Careers & Internships
Internship Requirements & Responsibilities
Student Eligibility Requirements & Responsibilities for Credit-Bearing Internships
- An Emerson student is free to pursue an internship of his/her choosing. However, a credit-bearing internship must be approved by the Departmental Internship Coordinator within the student’s academic department (not Career Services).
- An undergraduate student must meet basic eligibility requirements (64 credit hours and 2.7 GPA) to pursue an internship for either 4 or 8 credits.
- The student is responsible for knowing and ensuring the completion of all course prerequisites in order to register for a credit-bearing internship.
- Varying by department, graduate students can earn 2, 4 or 8 units of credit for an internship. However, students must petition to take more than 4 credits of internship in one semester. Petitions are available in the Office of Graduate Studies.
- A 4-credit internship requires an intern to complete 16-24 hours per week for a minimum of 192 clock hours over a 12- week period within the semester.
- An 8-credit internship requires an intern to complete 32-38 hours per week for a minimum of 384 clock hours over a 12-week period within the semester.
- A 2-credit internship (only available to some graduate students) requires an intern to complete clock hours as deemed appropriate by the Departmental Internship Coordinator over a 12-week period within the semester.
- A spring or fall internship must begin within the first 2 weeks of the semester. A summer internship must begin within the first week of the semester.
- There is an academic course associated with taking a credit-bearing internship, and each student receives a letter grade for his/her work. Each academic department has a Departmental Internship Coordinator who instructs the course.
- Each student who intends to complete an internship for credit must register for the internship course no later than the internship registration deadline. Please refer to the College’s academic calendar for specific dates.
- The student must register for an internship within his/her academic department. Internships cannot be done within a student’s minor.
- The student is not required to report his/her host organization choice when registering for the internship course.
- The student must complete an academic Learning Agreement with his/her host organization supervisor and Departmental Internship Coordinator by the internship registration deadline. Please refer to the College’s academic calendar for specific dates. Note: A student cannot begin his/her internship until the learning agreement has been completed.
- Undergraduate students can apply a maximum of 8 internship credits, with the exception of student teaching, and no more than 12 credits of any combination of internship, directed project and directed study to the total graduation requirements. The Los Angeles Program and Washington Semester internships count against the 8-credit limit.
- The student intern is expected to comply with the Emerson College Code of Conduct in all interactions with their host organization. Please see the Student Handbook.
- During Thanksgiving, Spring Break, and various holidays, Emerson College is closed. The student intern is not required to complete internship hours with his/her host organization during these times. However, if a student chooses to complete internship hours during a break or holiday, he/she should not exceed the weekly limits stated above.
- A student may not take an internship as a directed study or directed project.
- A graduate student cannot transfer credits from another school or program. An undergraduate student needs approval from the Department Chair in order to transfer internship credits from another school or program. If the credits are approved, then they count against the 8-credit limit.
- A student may not use Emerson College as a host organization for a credit bearing internship.
- A student completing an internship in Los Angeles, CA, must be enrolled in the Emerson College LA Program.
- An international student who pursues a PAID internship must be earning credit and follow the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) guidelines. Note: The authorizing process can take up to 3-4 weeks and the student cannot begin an internship until the process has been completed. Please see the Office of International Student Affairs for CPT guidelines and authorization.
We recommend that students waive their rights under the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) to permit the College to communicate with the Internship Site about the student’s progress. Whether or not a student waives his or her FERPA rights will have no impact on the College's decision whether to approve this program.
Host Organization Responsibilities for Credit-Bearing Internships
- A student intern cannot complete a credit-bearing internship with an organization that is his/her current employer.
- Organizations that host an Emerson College student intern must provide one identified, on-site intern supervisor who has knowledge and an educational and/or professional background in the industry of the internship.
- The host organization is expected to comply with the Emerson College Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment policies in all interactions with the student intern.
- The host organization supervisor is responsible for ensuring that the intern is provided with a safe workspace. The workspace must be in a professional office and cannot be located in a private residence or non-commercial setting.
- The host organization supervisor is responsible for ensuring that no more than 25% of the intern’s duties involve clerical work.
- The host organization supervisor is responsible for ensuring that the student intern does not perform inappropriate tasks, such as maintenance duties or personal errands for host organization employees.
- The host organization supervisor is responsible for ensuring that the student intern is not required to use their personal automobiles for duties at or related to the internship/intern site.
- Organizations may offer to host an undergraduate student intern for a second semester. If the student accepts this offer, he/she is responsible for obtaining academic department approval from their Departmental Internship Coordinator. The approval process requires the student to prove that the second internship will provide a new academic challenge (i.e. new department, project, or supervisor). Graduate students are not permitted to complete additional credit- bearing internships with the host organization.
- Liability Insurance: Emerson College’s liability insurance includes student interns under limited circumstances. It covers Emerson student interns while they are serving in a supervised (i.e. credit bearing) internship program in satisfaction of course requirements, as long as they are acting within the scope of their duties or obligations as interns. The insurance, underwritten by Lexington Insurance Company Reciprocal Risk Retention Group, a well-known higher education insurer, contains the limitations and exclusions common to such policies.
- Organizations who host an international student who is not being paid should be aware that there are particular rules which preclude them from receiving any compensation, including gifts in kind or “freebies” unless they are authorized for such in advance. (CPT)
- The host organization supervisor is responsible for submitting two performance evaluations to the student intern’s Departmental Internship Coordinator during the course of the semester. Evaluations are used in determining the student’s course grade.
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