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James W. Stuckert Career Center. 408 Rose Street University of Kentucky Lexington, KY 40506-0494 859-257-2746. Internship Information Session. What is an internship?. Professional level experience in the workplace

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James W. Stuckert Career Center

408 Rose Street

University of Kentucky

Lexington, KY 40506-0494


Internship Information Session

what is an internship
What is an internship?
  • Professional level experience in the workplace
  • Form of experiential learning—applying what is learned in class to a real situation
  • May be full time, part time, local, national, or international
what s in it for me
What’s in it for me?
  • Understanding thatcomes with practice
  • Learn about yourself
  • Develop skills
  • Chance to try a career
  • Real experience for your resume
  • Networking opportunities
how can i find an internship
How can I find an internship?
  • Employer internship listings in Wildcat CareerLink
  • Employer Web sites
  • Library sources
  • Web sources
  • Faculty within your college
  • Career Counselor assigned to your college
will i have to interview
Will I have to interview?
  • Obtaining an internship requires applying and interviewing
  • You will need resume and cover letter
  • You may want to learn and practice interview skills
do i have to register for credit
Do I have to register for credit?
  • Academic Internship (for credit)
  • Non-academic Internship (non-credit)

The employer specifies whether

you must register for credit

or if you may choose to register.

Immigration laws require that international students

be registered for credit.

what s the difference
What’s the difference?
  • Career-related experience
  • No record at UK, not on transcript
  • Usually must be a paid position


Academic Credit

  • Done for credit, semester basis
  • Learning contract
  • Supervised by faculty
  • Paid or unpaid
why register for credit
Why register for credit?
  • Alternative way to earn credit you need
  • Recorded on your transcript
  • Learning Contract provides written documentation of the experience
  • Help from faculty sponsor throughout the semester
  • Faculty reference for job search
how does the program work
How does the program work?
  • Choose a Faculty Sponsor
  • Complete a Learning Contract
  • Register for an internship course
    • EXP 396, Dept 399, or EXP 397
  • Attend a Reflection Conference(fall and spring semesters only)
  • Complete an evaluation at the end of the term

There’s explanation of each point on the following slides.

how do i choose a faculty sponsor
How do I choose a Faculty Sponsor?
  • You can ask any faculty to be your sponsor—it is your choice, and their choice to agree to work with you
  • Sponsor must have faculty status (includes adjunct and part-time faculty, but not graduate teaching assistants)
  • Usually someone within your major, but not always—should be knowledgeable of the field in which you are working
  • Meets with you for discussion throughout the semester
  • Makes assignments and determines pass/fail grade

Information for faculty regarding their role as a faculty sponsor can be found at or they may contact the Career Counselor who works with their college.

what about the learning contract
What about the Learning Contract?

The Learning Contract serves as the syllabus for the internship course; it is not an employment contract, although the employer will receive a copy. It must be typed.

  • Learning Contract, blank form (click here)
  • Use the completed sample as a model for filling out your Learning Contract(click here)
what information will i need to complete the learning contract
What information will I needto complete the Learning Contract?
  • Student info
  • Course info
  • Internship site address and contact info
  • Starting/ending dates
  • Job description/duties
  • Learning objectives
  • Assignments and meeting dates/times
  • Signatures (note: employer does not sign)
course options for academic credit
Course Options for Academic Credit
  • EXP 396 Experiential Education
    • Learning Contract required
    • General elective credit
    • Variable credit hours
    • Pass/Fail (letter grade with departmental permission in some colleges)

To receive academic credit, you may choose to register for EXP 396 offered through Experiential Education and Career Services or, depending on your major, your department may offer a 399 course that might be a better choice for you. Check with your academic advisor to determine which credit option is the most advantageous for you, based on your degree program, the course requirements you have already fulfilled, and those you still need to fulfill.

The EXP courses have registration holds. The hold will be lifted by your Career Counselor when you turn in your completed Learning Contract, and then you will be able to register. The Learning Contract should be submitted before you start the internship, and the course can be added up until the last day to add a class for the semester.

  • Departmental 399 Course (such as PS 399, COM 399, PSY 399)
    • Learning Contract required
    • Departmental credit
    • Variable or fixed credit hours
    • Usually Pass/Fail
course options for academic credit14
Course Options for Academic Credit
  • EXP 397 Experiential Fieldwork
    • Only for undergraduates doing a full-time internshipand not enrolled in other classes
    • 1 credit hour general elective credit, grants full-time student status
    • Offered Fall and Spring semesters only
    • Learning Contract required
    • Pass/Fail only

EXP 397 was designed for students who may want to take a semester off from classes in order to participate in a full-time internship.

This credit option may be desirable if you are covered on an insurance policy that requires full-time student status for eligibility or discounts, or if you have student loans that may go into repayment if you are not enrolled in school. In addition, if you are eligible to receive a Pell grant and/or other financial aid you may receive funds based on full-time enrollment, even though you are only charged for one-credit hour of tuition. This may not be the case for all scholarships, so be sure to talk with your Financial Aid Officer to confirm, based on your specific circumstances. Full-time status will also allow you to keep your priority registration privileges.

credit hours work hours
Credit Hours = Work Hours
  • The number of credit hours you can earn from an internship is related to the number of hours worked. Below are the minimum work hours required to earn the credit hours specified. You may choose to work more than the minimum hours. For example, you may work 120 total hours and still be registered for only one credit hour. A situation where this may be to your advantage is if you are participating in a summer internship for which the employer requires that you be registered for credit. If you do not need the additional credit hours for graduation, you may want to register for only one credit hour to fulfill the employer’s requirement and minimize your tuition charges.
    • 1 credit hour = 48 total work hours
    • 2 credit hours = 96 total work hours
    • 3 credit hours = 144 total work hours
  • Divide the total number of work hours by the number of weeks you will be working to find how many hours you will need to work each week.
    • 144 work hours /16 weeks = 9 hours per week
    • 144 work hours/8 weeks = 18 hours per week
more about academic credit
More about Academic Credit
  • Be aware that credit limitations vary depending on your college. For instance, the Gatton College of Business and Economics allows students to earn up to three credit hours per semester, and up to six credit hours overall, through internships. The College of Arts and Sciences allows up to six per semester, and twelve overall. The College of Communications allows three credit hours overall, but only counts internship credit earned through the departmental 399 courses to fulfill graduation requirements (and there are prerequisites before students may enroll in those courses). Check with your academic advisor and the career counselor assigned to your college, so you can make informed choices.
  • Tuition is charged for credit earned through internship courses the same as it would be for other courses.
  • International students must receive academic credit for internships. Undergraduate international students may register for one of the course options above, but international graduate students must be enrolled for graduate-level course credit approved by International Affairs (Experiential Education and Career Services does not have a graduate-level course option).
starting and ending dates
Starting and Ending Dates
  • The starting date should be the actual date you start the internship. It can be earlier or later than the first day of the semester (just make sure you have turned in your Learning Contract before you start working).
  • The ending date may be sooner than the last day of the semester, but it should not be later—even though you may work beyond that day.
what else should i know
What else should I know?
  • Contract should be completed before starting the internship.
  • You can’t register for EXP courses until the Learning Contract is submitted to the Career Center and the registration hold has been lifted.
  • You can add the course up until the “last day to add” for the term.
  • A copy of the Learning Contract is sent to the employer and to everyone who signed it.
  • You could be nominated for the Intern of the Year award!
what do other students say about internships
What do other students say about internships?

“I wish I had done an internship earlier.”

“I wish I had done more than one.”

“I learned more than I thought I would.”


“My internship was what pulled it all together for me —it was the best experience I had in school.”


James W. Stuckert Career Center

408 Rose Street

University of Kentucky

Lexington, KY 40506-0494