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Frequently Asked Questions

Click one of the options below to be taken to the proper set of questions and answers.

Bachelors Students:

Q. What counts as an internship?

A. When searching for and then accepting an internship, look for positions that require duties that are professional in nature and relate to your career goals. Additionally, skills required to perform the position should be close to those required of an entry-level professional within the organization.

Q. What is the difference between an internship and a part-time job?

A. What sets an internship apart from a part-time job is the pre-professional experience that you are receiving as a student. You should be learning skills and taking on responsibilities that help you develop as a working professional and prepare you for the working world after college.

Q. Does my internship have to relate directly to my degree program?

A. Preferably, your internship should relate to your degree program. If the internship does not relate directly to your degree, you should at least be developing professional skills that are relevant to your degree and future career goals. Some examples of professional skill development that constitute an acceptable internship include:

  • Public relations/affairs (can include communication systems and design components, media development, design and implementation of exhibits, and public sector marketing)
  • Project management (including curatorial work and database management)
  • Job shadowing of senior-level staff
  • Managing other employees, setting work schedules, and assisting with training/orientation of new employees
  • Management of payroll and employee performance assessments
  • Organizational innovation (development and implementation of new systems, new delivery systems, and efforts designed to improve the performance of public organizations)         

Q. What requirements must I meet before I am eligible to intern?

A.  All students must meet the following requirements:

  • Successfully complete prerequisite coursework
  • Have a minimum overall GPA of 2.0 or better and a SPEA core/major GPA of 2.3 or better
  • Successfully complete the class component of V252/H267 or approved alternative

Q. How many hours do I need to intern in order to fulfill my V381/H466 requirement?

A. You need to intern a minimum of 120 hours at one internship location.  

Q. What if I know I will be interning for more than the minimum required hours? How can I receive additional elective credit hours for my internship?

A. You can receive one elective credit hour for every 80 hours that you work in your internship past the original 120 hours. The maximum number of credit hours you can register for in a semester is 6 credits (1 credit for V381 and 5 elective credits).  Please note: to receive this additional credit you need pre-approval from the Career Services Office. Once your internship is approved, you will receive an email authorizing you to register for the elective credits. You are responsible for registering for any credits you wish to receive.

Q. Do I need to pay for elective (V380) credits, even if the internship is unpaid?

A. Yes. Like any other elective course, you must pay for the credits you wish to receive, regardless of the compensation received during the internship.

Q.  How many total hours of elective internship credit can I earn for my undergraduate degree?

A.  You can earn up to 8 elective (V380) internship credits over your academic career. 

Q. When is the last date I can turn in my internship contract and still register for elective credit?

A.  The deadlines for registration are listed on the academic calendar provided by the Office of the Registrar. You can find that calendar on their website at: Once the registration deadline has passed, you will not be able to register for an internship course.

Q. If I am interning and am asked to stay longer or am given more hours, can I register for elective credits or add credits during my internship?

A. No. Students are not allowed to add, increase, or decrease the number of credit hours that they are receiving for an internship. If a student wishes to receive elective credit for their internship, they must indicate that on their internship contract prior to the start of their internship.

Q.  When will my V381/H466 grade change from an "R" to an "S"?

A.  Once your internship is complete and all of your final paperwork has been turned in to Career Services, your grade will be changed.  Please allow 7-10 working days for the change to occur. If you have completed all the paperwork, but your grade has not changed, please contact the Office of Career Services.

Q.  What happens if I fail V252/H267?

A.  Students who fail V252/H267 are not eligible to complete an internship and must wait until they have successfully retaken and passed the class before interning.

Q. When can I begin to count my internship hours?

A. You can begin counting your hours when the Internship Contract has been submitted and approved by the Career Services Office.  Any work completed prior to this will not be used in calculating your required hours.

Q. Where can I find the internship paperwork?

A. All of the internship paperwork is available to fill out and submit online. You can find the paperwork on this website our website by clicking "Register Your Internship."

Q. When are my final reports due?

A. The internship summary and final supervisor evaluation are due when you have completed your internship hours.

Q. My supervisor never received the evaluation information in their email. What now?

A. Call or email the Office of Career Services as soon as possible. Your supervisor's email will be verified and a second email will be sent providing the information they need to log onto and submit the evaluation online. The information cannot be sent to the intern.

Q. My supervisor can access the evaluation but is unable to submit it. What now?

A. Please make sure that the email that they are using in your evaluation is the same official IU email that was populated on your internship contract. Sometimes, it populates incorrectly. Once the supervisor types in an email that matches what is on your contract, a submit button will appear on the bottom of the evaluation. If this does not work, please call the Office of Career Services (812-855-9639) for assistance.

Q. May I receive credit for an internship that I did in the past?

A.  No, we do not issue retroactive credit for internships.  In order to receive credit, you must turn in your internship contract PRIOR to beginning your internship.

Q. If my friend's internship was approved, shouldn't mine be approved as well?

A.  No, internship eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis.  Your friend's internship may be acceptable for his/her major and career goals but may not be acceptable for your own.  Each internship is evaluated on a student-by-student basis.

Q. I am interning at a company my family owns/works at. Can a family member act as a supervisor and fill out the evaluation at the end of my internship?

A. No. You may be able to get an internship approved at a company that a family member owns, but you will be asked to have someone fill out the evaluation who is not related to you.

Masters Students:

Q. How many hours do I have to intern?

 A. You must intern a minimum of 120 hours in one location.

 Q. If I am going to intern more than 120 hours, can I earn elective credit?

 A. Yes. For every 80 hours that you intern above 120, you can earn 1 elective credit.

 Q. What is the maximum number of electives that I can earn for internships?

 A. You can earn up to 6 elective internship credits over the course of your academic career.

 Q. Do I have to pay for elective credits?

 A. Yes. Like any academic credit earned at IU, you will be charged for tuition and fees, regardless of whether the internship is paid or unpaid.

 Q. Do I need to register for my internship?

 A. Yes. First, you must submit an internship contract. You will then be contacted by the Office of Career Services regarding registration. You are required to register for at least 0 credits of either V585 (MPA) or E589 (MSES). You will be given permission to register and at that point you must log onto Onestart and register.

 Q. If I do not register for my internship, will it still be counted?

 A. No. If you do not turn in any paperwork or do not register after given authorization, your internship will not be counted towards your experiential requirement.

Q. Will I get charged a fee for registration, even for 0 credits?

 A. Yes. The Bursar charges a minimal fee for adding the credit to your transcript. Please contact the Office of the Bursar if you have any questions about fees.

Q. My supervisor is having trouble with the evaluation. They never received the email/cannot get the form to work correctly. What now?

 A. If you supervisor needs a copy of the email with the login information for the evaluation, or cannot get the evaluation form to work properly, contract the Office of Career Services (812-855-9639).