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Troubleshooting for Students

Academic Requirements

Administrative Procedures

Am I eligible for an internship?

Contact your department Internship Coordinator or Department Chair to inquire about eligibility requirements as they may vary by department. If your department does not have an internship program, contact the Office of Internships by phone: (760)750-7005 or email for further assistance

How many credits can I earn for an internship?

Generally an internship that spans one semester is taken for 3 credits but it’s possible to earn fewer or more credits depending on the area of study.  Talk to your faculty supervisor about specific department guidelines on how many credits you can earn.

Can an internship be non-credit?

YES! Any internship experience is valuable to your resume and career preparation.

What is the process if I want credit for an internship?

In order to get credit for an internship you must be registered in an internship or an independent study course AND choose an approved community partner. Once you are registered for a course, log in to the Internship Database and view approved community partners and opportunities. Contact a professor in your major or academic advisor and let them know you are interested in an internship for credit. 

How much time is required?

Some courses will require a minimum of hours (i.e. 90 hours during the semester). Your supervising faculty can best answer this as it varies by department.

Are academic internships graded?

Yes. Students participating in an academic internship are either graded credit/no credit, or with a letter grade, depending on your department. Your supervising faculty will tell you how it’s graded.

Can I receive credit for an internship I already completed?

No, Internships must be approved in advance.

Can I intern with an organization I already work for?

Provided that your internship work is distinct from your paid job it may be possible to do an internship at your place of employment. However, a faculty member or department chair must approve and you would have to submit a time sheet to the Office of Internships.

Can I do more than one internship during my college career?

YES! We recommend that you experience as many internships as possible during your college career.

I am interested in study abroad internships.

For more information about study abroad internships, please refer to the Office of Global Education

I am an international student interested in applying for an internship. Where can I find resources and information for international students?

As an international student at CSU San Marcos you have many services and opportunities available to you. You also have some special regulations that apply only to international students such as completing curricular practice training. For assistance please refer to the Office of Global Education- International Students. The International Student Advisor may be reached by telephone at (760) 750-4090 or by e-mail at:

Are internships paid or unpaid?

Both. Some are paid and others are not. Many non- profit organization are unable to pay their interns however, non-profits can offer very good site training.

When can I start an internship?

When all of the following have been completed.

You have:

  • Registered fron an internship course
  • Recieved approval from your faculty that the internship is appropriate for the course
  • Recieved confirmation from the Community Partner that they have accepted you as an intern
  • Completed your electronic placement forms in the Internship Database

How do I find an internship?

  • Visit the Office of Internships website & Log on to the Internship database
  • Consult with your professors or academic advisor
  • Use your social and professional networks
  • Attend the CSUSM Internship and Career Fairs
  • Research companies and organizations in your field of interest

How can I search for internships on the database?

A student is able to search for internships by clicking the "Opportunities" tab and entering keywords. Keywords can include terms such as majors, social issues, industry type, age range (i.e. children/youth, adolescents/teens, seniors/elders), types of service, etc. Students can also search for specific community partners by searching under the "Sites" tab.

Is it okay to intern for a family member?

To avoid a conflict of interest, you may not intern with family members.

What happens if the Community Partner doesn't get approved or signs the University Community Partnership Agreement?

If the Office of Internships cannot obtain a signed and executed University Community Partnership agreement with your requested Community Partner, you may still complete your internship at the site with the following requirements and understanding:

  • It is important to discuss this with your faculty advisor early so s/he can approve the recommendation.
  • You are required to sign the University Liability Waiver as part of your placement under "Pending Approval from Office of Internships".
  • You assume full responsibility and liability while interning at the unapproved site. It is important to review the University Liability Waiver.
  • If you choose not to sign the University Liability Waiver form, please notify your faculty member about placing at an alternate approved site. 

Have more questions?

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