Interdisciplinary Studies Internships
Internship Program Overview
The School of Interdisciplinary Studies Internship Program at UT Dallas offers students an opportunity for practical experience in their field of interest while earning college credits. Through an internship, students can acquire the following:
- Experience in a professional work environment
- Academic credit under faculty supervision
- Clarification of career goals
- Application of academic learning to work practice
- Establishment of work credentials
The Interdisciplinary Studies Internship Program admits undergraduate and graduate students from all programs in the University and also allows students from other colleges to gain credit as special students.
Internships can be paid or unpaid, and should conform to the Fair Labor Standards Act. Paid internships are often at the minimum wage level. However, through an internship you will gain valuable experience and contacts that will assist in your job hunting, particularly if you ask your site supervisor or colleagues for advice and assistance.
Eligibility and Requirements
To qualify for an internship, a student must:
- Be a registered UT Dallas undergraduate, graduate, or special student
- Have completed at least 12 hours at UT Dallas
- Have a minimum 2.60 GPA in their major and 2.30 overall at UT Dallas
- Discuss internship site possibilities with the Director of Internships
- Present a complete application with accompanying documents
Make an appointment with the Internship Director to discuss your interests, possible sites, and schedule for the next semester.
You may do an internship in a company where you are already employed. To qualify as an internship, you must be undertaking a new learning experience and learning new skills. Some suitable situations might be broadening your responsibilities, undergoing training for a new position or transferring to a different function in the company. In your Letter of Intent discuss the new learning you anticipate.
Students may apply to start an internship at any time. If it is too late to register for the current semester long term, you may register for a second eight-week section or the following semester. However, International Students must be concurrently registered.
No hours for internship can be counted until the application is formally accepted.
You can print the Interdisciplinary Studies Internship Application Packet, or you can pick one up in person from the Interdisciplinary Studies Office in Hoblitzelle Hall, office HH 2.110.
An internship, in general:
- Is related to the student’s interdisciplinary concentration or major
- Is taken in the student’s junior or senior year
- Is taken in conjunction with no more than 12 additional hours of course work during the semester
- Requires a minimum of 140 hours of supervised work for 3 credits (280 for 6), about 10 hours per week for the 14 weeks of a regular semester. These hours and other observations are documented in a journal kept by the student.
- Requires academic work agreed on with a faculty supervisor: usually a 10-page paper and a reflective journal. All hours must be documented (in the required journal) and your supervisor must supply all required performance evaluations.
- Carries 1-6 hours credit
Check with your academic adviser for placement in your degree plan.
Accepting an Internship
When you have been accepted at a site as an intern, please have the site supervisor fill out our supervisor approval form, or send a letter on company letterhead to the Internship Director.
If you are doing an internship at your regular workplace, the letter must also mention the new things you will be learning. The Director will be happy to speak to them in person and answer any questions.
To Apply/Application Process
To apply, students must complete the Application Packet.
Important note about receiving internship credit:
There is no retroactive credit for internships. This means that in order to get credit for an internship, you must file your application, complete with signatures from your site sponsor. After your internship has been approved by the Internship Director, Dr. Chizeck, you will be given information on registration and an assignment packet.
IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE YOUR ASSIGNMENT PACKET BY THE BEGINNING OF THE SEMESTER, CALL OUR OFFICE. Any hours you do before your internship is approved cannot be counted towards the internship course. Although you can begin an internship at any time during the year, no hours will count unless it has prior formal approval from our office.
** PLEASE NOTE – BIS 4V04 is an academic course taken for university credit. For this reason, you must pay for this course at the Bursar’s office after you have been registered.
How Interns Are Supervised
- Assigns work that develops professional skills
- Makes sure the student completes the work assignments satisfactorily
- Certifies that the work experience has been a learning experience that will contribute to the student’s career aspirations
- Serves as supervising Faculty
- Gives academic assignments (usually reading assignments, a journal, and written assignments requiring either library research or research at the work site)
- Decides on the grade for an internship, based on the student’s academic accomplishment and the site supervisor’s evaluation
- Certifies that the internship merits the hours of academic credit
- Handles problems. Meets with interns as a group for orientation and midterm to discuss assignments and career issues
The student and site supervisor are required to complete an evaluation of the internship experience.
Finding an Internship
Early in the semester preceding the internship semester, decide what sort of internship you would like to do and how it relates to your major. You can begin an internship at any time during the semester (with prior approval) and register for the next formal semester, unless you are an international student doing CPT.
- Use contacts through family, friends, volunteer work, professors in the field, or your own initiative to set up interviews and find your own internship site. Many students already have the contacts to do this, particularly in specialized fields. Use all the resources you have.
- Visit the Career Center in SSB 3.300. The Center keeps listings of paid jobs, co-ops and internships, which may qualify for credit. Register with their office to use their resources. Placements found through the Co-op office can also be used for credit as an internship (or for co-op credit).
After Applying/Registering for Internship
Students will find important internship information on eLearning such as:
- Internship Grading
- Journal Keeping
- Internship Paper Guidelines
- Rules of Writing
- How to Format Your References
Forms and Information
Information Needed for Applying
During Your Intern Semester
For more information, please call or write:
Susan Chizeck, PhD