Required Internship Program

Every undergraduate IST student is required to complete at least one internship for credit in order to graduate. Many students complete multiple internships before leaving campus, and most receive a job offer from one of their internship providers. Through internships, you can test-drive a particular set of job duties, a company, or a career path to see if it truly suits your interests and skills.

The Office of Career Solutions and Corporate Engagement coordinates the college's internship requirement and provides resources to help you connect with the more than 300 organizations that recruit IST students–including Corporate Associates–but it is your responsibility to ensure you are meeting the requirements of the program. Review the resources below to begin your journey and connect with a career counselor to make the most of your internship experience.

Additional information on the internship options is listed below.

Register Your Internship

Special notes for students graduating in August 2021, December 2021, or May 2022

We understand that students are facing unique challenges to finding an internship. To assist you in your search for internships, students need to be proactive in helping the Office of Career Solutions to help you. Please complete all of the following steps if you are planning to graduate in August 2021, December 2021, or May 2022 and still need to complete the internship requirement.

Options to Complete the Internship Requirement (Bachelor's Degree)

Option #1 is available for all students regardless of graduation date. The internship course will need to be completed in the semester the student is completing the internship.

The student has two options within Option #1 to complete this requirement:

  1. The student participates in a single 300-hour internship with a company virtually or in-person.
    • The student registers for the IST 495 course as they have in the past during the semester they are completing the internship.
    • The course and deliverables remain the same.​
  2. The student participates in a faculty-developed 300-hour research project.
    • The student pursues a faculty-developed problem or case-based learning project that requires students to conduct background research on a real-world problem. This could include interviewing experts in the field and preparing reports or papers that summarize a solution or approach to a problem.
    • Faculty could create projects with students to complete through the summer 2021 or develop and provide as options for internships in the academic year beginning fall 2021.
    • The student completes the internship application as they have in the past, allowing the faculty member to complete a performance evaluation at the end of the experience.
    • The student completes the IST 495 class as they have in the past.

Option #2 is available only for bachelor's degree seeking students planning to graduate in August 2021, December 2021, or May 2022. The internship course will need to be completed in the semester the student is completing the internship. Deadline to register summer IST 495 class is June 30.

Students seeking to request this option will need to meet with a College of IST career coach. Students must be prepared to demonstrate and prove steps they have taken to secure an internship up to this point and should have a resume uploaded into Nittany Lion Careers prior to meeting with a career coach.

The student has two options within Option #2 to complete this requirement:

  1. The student participates in a single in-person or virtual internship with a company totaling between 40-299 hours.
    • Companies provide mini-internship experiences totaling between 40-299 hours.
    • The student applies to projects and is selected through an interview process.
    • The student can also suggest projects to employers and gain approval through the employer and the Office of Career Solutions.
    • The employer will evaluate the performance at the end of the mini-internship.
    • The student completes the standard IST 495 course, as well as, a series of professional growth activities.
    • Consider using Parker Dewey to seek out Micro-Internship opportunities.
  2. The student participates in a faculty-developed research project totaling between 40-299 hours.
    • Faculty provide students with resources for mini-internships totaling between 40-299 hours.
    • The student completes the internship application as they have in the past, allowing the faculty member to complete a performance evaluation at the end of the experience.
    • Additionally, students can propose projects and seek out a faculty mentor.
    • The student completes the standard IST 495 course, as well as, a series of professional growth activities.

Program Resources

Benefits of an Internship

  • Explore Your Career Opportunities. An internship helps you focus and evaluate your academic and career choices. It helps you evaluate if you're focusing on the right areas of your education and if a line of work is something you'd like to pursue as a career.
  • Develop Yourself Professionally. An internship helps you polish the skills it takes to succeed in the workplace. You also learn the value of networking and how to search for a job.
  • Enhance Your Maturity and Self-Confidence. Experience what it means to be a professional. Know how to get a job done and done well. Get a handle on what it takes to take care of personal business for professional success–relocation, housing, transportation, and financial obligations.
  • Improve Your Marketability. Build a solid resume with hard evidence of successful work experience. Broaden your skills. Get the knowledge you need to convince an employer that you are the candidate of choice.
  • Further Your Education. An internship gives you the opportunity to gain and practice important technical skills in the real-world work environment while you improve your oral and written capabilities. You can earn academic credit and, most often, a paycheck.
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Office of Career Solutions and Corporate Engagement

E103 Westgate Building
University Park, PA 16802

Appointments and Drop-ins

careers@ist.psu.edu
(814) 865-4509