An internship is generally a short-term learning experience. The most popular type of internship is part-time, 10 to 20 hours per week during the academic year. This schedule allows a student to continue with course work during the internship. Summer is the preferred time for a full-time internship. A well-designed internship will provide students with professionally-oriented activities that will enable them to experience work similar to that of a new entrant in the field. Clerical or non-professional tasks must be limited to 20% or less of the overall responsibilities. Internships can be paid or non-paid. Most for-profit businesses will find it to their advantage to offer paid internship positions, particularly with regard to state and federal labor regulations.
Criteria for an Experience to Be Defined as an Internship
UC Riverside upholds the criteria for an experience to be defined as an internship, set forth by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE):
1. The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
2. The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
3. The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
4. There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework.
5. There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
6. There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.
7. There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.
Read complete NACE Position Statement on U.S. Internships.
Internship Programs Under the U.S. Department of Labor's Fair Labor Standards Act
The company/organization will assume liability for interns/co-ops working on their premises. This holds true for both paid and unpaid (volunteer) interns. The University does not accept responsibility for student liability during an internship. If this is a major concern for a site, it would be advisable to contact the staff to discuss risk management concerns. No employee of the University or any UCR student is authorized to sign a "hold harmless and indemnification" agreement. Internship sites must be equal-opportunity employers and cannot practice "unlawful discrimination".
Non-Discrimination Policy Statement: The University of California, Riverside, Career Center does not make its interviewing facilities and online job listing services available to employers who unlawfully discriminate in the selection of employees on the basis of age, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or any other basis prohibited by applicable Federal and State laws. We reserve the right to refuse service to employers due to any violation of University of California rules and regulations
For more information, please contact the Employer Relations Team.