Section I. Student Eligibility Requirements & Responsibilities for Credit-Bearing Internships
Emerson students may not participate in a credit-bearing internship at a business owned or operated by a current Emerson faculty or staff member.
A student may not use Emerson College as a host organization for a credit-bearing internship.
Emerson students wishing to pursue a credit-bearing internship must submit an internship experience proposal through Handshake. The proposal must be approved by the Career Development Center, the designated Department Internship Coordinator (DIC, Emerson faculty course instructor), and the student’s internship site supervisor. For international students, the Office of International Student Affairs must also approve the student’s proposal. A student cannot begin their internship until the experience proposal agreement has been completed and approved.
Note for international students: If CPT authorization is required, it cannot be “backdated”. Therefore, the proposed start date must be at least seven days after proposal submission to allow processing time. An official employer offer letter must also be included with the proposal. The Office of International Student Affairs must also approve the proposal and provide CPT authorization before an international student can begin their internship.
The medium of the approval process is in English. For non-English speaking site supervisors, the site supervisor must arrange for the student’s proposal and review of policies to be translated into the language used at the site by a professional translator or competent individual fluent in both English and the language used at the site in order for the site supervisor to submit their approval. Please see Employer Policy 11(a) below regarding the evaluation process.
All 4- and 8-credit internships experiences are paired with an internship course taught by the DIC. Students completing an internship for credit must register for the course, pay for any applicable tuition and registration fees, and meet all course requirements, including class attendance, assignments, evaluation procedures, and any other requirements of the course. Students must register for the paired course for the applicable term (Summer, Fall, Spring) according to registration policies and deadlines posted on Emerson College’s academic calendar. International students: Please see the Employer Policy #11.
All internships must begin within the first two weeks of the term.
For 4- or 8-credit internships, the student must register for the paired internship course within their academic department. Internships cannot be done within a student’s minor.
The student is responsible for knowing and ensuring the completion of all course prerequisites in order to register for a credit-bearing internship.
Both graduate and undergraduate students must meet basic eligibility requirements (64 credit hours completed; minimum 2.7 GPA for undergraduate students, minimum 3.0 GPA for graduate students) to pursue an internship for either 4 or 8 credits. A minimum 2.7 GPA is required for the PDE 1-credit for all students.
Varying by department, graduate students can earn 4 or 8 credits for an internship. However, students must submit a petition through the Office of Graduate Studies to take more than 4 credits of internship in one semester.
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.
Undergraduate students can apply a maximum of 12 internship credits to the total graduation credit requirements. The Los Angeles Program and Washington D.C. Semester internships count toward the 12-credit limit. The total includes both internships and PDE credits.
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 and attached Internship Code of Conduct.
During Thanksgiving, spring break, and various holidays, Emerson College is closed. The student intern is not required to complete internship hours with their host organization during these times. The student intern’s schedule must meet the minimum required internship hours whether or not holiday time is taken.
A student may not take an internship as a directed study or directed project. These opportunities are managed by the student’s academic department.
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 towards the 12-credit limit. A graduate student cannot transfer credits from another school or program.
A student completing an internship in Los Angeles during the fall or spring terms must be enrolled in the Emerson Los Angeles program.
An international student who pursues an internship (paid or unpaid) must earn academic credit for their internship and follow Curricular Practical Training (CPT) policies. Note: The authorization process can take up to two weeks and the student cannot begin an internship until the approval process has been completed. Please see the Office of International Student Affairs for CPT guidelines and authorization.
Via the internship proposal process, students are asked if they 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 (recommended). Whether or not the student waives their FERPA rights has no impact on the College’s decision whether or not to approve the student’s proposal.
Section II. Host Organization Responsibilities for Credit-Bearing Internships
Any business owned or operated by a current Emerson faculty or staff member may not host an Emerson student intern through the internship for academic credit program.
A student who has been hired for a regular paid job at a company/organization cannot convert the job into a credit-bearing internship.
The host organization must provide for the Emerson student intern one identified, internship site supervisor who has knowledge and an educational and/or professional background in the industry of the internship.
The host organization is responsible for ensuring that the intern is provided with a safe workspace, which must be in a professional setting and cannot be located in a private residence or non-commercial setting.
The internship site supervisor is responsible for ensuring that no more than 25% of the intern’s duties involve clerical work and that the student intern does not perform inappropriate tasks, such as maintenance duties or personal errands for host organization staff.
The internship site 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. This can, however, be opted into by the student.
Organizations may offer to host a student intern for an additional 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 additional internship will provide a new academic challenge (i.e. new department, project, or supervisor).
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 intern who is not being paid should be aware that there are particular rules which preclude them from receiving compensation of any kind, including gifts in kind of “freebies” unless they are authorized for such in advance. This authorization must be stated on their Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Authorization form.
The host organization supervisor is responsible for submitting a midterm and final performance evaluations to the student intern’s DIC during the course of the semester. Evaluations are used in determining the student’s course grade.
Note for international site supervisors: The medium of the performance evaluations is in English. If the site supervisor is not able to complete the mid-term and final evaluations in English, the site supervisor must arrange for the mid-term and final evaluations to be translated into English by a professional translator or competent individual fluent in both English and the language used at the site. Translations must include the name, title, and business contact information of the official translator. Evaluations cannot be translated by the student intern.
*Note: these policies apply strictly to a for-credit internship or PDE/CDE. The College does not provide any type of authorization or approval for internships that are not for credit. **The DIC is a member of the Emerson Faculty who oversees the course requirement for the 4-credit internship or PDE. ***Career Center Staff oversees the course requirement for the CDE.