Internship FAQs

Finding an Internship

Students can obtain and complete their credit-bearing internship at any point during their academic career. However, these internships are typically completed during the summer between junior and senior years. At that point, students have gained the academic knowledge and previous work or club experience to make them competitive. Depending on your level of experience, and skills that you developed in high school, it is possible to obtain your credit-bearing internship earlier.

We encourage students not to wait until their senior year to plan their internship. Internships are a requirement to graduate and this credit cannot be waived or substituted with another credit. Starting the internship process early will reduce stress as you approach graduation.

The Office of Career Solutions provides IST students with several tools and resources to assist with the internship search.  Remember, however, that finding an internship is your responsibility. Part of the search process is learning how to find and obtain the internship. The Office of Career Solutions and Corporate Engagement is not a placement service and, therefore, does not have internships to hand out to students. However, we are here to help you along the journey. 

Acceptable experiences that can qualify for internship credit can be found anywhere, including through Nittany Lion Careers, a family connection, research opportunities, and more. Penn State World Campus students have, on occasion, been able to use their current employer to create an opportunity that allows them to transition into a relevant unit at their current location.

Nittany Lion Careers is Penn State's job posting system, where employers post internship and full-time opportunities specifically targeting Penn State students. All students and alumni at Penn State have access to Nittany Lion Careers. Students will log-in using their WebAccess credentials; alumni should contact Penn State's Alumni Career Services office to request an account.

Students have found internships through family connections and friends, Penn State's internal job boardLinkedIn, and other job search sites. Need help? Schedule an appointment with an IST Career Coach.

An internship does not have to be a called an internship. It could be a full time or part time job. It could be a research opportunity. It could be a wage payroll position through Penn State. The opportunities are endless as long as the experience meets the requirements for credit.

No, you must complete the full 300 hours with one company or organization.

No, it doesn’t matter who you work for. What matters is what you are doing. Students have completed internships in various places, including school districts, small shops, and business and non-profit organizations.

Yes, you can. If you are already in a position that corresponds to your degree, you can use that position as the internship. However, you will still have to be enrolled in and complete course requirements for IST 495.

Registering Your Internship

Students cannot register for IST 495 on their own.  Internships must be approved by the Office of Career Solutions in order to qualify for credit.  The complete registration and approval process is found on the Internship Registration and Approval page.

Students must be registered for the internship credit by the drop/add deadline of each semester. Please contact careers@ist.psu.edu with any questions. 

Students are not able to directly register for IST 495. The Office of Career Solutions and Corporate Engagement will complete the registration. In order for them to do this, you must submit an email requesting internship registration to careers@ist.psu.edu with the following information:

  • Name of the company where you will be interning
  • A description of what you will be doing
  • How many hours will you complete
  • What semester will you be interning and need to be enrolled in the course

Consecutive semesters are ones that follow each other—fall to spring, spring to summer, or summer to fall. Starting an internship in the spring semester and then completing in the fall semester is not a possibility, as they are not consecutive semesters.

Receiving Credit

All students obtaining an associate or bachelor's degree from the College of IST must complete an internship. It is a required part of the degree. It is important that students have had these conversations with their academic advisors as they are selecting their majors.

Students can meet this requirement by completing an internship or submitting a Credit by Portfolio. Review the requirements of each and meet with an IST Career Coach to understand your options.

The IST 495 class must be taken while the students are completing their internship requirement. If an internship is found after the mid-point of the semester, students will wait until the next semester to begin the class with a full cohort of students.

No. IST495 must be taken concurrently with your internship experience. To be registered for the class, your internship must be approved by the Office of Career Solutions and Corporate Engagement.

No. Credit by Portfolio is a different process that may be used to fulfill the internship requirement. Please visit the Credit by Portfolio page for complete information.

Probably not. You must complete 300 hours of work that is directly related to your major. In addition, the Office of Career Solutions and Corporate Engagement must be able to pre-approve your internship and register you for the IST 495 class. Often with education abroad, preapproval of experiences is not possible. Education abroad alone will not satisfy the internship requirement.

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Office of Career Solutions and Corporate Engagement

E103 Westgate Building
University Park, PA 16802

Make an Appointment

careers@ist.psu.edu
(814) 865-4509