Internships

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What is an internship?

The following is a general overview an internship. Please review the additional pages for more specific information.

An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent. (National Association of Colleges and Employers-NACE). Students can learn more about University of Montana internships on the Experiential Learning and Career Success webpage. 

In general, most students in IPAT and Public Health programs are required to complete an internship to meet their degree requirements.

General Internship Guidelines

  • 1 academic credit = a minimum of 45 hours of work, although some departments do go over the minimum (Faculty Senate Procedure #201.35)
  • 3 internship credits are needed to meet your graduation requirement.
  • Up to 6 internship credits can be applied toward graduation as either major requirements or elective credit.
  • Credit can be offered as a Traditional Grade or as Credit/No Credit depending on the requirements being met.
  • An electronic override is needed for the student to register for the course on Cyberbear to get credit.
  • Internships and internship credit are offered each semester throughout the academic year.
  • All internships taken for credit must be submitted via the Experiential Learning Agreement located on the Experiential Learning and Career Success website.

 Academic Credit - Students at the University of Montana are able to earn academic credit for internships. Often internships relate directly to majors offered at UM and may require additional work such as a research or writing component. You must seek a faculty from your major to oversee your internship and grant you credit.

Roles and Responsibilities: Student Intern, Site supervisor, Internship Coordinator

Student internships for credit require supervision at the internship site and academic support from the Internship Coordinator. (Note: Typical 03 credit internships = total 135 hours per semester) The following outline briefly defines responsibilities and roles within the internship experience.

The Student Intern

  • Complete application paperwork and submit to the Internship Coordinator during the last weeks of the current semester. (Internship begins at the start of the next semester)
  • Obtain the internship Job Description from the Site Supervisor.
  • Develop and discuss Learning Objectives/Goals with the Internship Coordinator and Site-Supervisor. Collaborate with site supervisor on at least one goal.
  • Complete online the official Learning Agreement contract with Experiential Learning and Career Success. The Agreement will be formally approved by both the Site Supervisor and the Internship Coordinator before the internship begins.
  • Perform the responsibilities outlined in the Job Description and engage professionally.
  • Regularly meet with the Site Supervisor to gather feedback, discuss ideas, present questions - and if needed note concerns.
  • Maintain an Hour and Journal Log that is reviewed and signed weekly by the Site Supervisor.
  • Submit an evaluation from Experiential Learning and Career Success during the final weeks of the internship. Results will be shared with the Internship Coordinator for grading. 
  • Submit a four-part final portfolio to the Internship Coordinator at the end of the semester.

The Site Supervisor

  • Develop and provide a Job Description for the internship. Discuss the roles, duties, expectations, and opportunities within the experience.
  • Sign the Iinternship Application as part of the application process.
  • Discuss internship Learning Objectives/Goals with the student. Help student design one goal.
  • Review and electronically approve or reject the Learning Agreement contract.  
  • Set up semester work schedule and responsibilities.
  • Review and sign intern Hour/Journal Logs weekly.
  • Assist the student in the attainment of the Learning Objectives/Goals on the “Learning Agreement”.
  • Provide consistent mentoring and feedback to the student.
  • Evaluate student interns’ performance at the end of the internship. Evaluation will be emailed to the supervisor during the last several weeks of the internship. Results will be shared with the Internship Coordinator for grading.

The Internship Coordinator

  • Discuss Learning Objectives/Goals with student intern. 
  • Grant override for internship to allow student intern to register for credit.
  • Review and electronically approve or reject the Learning Agreement contract.  
  • Provide support to the student and site-supervisor as needed/requested during the internship.
  • Review completed intern and supervisor evaluations at the end of the internship.
  • Grade the internship: final portfolio and submitted evaluations