California State University, Sacramento

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Internships Career Center

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Academic Credit

For Students

How Students Can Earn Academic Credit for An Internship

An Academic Internship offers students an opportunity to work with qualified professionals in applying the skills and knowledge learned within the classroom to an on-the-job. Academic Internships are supervised by a faculty member or designated internship coordinator within academic departments. Some university depart­ments and programs require students to do an internship; in other departments and programs, students have an option to pursue an internship for academic credit.

Enrollment & Requirements

Typically, students must be individually hand-enrolled in these courses.

Internships are given the course designation 195 (bachelor's) or 295 (masters).

  • Academic internships can be paid or unpaid.
  • For every unit of academic credit received, students must work a minimum of 45 hours, sometimes more depending on the department.
  • Credit can only be obtained by interning with a pre-approved organization holding an Academic Internship Agreement with Sacramento State.

DON’T WAIT! Students interested in earning academic credit should:

  • MEET with your academic department right away to learn the unit and degree requirements for eligibility and learn the deadline for securing a credit-approved internship site.
  • FIND organizations that are pre-approved for academic credit on the Community Partner List and SEARCH Handshake for employers and internship announcements with the label: approved for academic credit.
  • CONTACT your academic department immediately if the company offering an internship you want is NOT on the Community Partner List or approved for academic credit in Handshake.
  • ASK your academic department to request an Academic Internship Agreement preferably five months prior to the start of the internship.
  • PREPARE with help from the Career Center. Internships are competitive, so students should make time to meet with a career counselor, attend Career Center events, and access our Featured Tools to get help with search strategies, resumes, and interviewing.

For Employers

How Employers Can Offer Academic Credit for An Internship

Thank you for your interest in providing internships for Sacramento State students!

Offering academic credit for an internship helps students meet their degree requirements and positions companies for attracting more candidates. To comply with federal law, for-profit organizations offering unpaid internships can only do so if interns earn academic credit.

To ensure internships meet learning outcomes and liability requirements, Sacramento State students can only earn credit by interning with pre-approved organizations holding an Academic Internship Agreement with the university. Agreements are facilitated through the campus Community Engagement Center, which oversees community-engaged learning for Sacramento State.

Steps to Acquiring a Five-Year Academic Internship Agreement

DON’T WAIT! Executing an Academic Internship Agreement could take from three weeks to several months to secure, depending on the company, and not all companies will be eligible. Companies interested in offering academic credit should:

Contact the Career Center Internship Coordinator for more information on how to establish an internship program with Sacramento State.