Sponsored Internship Program


In order for a student to work as an intern for a third party (sponsor) at an off campus site and be paid through the University, a Master Internship Affiliation Agreement (MIAA) signed by the sponsor and by an authorized University official must be on file in the Sponsored Programs Administration office. This master agreement contains the legally required basic terms and conditions for this arrangement and will be negotiated by Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP). Please contact Jarvis Payne Sr. at 901-678-8232 to determine if an MIAA for a particular sponsor exists in the system or to request an MIAA for a new sponsor..

Once the MIAA is in place, the specific details of individual internship assignments can be negotiated with the sponsor by any University department/unit. Details such as dates of the assignment, fee amount to be paid by the sponsor, description of duties to be performed by the student intern, etc. should be described in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and signed by the Vice President for Research.

The purpose of the internship is to allow students to enhance their academic program through participation in related work experience. Therefore, all interns must be enrolled in at least one hour of internship credit during the internship period or the internship must be a required component of the student's degree academic program. The work experience should be integrated into the student's course of study through communications among the student, the University and the sponsor at the beginning, end and during course of the internship.

The selection of the appropriate category will depend on the individual situation and in light of the following guidelines.

  • In order to be appointed as a graduate assistant, the internship period should encompass one or more academic semesters; appointment as a student assistant can cover any time period.
  • Graduate assistants are normally limited to 20 hours/week; student assistants may work up to 40 hours per week.
    Students on F1 visas should be appointed on graduate assistantships unless it is to be considered Practical Training.
  • Non-resident graduate assistants will be considered in-state for fee-paying purposes; this will not be available on a student assistant appointment.
  • Full tuition and fees will be paid by the sponsor for graduate assistants or student assistants.
  • Graduate assistants will be required to take 12 credit hours per semester if tuition/fees are paid by central pool.
  • Appointment as a graduate assistant will be subject to all existing guidelines listed in the graduate assistant information packet available from the Graduate School, 315 Admin - 901.678.4212.

The internship fee is a fixed fee that the sponsor agrees to pay the University in exchange for a student's performing certain duties over a specific time period as outlined in the memorandum of understanding. This fee may be expended on wages (and fringe benefits if applicable), tuition and fees, and department activities to further the internship program or otherwise benefit the students. Departments are encouraged to negotiate with the sponsor based on an overall internship fee, rather than hourly wage or other types of itemized charges.