Required Internship - Summary of Options

The College of IST firmly believes that the best option for an internship experience involves real-world engagement with companies and/or faculty-led research. During this unprecedented time, we recognize that not all students will have an opportunity to leverage such an experience at its fullest.

We understand your challenges and want you to have the most appropriate internship experience that works with your specific situation. No matter the circumstances, however, it is in your best interest to take advantage of the best possible internship opportunity you can secure. Organizations still very much value the experiences you bring, in addition to your academic credentials. We are hopeful that these flexible options will provide opportunities that work for your current and future plans.

Learn more about the college's internship requirement.

Registering Your Experience for Credit

If you have an internship or research project you'd like to have approved for credit, email careers@ist.psu.edu with the information below. Once received, IST's Office of Career Solutions and Corporate Engagement will follow up with specific registration information.

  • Name of the company or faculty member hosting the experience
  • Brief description of work to be completed
  • Anticipated start date
  • Anticipated hours
  • The option you would like to register

Options to Complete the Internship Requirement

Option #2

  • Deadline to register June 30.
  • Open only to students graduating with a bachelor's degree on or before May 2022.
  • Can be completed in the semesters: summer 2021, fall 2021 and spring 2022.

Option #3

  • Deadline to register June 11.
  • Only for students planning to graduate with a bachelor's degree on or before December 2021.
  • Can only be completed during the summer 2021 semester.
  • Students must meet with the Office of Career Solutions to gain approval.
  • All students taking this option will be enrolled through the University Park IST 495 classes.

Students planning to graduate after May 2022 should plan to complete a full 300-hour internship according to Option #1 or contact the Office of Career Solutions with concerns.

Option #1 is available for all students regardless of graduation date. The internship course will need to be completed in the semester the student is completing the internship.

The student has two options within Option #1 to complete this requirement:

  1. The student participates in a single 300-hour internship with a company virtually or in-person.
    • The student registers for the IST 495 course as they have in the past during the semester they are completing the internship.
    • The course and deliverables remain the same.​
  2. The student participates in a faculty-developed 300-hour research project.
    • The student pursues 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 could create projects with students to complete through the summer 2020 or develop and provide as options for internships in the academic year beginning fall 2020.
    • The student completes the internship application as they have in the past, allowing the faculty member to complete a performance evaluation at the end of the experience.
    • The student completes the IST 495 class as they have in the past.

Option #2 is available only for students planning to graduate in August 2021, December 2021, or May 2022. The internship course will need to be completed in the semester the student is completing the internship.

Students seeking to request this option will need to meet with a College of IST career coach as well as complete the survey linked here. Students must demonstrate and prove steps they have taken to secure an internship up to this point and should have a resume uploaded into Nittany Lion Careers prior to meeting with a career coach.

The student has two options within Option #2 to complete this requirement:

  1. The student participates in a single in-person or virtual internship with a company totaling between 40-299 hours.
    • Companies provide mini-internship experiences totaling between 40-299 hours.
    • The student applies to projects and is selected through an interview process.
    • The student can also suggest projects to employers and gain approval through the employer and the Office of Career Solutions.
    • The employer will evaluate the performance at the end of the mini-internship.
    • The student completes the standard IST 495 course, as well as, a series of professional growth activities.
    • Consider using Parker Dewey to seek out Micro-Internship opportunities.
  2. The student participates in a faculty-developed research project totaling between 40-299 hours.
    • Faculty provide students with resources for mini-internships totaling between 40-299 hours.
    • The student completes the internship application as they have in the past, allowing the faculty member to complete a performance evaluation at the end of the experience.
    • Additionally, students can propose projects and seek out a faculty mentor.
    • The student completes the standard IST 495 course, as well as, a series of professional growth activities.

Option #3 is available only during summer 2021 and is only for students planning to graduate in summer 2021 and fall 2021. Students must complete both sets of activities listed below to earn a satisfactory grade for the internship requirement.

Students seeking to request this option will need to meet with a College of IST career coach as well as complete the survey linked here before the deadline to register noted above. Students must demonstrate and prove steps they have taken to secure an internship up to this point and should have a resume uploaded into Nittany Lion Careers prior to meeting with a career coach.

Over the semester students will:

  1. Complete all assignments in the Option #3 IST 495 class in Canvas. This class includes a series of professional growth activities (see sample list below)
    • ATS Resume reviews
    • AI interview prep
    • LinkedIn skills development
    • Career Research assignments
  2. Students will develop an individual learning plan and complete a minimum of eight courses (equivalent to 80 to 100 hours of instruction) from any of the education providers listed below. This Learning Plan must be aligned with the student's post-graduation goals and be approved by the faculty advisor. Students will meet with their assigned faculty advisor a minimum of 3 times throughout the semester, will capture an image verifying completion of all courses within their proposed learning plan and submit final portfolio documentation as outlined in Canvas.

The list below is a sample of possible education providers and may change and may be augmented on student specific requirements and planning:

  • LinkedIn Learning
  • Amazon Learning
  • IBM Skills Gateway
  • Practice Labs

Finding an Experience

There are many ways to find an experience that can fulfill the internship requirement:

  • Watch for the Office of Career Solutions message in your Penn State email on Sundays
  • Visit nittanylioncareers.psu.edu
    • For Option 1 (full internship) experiences, search using the “Internship” position type
    • For Option 2 (mini-internship) experiences, search using the “Contract/Gig Experience” position type
    • Visit our Nittany Lion Careers page for more tips on narrowing your search
  • Reach out to Penn State faculty, local businesses, and family friends to see how you might be able to help
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Office of Career Solutions and Corporate Engagement

E103 Westgate Building
University Park, PA 16802

Appointments and Drop-ins

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