Frequently Asked Questions | College of Information Sciences and Technology
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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.  But remember, finding an internship is your responsibility.  Part of the search process is learning how to find and obtain the internship.  We are not a placement service and, therefore, do 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 -- through Nittany Lion Careers, a family connection, research opportunities, and more.  World Campus students have, on occasion, been able to use their current organization (working with their internal HR connections) to create an opportunity, which will allow them to transition into an IST or SRA 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 PSU 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.

In addition to Nittany Lion Careers, students have obtained internships through family connections and network of friends, Penn State's internal job board, LinkedIn and other job search sites. Need help? Schedule an appointment with a 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.

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.

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 here.

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

All students obtaining an Associate or Bachelor 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. There are two options for fulfilling the internship requirement:

  • An internship
    This may or may not be called an "internship”. To fulfill this option, a student may use a fulltime position, provided that the work is related to their major field of study and they complete a minimum of 300 hours within this field. Students must complete four deliverables associated with the IST 495 credit course. Sometimes students have been able to use their current organization, working with their internal HR connections, to create an opportunity which will allow them to transition into an IST or SRA unit at their current location. Other options for non-traditional "internship" experiences can be found on our Internship Program website.

  • Credit By Portfolio
    This option is for professionals who have significant experience within the field. They are generally upper level individuals who are able to build a portfolio of their work. To use this option, students must submit a proposal following the requirements outlined on the Credit by Portfolio website. Once approved, they submit the completed portfolio for review and, if satisfactory, are awarded credit, fulfilling the internship requirement. These projects must have been completed within the past two years and must be of a depth and breadth that represent a deep understanding of the professional IT field.



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E103 Westgate Building
Phone: (814) 865-4509

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