Zero-Credit Internship Option

A zero (0) credit Internship is an option for students to fulfill the off-campus, experiential learning graduation requirement.  Please read Zero-Credit Internship – Frequently Asked Questions for more information.  If you have questions about arranging a zero-credit internship, please contact or visit the Internships Office at Sycamore Cottage, 1st Floor.

Academic Internships

General Information:

Getting Started:

Academic Concerns:

Financial Matters

General Information

What is an Academic Internship?   An internship is an approved, off-campus work experience that complements your academic work. Students must show a clear relationship between the actual work of the project and past academic studies in the college. A good internship will require special qualifications, both academic and personal, challenge you with new responsibilities and duties, involve you in decision making, and require minimum clerical duties.  The work must also be structured to enable a professional member of the organization to supervise and evaluate the student’s performance and verify hours worked.

Why do an internship?  An internship is especially valuable to liberal arts students who can see how skills learned in the classroom translate into job related skills. You test your understanding of a particular career field without a long term commitment and possibly pique your interest in career areas that may not correspond to your area of study. You learn first hand about the “world of work” and develop maturity, professionalism, and self-confidence. From a practical point of view, internships establish a record of work-related experience essential for graduate school as well as references for your job search. Importantly, internships frequently lead to full time jobs for Drew students, either at the location of the internship or with another company in a related field.

To enhance the practical training involved with an internship, beginning in Fall 2016 a required component of a registered internship will be professional skills development training, done online.

Where do I find an internship?   The possibilities are endless and only limited by your imagination.  The Academic Internship Program has thousands of projects already developed.  Search Drew’s online internship database, called DrewLink.  Other online databases to search for internship opportunities are listed at Resources for Students.  We also encourage you to create your own project through contact with faculty, alumni, family, and friends.

When can I do an internship?  Projects for credit may be done during Fall, January, Spring, or Summer semesters. It is important to plan ahead for your internship, preferably early in the preceding semester.  The registration deadlines for the 2016-2017 academic year are:

Fall Term 2016:   September 2, 2016
Jan Term 2017:   December 9, 2016
Spring Term 2017:   January 24, 2017
Summer Term 2017:   June 5, 2017

Must the internship be located in the Madison area?   No. You may develop a project in any state or country as long as you can fax, email or otherwise transmit your required documents to the office.  However, all projects need to be approved by the Internships Office before you begin. No retroactive credit is allowed.

Getting Started

How do I get started?

  1. Identify your goals.  Start early to research internship opportunities listed on DrewLink or our other internship databases. Self assessment is important as you start your search for an internship. Evaluate your interests (what you like to do), your skills (what you do well),your values (what’s important to you), and your personality (your distinctive traits of mind and behavior).  Ask our office about the free MyPlan online career assessment inventory we have available to help you make these evaluations!  Brainstorm with faculty, career counselors, advisors, family, and friends.
  2. Research internship possibilities.  Because Drew is located in the midst of one of the largest concentration of corporate headquarters and research centers in the country, and only 30 miles from New York City, the Academic Internship Program has thousands of internship opportunities already developed in the NJ/NY area as well as across the country.  Search Drew’s online internship database, called DrewLink.  Other online databases for internship opportunities are listed at Resources for Students.   We also encourage you to create your own internship project through networking with faculty, alumni, family, and friends.
  3. Prepare a resume and cover letter. Both the Internships Office and the Center for Internships and Career Development can help you develop your resume and cover letter.  For suggestions and samples, see the Resumes section.
  4. Make an appointment to see the Internships Coordinator.  Discuss your goals and objectives for the internship with the Academic Internship Coordinator.  Also, our office can give you guidance on identifying opportunities in your field of interest.
  5. Contact organizations and get hired. Forward your resume and cover letter via e-mail, fax, or mail to the appropriate contact person. If you do not have a specific name, address your letter to: Internship Department. If a company phone number is listed and phone calls are allowed, you may phone to be sure the resume has been received. Also, it is appropriate to phone to check on the status of your resume if you have not heard from the company at the end of two-three weeks. When you are invited for a job interview, be enthusiastic and confident. Employers are looking for students who can make contributions to their organizations.
  6. Find a faculty evaluator Contact a full professor (adjuncts are usually not allowed) from the department related to the internship. Ask that professor to be your faculty evaluator for the project. The faculty evaluator must sign your Learning Contract verifying that he/she will help you develop the required paper proposal and grade your final paper.
  7. Complete and submit a Learning Contract Complete a document called a Student Learning Contract, including required signatures. The On-the-Job Supervisor signature should be from someone at your work site and cannot be a direct family relative such as a mother or father.  Once complete, Learning Contracts must be submitted to the Internships Office for approval.  Summer Learning Contracts and registration forms must be completed and approved generally by mid June. January Learning Contracts and registrations forms must be completed and approved generally by the third week of December.
  8. Registering for Credit You cannot use campus web to register yourself for an internship.  The Internships Coordinator must approve your Learning Contract first and then you will be registered from our office.  The registration deadlines vary by semester but are posted above.

Where is the Internships Office located?  The Internships Office is located in the Center for Internships and Career Development, Sycamore Cottage, 1st Floor.  To contact the Academic Internship Coordinator, please call 973-408-3566 or send an email to

Academic Concerns

What am I required to do to receive credit?

  • Complete a minimum of 140 hours (four-credit project) or 70 hours (2-credit project) which are recorded on timesheets.
  • Submit a mid-semester final paper proposal to our office and for faculty review/approval.
  • Write an academic research paper at the end of the project.  12 pages (not including sources cited) for a four credit project and 8 pages (not including sources cited) are required for a two credit project.
  • Submit two journal entries (2-3 pages each) during the internship – one entry at the midterm date, the other journal entry at the end date.
  • Be evaluated by your on-the-job supervisor at the midterm and end of the project.
  • Submit a completed Self-Assessment form at the end of the project.
  • Complete professional skills development training, done online.

How many credits do I receive?  Internship projects may be either four credits or two credits depending on the number of hours of work. Four credit projects require 140 hours of satisfactory performance; two credit projects require 70 hours. A student must decide the number of credits at the beginning of the project so they can be registered for the appropriate number of credits.

Do I receive a grade?  A grade of Pass/Unsatisfactory is granted after successful completion of the project. All internship components must be met to receive a passing grade.

Does the internship have to be related to my major?  No! Students must show a clear relationship between the work on the project and at least 2 courses in an academic study at Drew.  At least 1 course must be completed prior to the project; the other course may be taken concurrently with the project.

Can internship credits count for my major or minor?  Some majors/minors and academic programs may require a 4-credit or 2-credit internship, including:  Business Studies, Civic Engagement, Environmental Studies, Pan-African Studies, and Women’s Studies.  Internship credits may also be applied to the Arts Administration, Environmental Studies, Spanish and Writing minors.  Approval for these or any other majors/minors must be discussed with the chairperson or director of that department.  This approval must be documented either by signature on the Learning Contract or with a written/emailed note to the Internships Coordinator.

When do I receive credit for January and Summer internships?  Summer and January internships are registered and recorded as a Summer or January course, but the credits will appear on your transcript during the following semester (provided all requirements have been met).

Financial Matters

Do I pay extra tuition for January and Summer internships?  A flat tuition fee will be charged for both Summer and January internship credits.  Per credit charges may be added to your bill, if you are not enrolled full-time or if you are registered for more than 21 credits (or less than 12 credits) during the Fall or Spring.  Fees change, so please check with the Business Office before getting your internship registered.  You may be eligible for a stipend to cover the tuition fee and other expenses.  Please check with the Academic Internship Office for details about eligibility and availability.

Can I be paid and still receive credit?  Yes! Both paid and volunteer internship positions are acceptable for credit.