Through UNI 390, students have obtained approval for internships in a very wide variety of areas. Internships give students an opportunity to acquire practical “hands-on” experience in a field or area that interests them. For these pursuits, it is assumed that the student will secure the opportunity on his or her own, find appropriate faculty sponsorship, and then apply to the Interdisciplinary Studies Committee for approval of the desired credit. UNI 390 internships are usually taken for 1-9 credits. Under extraordinary circumstances, a student may petition the committee for up to a maximum of 15 credits.
Internships are open to those University at Albany matriculated students who meet both of the following:
have at least junior standing (have completed at least 56 graduation credits), and seniors
have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.0.
Internships are intended to give advanced students an opportunity to learn how to effectively apply their university studies to work in relevant professional settings. Internships thus differ from independent study projects in that the major component of an internship involves the student actively taking part in the work of an agency or organization, with collateral academic study.
The following are requirements that a proposed internship must satisfy to be eligible for academic credit:
The internship should represent a bridge between the student's academic work and the student's intended profession. The particular internship should be seen as a coherent part of the student's academic program, not an isolated episode.
B. Specific Responsibilities
The student and the host agency or organization must arrange for specific responsibilities or projects to which the student will be assigned as an intern. These responsibilities must draw in some way on knowledge and skills the student acquired in university studies. This requirement is designed to protect the student from being assigned to just menial tasks from which little learning can result, and to ensure that the academic purpose of internships, as stated above, is achieved.
The student's on-site work must be supervised and evaluated by a knowledgeable professional. It is not productive for an intern to be in a situation where nobody in the host agency or organization is sufficiently knowledgeable to evaluate the student's performance and provide constructive feedback. This supervisor will be required to make a formal evaluation of the student's performance, in writing, and deliver it to the faculty sponsor.
D. Faculty Sponsorship
The student's internship must be sponsored by a member of the full-time teaching faculty whose expertise applies to the work in which the student will engage as an intern. If the proposed academic sponsor is not a member of the full-time tenure track teaching faculty, a statement must be provided, detailing how this individual’s expertise applies to the work in which the student will engage as an intern. The Committee on Interdisciplinary Studies retains the final authority to approve internship projects and supervisors.
E. Academic Component
Because an internship is a learning experience in which certain knowledge and skills come to be applied in practical situations, the student is expected to demonstrate that s/he has reflected upon and learned those applications. Such learning can usually be fostered by readings in journals and books about the methods or goals of the host agency or organization, or can be demonstrated by written work, based on the readings on the student's experiences, aimed at analyzing specific projects in which the student engaged and/or organization and operations of the host agency or organization. The specific readings and written assignments in the academic component are to be worked out with the faculty sponsor, and supervised and evaluated by her or him.
45 hours of instruction and supplementary work are required for each academic credit awarded. Hence, a 3-credit internship must involve a total of at least 135 hours of on-site work and academic work, 6 credits at least 270 hours, and so forth. However, applicants should be aware that the number of credits involved does not automatically result from the number of hours spent at the host agency or organization. The committee will also consider the complexity and amount of repetitiveness in the tasks involved in the internship, and the specifics of the academic component, in deciding how many credits the proposed internship should receive upon its successful completion.
Internships are graded on an S/U basis only. The evaluation is made by the faculty sponsor on the basis of the student's on-site supervisor's report, and the student's work on the academic component.
Credit-bearing internships are linked to actual academic credits. You must pay tuition upon the semester of enrollment. The fee for UNI 390 Summer and Part-time Academic Credit Internship is the standard cost per credit hour that is in effect. For a regular full-time semester the fee is already included in the tuition.
We encourage students applying for UNI 390 to speak with the internship liaison and their academic advisor after reading this packet.
Students interested in academic credit for an internship are responsible for locating a position in an agency or organization, obtaining appropriate faculty sponsorship, and then applying to the Interdisciplinary Studies Committee as follows:
1. Students should complete the following form, and upload transcripts of all university work (these may be photocopies), or fill out the transcript release form embedded in this form.
2. Students should upload a proposal in which they explain in detail, how the internship satisfies each of the concerns stated under requirements A-F. The proposal is typically one or two pages and must address the following six components:
d. Faculty Sponsor
e. Academic component
It should be typed in essay format. The first three parts of the proposal can be completed before you approach a faculty sponsor. However, the academic component section should be completed after your faculty sponsor has agreed to sponsor you and an academic component has been discussed.
3. After students submit the form, a link will automatically be sent to the on-site supervisor listed on the form. This link will ask for a document from the host agency or organization, on letterhead stationery, specifying what the student's responsibilities will be, indicating the identity, title, and telephone number of the supervisor and indicating that the student has the internship. Please provide as much detail as possible when describing your internship responsibilities.
4. After students submit the form, a link will automatically be sent to the faculty sponsor listed on the form (who must be a member of the full-time teaching staff). This link will ask for a letter typed on departmental letterhead and it should clearly identify the nature of the academic component, including a description of required written work [daily journals, position papers, etc.] and reading assignments [texts, journal articles, etc.] The faculty sponsor should explicitly endorse the student's request for a given credit load. Again, if the proposed academic sponsor is not a member of the full-time tenure track teaching faculty, a statement must be provided, detailing how this individual’s expertise applies to the work in which the student will engage as an intern.
Deadlines to Apply
For Spring semester internships: Application deadline is December 1st (no exceptions).
For Summer internships: Application deadline is May 1st (no exceptions).
For Fall semester internships: Application deadline is August 1st (no exceptions).
Completed applications may be turned in beforehand.
If a student applies before advance registration, s/he should register as if the internship is not approved.
This completed application form should be submitted for presentation to the Interdisciplinary Studies Committee, by the stated deadline.
Once a proposal has been approved, the student will be notified by e-mail. S/he must register for the UNI 390 credits by picking up the appropriate information from the Office of Undergraduate Education. If the student has advanced registered, it is the student's responsibility to drop the necessary courses and register for the UNI 390 credits.