below to begin your journey and connect with a career counselor to make the most of your internship experience.

Be sure to check the FAQ's page for frequently asked questions related to the internship. Opening each of the drop downs below will also provide additional information.

Students are required to complete an internship or research project totaling at least 240 hours before graduation (reduced from the previous requirement of 300 hours, effective Spring 2024). The internship course (IST 495) will need to be completed during the semester in which the student is acquiring their internship hours.

Students have two options to complete this requirement:

  1. Participate in a single 240-hour internship, part-time or full-time, with a company, either virtually or in-person.
    • The experience/role of the student MUST be related to the College of IST curriculum or selected major to qualify for IST 495.
    • Students must register for the IST 495 course during the semester they are completing the internship.
    • Students will complete the IST 495 online course and CANVAS deliverables at the same time.​
    • Students are not restricted on the industry of the company or location. Many of our students, including our international students, have completed internships across the globe.
  2. Participate in a faculty-developed 240-hour research project.
    • Students can seek out a faculty-developed problem or case-based learning project that requires students to conduct background research on a real-world problem. This could include interviewing experts in the field and preparing reports, or papers that summarize a solution or approach to a problem.
    • Faculty can also advertise projects that meet the necessary criteria.
    • These projects must be 240 hours in length and require both the faculty and student to submit an additional project contract as an additional CANVAS class submission.
    • Students will complete the IST 495 course and CANVAS deliverables at the same time.
  3. ROTC Student Information
    • ROTC students may utilize a combination of their summer training and their on-campus work to request registration to the IST 495 class. Please refer to this PDF with all requirements for utilizing this option. If you have questions, please schedule an appointment to meet with an IST career coach.

Summer 2024 Enrollment Deadline: June 28, 2024

If you find an internship or project after the enrollment deadline please immediately email or call (814) 865-4509 to discuss options for IST 495 requirement.

  • Explore Your Career Opportunities. An internship helps you focus and evaluate your academic and career choices. It helps you evaluate if you're focusing on the right areas of your education and if a line of work is something you'd like to pursue as a career.
  • Develop Yourself Professionally. An internship helps you polish the skills it takes to succeed in the workplace. You also learn the value of networking and how to search for a job.
  • Enhance Your Maturity and Self-Confidence. Experience what it means to be a professional. Know how to get a job done and done well. Get a handle on what it takes to take care of personal business for professional success–relocation, housing, transportation, and financial obligations.
  • Improve Your Marketability. Build a solid resume with hard evidence of successful work experience. Broaden your skills. Get the knowledge you need to convince an employer that you are the candidate of choice.
  • Further Your Education. An internship gives you the opportunity to gain and practice important technical skills in the real-world work environment while you improve your oral and written capabilities. You can earn academic credit and, most often, a paycheck.

Office of Career Solutions and Corporate Engagement

E103 Westgate Building
University Park, PA 16802

(814) 865-4509