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Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible for an internship?

Contact your department internship coordinator of 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 to see if we can help.

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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.

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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.

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Can an internship be non-credit?

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

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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 course or an independent study course. Once you are registered for a course and make your placement, you will see the Community Partners and opportunities under academic credit. Contact a professor in your major or academic advisor and let them know you are interested in an internship for credit. 

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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.

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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.

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When can I start an internship?

Once a fully executed University Community Partnership agreement (or release of liability) is on file, you have submitted the required documents (e.g. student placement and guidelines and learning plan to the Office of Internships, and have completed the Student Orientation Module, you may start the internship.

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How do I find an internship?

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

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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.

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Is it okay to intern for a family member?

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

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Can I receive credit for an internship I already completed?

No, Internships must be approved in advance.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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Have more questions?

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