Paid vs. Unpaid Internships

The Career Center strongly recommends that all interns (especially those working within for-profit organizations) be paid at least minimum wage. Academic credit is not a substitute for compensation and is a separate matter handled by academic departments within the University.

Employers wishing to utilize unpaid interns must consider the legal restrictions and possible consequences of doing so and are encouraged to pursue legal counsel for assistance in making those decisions.

Please review this fact sheet from the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division. This sheet provides general information regarding internships and the Fair Labor Standards Act, including a six-part test to determine whether interns must be paid.

How much should interns be paid?

Undergraduate student interns typically earn $7 to $12 per hour, while graduate student interns earn $12 to $20 per hour. Please visit our Statistics page for details on UT Dallas intern wages.

Is there any assistance available to help employers to fund interns?

YES! Public or private non-profit organizations may apply to become a part of the UT Dallas Federal Work-Study Community Service Program.

The way this works is that UT Dallas will pay the student employees, then the participating organizations will reimburse the university 25% of the total wages along with appropriate employer expenses as outlined in the UT Dallas Federal Work-Study Community Service Agreement.

Employers who are interested in becoming part of this program should email the Student Employment Coordinator or call (972) 883-6195.