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

The deadline to register for a summer 2020 experience for the required internship credit has passed. If you have questions, contact careers@ist.psu.edu.

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

  • These options are only for students planning to graduate with a bachelor's degree in summer 2020, fall 2020, or spring 2021. Students planning to graduate after spring 2021 should complete an internship according to Option #1 below.
  • Both Option #1 and Option #2 can be completed in summer 2020, fall 2020, or spring 2021.
  • A reflection paper is required for all options.
  • A single course in Canvas (IST 495) will be used to register all students, regardless of which option they pursue.

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

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 summer 2020, fall 2020, or spring 2021. The internship course will need to be completed in the semester the student is completing the internship.

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 micro-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 micro-internship.
    • The student completes the standard IST 495 as well as a series of professional growth activities.
       
  2. The student participates in a faculty-developed research project totaling between 40-299 hours.
    • Faculty provide students with resources for micro-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 as well as a series of professional growth activities.
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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