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Off Campus Internships

An internship can be a great opportunity to gain real-world experience in your chosen career, and make connections that could lead to a job after graduation. The information below is for students taking internships that are not required for their degree.


If you're interested in taking an internship:

  1. Research internship opportunities. You may be able to find internships with pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, science advocacy organizations, etc.
  2. Review the policies for internships, below.
  3. Talk with your mentor and graduate program director about potential internships. You will need a plan for managing your research progress and GRA appointment during the internship.
  4. Apply for internships.
  5. When you have secured an internship, contact the Graduate College ASAP to coordinate your enrollment, internship agreements, graduate assistantship, and international student approvals. International students should contact the DSO.
  6. If you are receiving course credit for the internship, the Memorandum of Understanding must be in place before the internship begins, and an internship evaluation is due at the end of the internship. 


View internship policies as a PDF

Download the policy on Graduate Students Taking Internships

Am I eligible for an internship?

To be eligible for an internship:

  • The student must have completed didactic course work, be in good standing, and be enrolled in research hours.
  • The internship must be related to the student’s degree program and career goals.
  • The student’s major advisor (thesis/dissertation committee chair) and/or program director must provide a letter explaining how the internship is related to the degree program.
  • The internship should be for no more than 3 months.
  • International students with F1 status must have approval from International Student Services before beginning an internship. Students may need to apply for pre-completion OPT unless the activity qualifies for CPT status in the student’s program.

Will I get academic credit for an internship?

In order to receive academic credit for the internship, students must enroll in an internship course:

  • The course director must be a faculty member in the student’s graduate program.
  • If the student is taking an internship course, an MOU with the agency offering the internship will be required.
  • The student’s internship supervisor must provide an evaluation of the student’s performance and overall score of Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory.


An internship may be completed without enrolling in an internship course:

  • If the internship is over 20 hours per week, a Leave of Absence should be considered for students who are not enrolled in an internship course. For internships up to 2 months in duration, consider a short-term leave of absence. For internships over 2 months in duration, consider a long-term leave of absence.

Can I keep my graduate assistantship during an internship?

  • A preexisting Graduate Assistantship may be continued during the internship (up to 3 months) with approval from the student’s major advisor, graduate program director, and the Graduate College Dean. The major advisor must be the supervisor for the Graduate Assistantship. 
  • To retain a Graduate Assistantship, the student must meet the minimum enrollment required for a Graduate Assistantship. Enrollment should include at least 2 hours of research (5980/6980) plus an internship or special studies course, as appropriate. 
  • If the internship is less than 2 months in duration, or ≤20 hours per week, the Graduate Assistantship can be continued at up to 0.5 FTE. 
  • If the internship is greater than 2 months in duration and over 20 hours per week, the Graduate Assistantship can be continued at no more than 0.25 FTE. For the duration of such an internship, the Graduate Assistantship can be reduced below 0.25 FTE. The student and major advisor should provide a plan outlining the work the student is expected to perform for the Graduate Assistantship, while the internship is ongoing. This is to ensure that expectations are clear, to prevent conflicts of commitment between the Graduate Assistantship and the internship, and to prevent overburdening the student.