Every undergraduate IST student is required to complete at least one internship for credit in order to graduate, regardless of their campus location. Many students complete multiple internships before leaving campus.
To qualify, your internship experience:
- must be a minimum of 300 hours that are completed in one or two consecutive semesters with the same organization
- must have responsibilities related to your major and provide meaningful impact on the company
You may earn academic credit toward your degree with each IST internship you complete. If you are enrolled in an IST bachelor degree program, you may participate in as many as three internships. This means you can gain the equivalent of a full year of career-related experience by the time you graduate.
Secure and Register Your Internship
Students in the College of IST have many internship and job search resources available to them. Previous interns have successfully identified internship opportunities by:
- searching Nittany Lion Careers, where employers post internship and full-time opportunities targeting Penn State students
- using other job posting sites
- using LinkedIn's job search and alumni engagement tools
- networking with local businesses, family, and friends
- connecting with IST faculty
- searching Penn State's job site
Additionally, you can explore what other IST students have been doing to fulfill their internship requirement through our Internship Registration Database. Please note that this information is reported by students and is not edited.
A position doesn't necessarily need to be called an internship to qualify for the credit. It simply needs to meet the internship criteria and be approved by the Office of Career Solutions and Corporate Engagement.
Once you've secured an internship, you must get it approved to meet the internship requirement. To do so, send an email to the Office of Career Solutions and Corporate Engagement indicating:
- the name of the company you will be interning with
- a brief description of the job
- the number of hours you will be working
- the semester(s) in which you will be completing the internship (Note that the 300 hours must be completed within one or two consecutive semesters.)
You will be contacted via email if your internship has been approved for credit or if additional information is required.
Once the internship is reviewed and approved, the Office of Career Solutions and Corporate Engagement will email you an application link so you can be registered for IST 495. Upon completing the application, an email will be sent to your supervisor for employer verification of the internship. Be sure to review the additional information about enrollment verifications and affiliation agreements, which may be required by your employer.
After your employer has verified your internship:
- The Office of Career Solutions and Corporate Engagement will register you for IST 495. You cannot register for this course in LionPATH on your own.
- You will receive an email confirming your registration and with links to your online evaluations. You must keep this email for your records.
All other deliverables will be found in Canvas and will include online discussions, online professional development modules, and a final internship reflection. Deliverables must be completed as assigned in the Canvas course to earn the internship credit. If you are unable to meet this deadline, you must request a grade deferral prior to the end of the semester. If you were approved to complete your internship over two consecutive semesters, your final deliverables will be due prior to the last day of classes for the second semester.
IST 495 is a one-credit internship course. Therefore, tuition charges and associated fees apply. Rates for tuition, information technology fees, and activity fees can be viewed on the Tuition and Fees Schedule.
Internship Credit Restrictions
If you intend to use an internship for IST 495 credit, note that undergraduate and graduate students, whether University personnel or otherwise, are not permitted to receive academic credit for any work, research, or activity in violation of federal law, including work associated with marijuana. Employers involved in the hemp industry, however, may recruit students for both non-credit and credit bearing positions.
If you have questions about a particular internship experience, please contact the Office of Career Solutions and Corporate Engagement.
You must complete 300 hours of work within the allotted semester(s) and complete all of the course requirements in Canvas to a minimum average score of 70% or higher to receive the satisfactory (SA) completion of the IST 495 requirement. If the student receives a grade above a 70%, but has not met the hourly requirement, credit cannot be given for the course.
Note that these evaluation links must come directly from the Office of Career Solutions and Corporate Engagement. The links are directly connected to your Penn State Access ID and your application for registration for IST 495.