Employers rate relevant work experience as the most important criteria during the job selection process.
Internships are typically one-time work or service experiences related to your major or career goal. Internships can be paid or unpaid, optional or a degree requirement. You may opt to receive academic credit for the internship.***You MUST register for an internship course PRIOR to your internship to receive credit.*** The University of Memphis Academic Internship Program has been nationally recognized as a Top 10 program by U.S. News and World Report.
Successful Internships provide:
- Opportunity to apply classroom theory to real-world work experience
- Specific project/responsibilities and opportunities to learn about an organization's operations
- Supervisory support to the student in the pursuit of learning goals
- Fast track access to talent pipeline
- More than 56 percent of graduating seniors reported taking part in at least one internship. Of those, 56 percent were paid, while 44 percent were unpaid.
- More than 52 percent of paid interns at for-profits received a job offer.
Source: Executive Summary, The Class of 2016 Student Survey Report
When Should You Seek Internships?
- Start your internship search early! The second semester of your sophomore year is ideal. National and international internships often have earlier deadlines, up to 12 months in some fields. Local internships may have deadlines closer to the term in which you would work. Research your field to identify the typical recruiting timeline.
- Internships and co-ops are available throughout the year. Internships may be part-time or full-time, and may continue beyond a single semester.
- If you take a semester off for an internship, consult your academic advisor to stay on-track with your academic program. You should visit Scholarships and/or Financial Aid to determine any impact of your absence on scholarships or loans. If you live on-campus, work with Housing to cancel housing contracts.
- Some majors may use a different name for internships such as practicums, clinicals, field experience and more.
What are other experiential learning opportunities?
- Whiles internships are the most common, there are many other opportunities such as co-ops, Study Abroad, Job Shadowing, Service Learning and more.
- Co-ops; Co-ops are typically full-time for a summer and semester.
- Study Abroad Programs. Visit the Study Abroad Office to learn about international internships
- Job Shadow Programs. College of Arts and Sciences students check out Look Before You Leap
Academic Credit for Internships
- Whether the internship is paid or unpaid, students are encouraged to work with their academic department to determine eligibility for academic credit.
- Most internships may qualify for 1 – 6 credit hours.
- It is highly recommended that you communicate with your academic department/faculty internship coordinator BEFORE accepting an internship offer to ensure proper credit.
- Learn more about ELC 4000