Academic Internships

Office of

Academic Internships,

Cooperative Education &

Service Learning

Neff Hall, Room 337

Phone | 260-481-6939

Email | cooped@ipfw.edu

Debra Barrick | Director

Phone | 260-481-5471

Fax | 260-481-5460

Email | barrickd@ipfw.edu

Hours of Operation

8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Monday to Friday

Academic Internships

Handshake Website Tile

If you are looking for an internship, postings you can apply for are listed on Handshake. If you need assistance in finding an internship, please email us at internships@ipfw.edu for information or to set up an appointment.

Overview of Academic Internships

Why consider an academic internship?

  • Gain valuable work experience
  • Explore possible career path.
  • Apply classroom learning to the real world
  • Gain contacts and network with people and organizations who may help you in the job market
  • Enhance your resume
  • Earn academic credit

Who is eligible to do an academic internship?

  • You must be a student in good standing and meet your department requirements.
  • Note - If you are a Bachelor's Degree-seeking student in the Doermer School of Business and Management SciencesCollege of Engineering, Technology and Computer ScienceDivision of Organizational Leadership, or select programs in the College of Arts and Science, please visit the Cooperative Education program page for paid, academic-based co-ops and internships for students in your field.

What qualifies as an academic internship?

  • Any work experience that is related to your educational and career goals.
  • The key requirement is that the internship involve a new experience. Students can earn credit for their current jobs if they are beginning a new project or activity.
  • Internships may be part-time or full-time, paid or volunteer.  
  • Students may enroll in 1 (minimum) to 6 (maximum) credit hours per semester per department policies.

 Where are academic internship opportunities available?

  • Internship opportunities are available in the northeast Indiana area and nationwide.
  • Internship opportunities are available in many professional areas including: law, corrections, probation, education, health, community services, government, private business, and many more.

How can I obtain an academic internship?

  • Students have primary responsibility for obtaining a position via the IPFW Handshake service. If you need any additional information or advice, don't hesitate to contact our office at internships@ipfw.edu.
  • Outside of IPFW, internships may also be found on Indiana Internet.
  • If you obtain an internship on your own and would like to see if you can obtain academic credit for it, please contact our office.

When are academic internships completed?

  • Because work experiences do not always fit in the typical academic calendar, students may begin an internship any time during the calendar year. 

How do I earn academic internship credit?

  • Check with your department.
  • Internships are graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory in many cases or may be on the traditional A-F scale. These credit hours may not impact your GPA for certain departments. Check with your academic department for their policies.
  • Some departments may not have a course established to accommodate academic internships.

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Internship Programs Under The Fair Labor Standards Act

Academic Internships allow students to combine a credit-bearing independent study with outside, non-paid work experience in only very select circumstances if they are not working for a non-profit or government agency.

A strong, rigorous academic component must complement the work experience. A faculty member advises the project and evaluates the student’s work. Students must meet the requirements established by their department.

In 2010, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced a crackdown on unpaid internships. This article prompted a lot of focus on unpaid internships (read here).

Employers need to be aware of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that the US Department of Labor (DOL) amended.  The DOL essentially states that for-profit employers must compensate interns in some fashion or adhere to the six criteria to develop a formal training program for the intern.

For-profit employers must meet these rigorous standards established by the U.S. Department of Labor to qualify for a unpaid internship. (Listed below)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has developed the six factors below to evaluate whether a worker is a trainee or an employee for purposes of the FLSA:

  1. The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;
  2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;
  3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;
  4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;
  5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and
  6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

If all of the factors listed above are met, an employment relationship does not exist under the FLSA, and the Act’s minimum wage and overtime provisions do not apply to the intern.  This exclusion from the definition of employment is necessarily quite narrow because the FLSA’s definition of “employ” is very broad.  Some of the most commonly discussed factors for “for-profit” private sector internship programs are considered below.

See more

Internship Programs Under The Fair Labor Standards Act (United States Department of Labor)

Position on Unpaid Internships (Cooperative Education and Internship Association)