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An internship is an educational experience in an environment providing field application of a student's theoretical classroom learning. Internships are arranged for students who wish to undertake a study involving both academic and applied experience and agrees to receive the number of credits commensurate with the scope of the project.

It may be done on a full or part-time basis during a regular semester, summer term or combination of terms. It may be conducted concurrently with other academic coursework. An internship is planned by the student in cooperation with a faculty intern supervisor and an employer site supervisor.

Internship experiences will be even more critical to college students than it is now. That's the key finding from a recent National Association of Colleges and Employers study involving 230 human resources and staffing professionals as well as 731 college and university career services professionals.

On a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being "extremely important," employers rated the current importance of "identifying talent early" - via internships and similar initiatives - at 4.2. Moreover, the employers rated its future importance at a significantly higher 4.6.

"Over the years, we've seen employers place more emphasis on identifying potential employees through internships," Mackes adds (executive director of NACE). "At the same time, we've seen more and more college career centers offer students assistance in finding and winning internship opportunities."

Source: National Association of Colleges and Employers news release, October 19, 2005

Among the following:

  • Application of classroom learning in the workplace.
  • Exploration of career options.
  • A "reality test" - try out one's interests, values, and abilities in a work setting.
  • Increase networking contacts for future career opportunities.
  • Development of professional skills.
  • Relevant work experience to add to one's resume to demonstrate interest and commitment to a field.
  • Academic credit.
  • A chance to earn money to help pay for educational expenses.
  • An opportunity for leadership and/or character development.

How Many Semester Credits Can A Student Earn For An Internship?

The number of academic credits for an internship will be determined by the Faculty Internship Supervisor, subject to approval by the Department Chair and relevant Academic Dean. Generally the range of credits includes 1 - 12 semester hours. Grading is on a Pass/Fail basis.

When Is The Best Time To Start Planning An Internship?

Students should consider planning their internship as soon as possible, but no later than the beginning of the semester proceeding the semester in which one plans to do the internship. For example, students planning an internship for spring semester should begin planning no later than early fall semester of that academic year.

Assessing one's goals and objectives, researching internship sites, contacting and interviewing with potential internship employers, developing a resume' and interviewing skills, consulting with career center staff, and faculty and creating an internship contract takes time.

Is There A Tuition Charge For A Credit-Bearing Internship?

YES. The charge is the same as the tuition for credits for any other courses. It will be based on the number of credits taken for the internship.

Some internship's are paid and some are not. The amount and form of payment is usually established by the internship site. Compensation for work undertaken as an intern can take a variety of forms. An intern may be paid a wage, be reimbursed for mileage and/or other expenses incurred as part of the internship experience or receive a stipend.

How Do I Identify The Faculty Internship Supervisor For My Major?

Each academic department at UNCW has designated Faculty members who serve as departmental Internship Supervisors. Check with Career Services, the Internship Workbook from the Career Center homepage or the Academic Department to determine the appropriate faculty contact.

How Can I Guarantee That My Internship Is A Success?

Successful internships depend on many things including a clear expectation of both the intern and the employer, excellent transferable skills on the part of the intern; such as, communication, interpersonal, organization, and time management skills as well as developing specific skills required in the field.

New interns must be able to work independently as well as have the ability to function as part of a team. Employers also seek interns who are motivated, willing to do a good job, do more than is expected, and exhibit a positive attitude. Last but not least, employers want employees who arrive and leave on time and adhere to the dress code of the organization

The North Carolina Association of Insurance Agents administers the general and professional liability policy provided for the University System of the State of North Carolina. Actual coverage is provided by: General Star Indemnity Company. Policy Number: IYG-372839.

The UNCW Student Intern program provides $1,000,000 of coverage per occurrence and $3,000,000 per general aggregate for any claim or suit brought against your student interns, individually or jointly, for acts, errors or omissions arising out of their University-sponsored internship.

Legal defense costs are also covered. Medical Expense coverage up to $10,000 is also provided in the event the intern is injured on the job site. As with any insurance policy, certain conditions or exclusions may apply.

All UNCW students earning course #498 academic credit for internships are required to subscribe for liability coverage prior to beginning an internship. See your faculty internship supervisor for details.

Send claims to Lisa Weatherly, NCAIA, PO Box 10097, Raleigh, NC 27605

Phone: 919.863.6522; Toll free: 888.275.8906

Contact Information

Career Center

Phone: (910) 962-3174
Fax: (910) 962-4257

601 S. College Rd.
Fisher University Union 2035
Wilmington, NC 28403-5924

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Express Hours: Fall & Spring Semesters
Monday - Friday: 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Wednesday - Thursday: 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.