On-campus Employer Guide for UConn Undergraduate and Graduate Internships

By participating in an on-campus internship, students are exposed to a level of responsibility different from a campus job. They are often charged with projects and tasks with greater significance and impact to the department and university.

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On-campus Internships provide excellent preparation for the professional world while students are still in college. In addition, increasing and intertwining the number and types of experiential learning opportunities on campus supports the President’s initiatives related to Financial Literacy and Emotional Intelligence. On-campus internships are a strategic and beneficial way to implement the UConn Career Center’s mission and vision by helping be career-ready graduates.

By participating in an on-campus internship, students are exposed to a level of responsibility different from a campus job. They are often charged with projects and tasks with greater significance and impact to the department and university. On-campus internships allows too, for increased equity; working on campus offers those with possible limitations or restrictions the chance to build their resume and gain direct experience. These include but are not limited to students without off-campus transportation, international students, undocumented students, first-year students, as well as those without a prior internship.


Internships are work/learning experiences that include one or more forms of structured and deliberate reflection contained within learning agendas or objectives. Internships differ from research and clinical work in supervision, reflection, and tasks. Read more about Experiential Learning through the Association for Experiential Education.

On-campus internships allow students to develop and enhance their Career Readiness, essential skills for college, graduate school, employment, and life in general. Traditional length UConn On-campus internships are an option for both undergraduate and graduate students.

For questions related specifically to graduate students, reach out to Megan Petsa, Director of   Graduate Student Administration; refer students to the UConn Graduate School Internship Resources Page.

A traditional internship:

  • is usually the length of an academic semester or completed in the summer
  • may be part-time or full-time, 10-40 hours a week, with an end-date
  • can be considered for credit (with instructor approval) or not for credit
  • can be structured for an on-site, remote, or hybrid experience
  • may be paid or unpaid

To compare how part-time jobs and internships differ, look at this chart, which also introduces co-op, where the undergraduate students takes off a semester from most or all classes, works FT, and is still allowed to stay in the system as FTE – Full-time Equivalent. This option can be ideal if you know of a student who was going to take a leave of absence to work, as they then stay tethered to university, increasing retention. Difference Between a Part-time job, an Internship, and a Co-op.


Possible benefits for the department offering an on-campus internship include:

  • Hearing and integrating student perspectives which may provide new ideas to solve problems related to current issues in the department or on campus;
  • Assigning important projects that were previously not able to be considered;
  • Allowing the faculty and staff of the University to mentor students in an out-of-classroom experience, nurturing and contributing to the student’s growth, learning, and overall development;
  • Developing a relationship with an academic department;
  • Supporting DE&I goals by providing accessible and equitable options.

Possible benefits for the student who participates in an on-campus internship include:

  • Ability to take advantage of internships in a familiar and convenient location;
  • No or reduced transportation;
  • Promise of learning more about different fields in a position that is specifically tailored to University of Connecticut students;
  • Relevant work experience for populations that may have a harder time finding meaningful work, such as first gen, international, or undocumented students;
  • Direct application of the career competencies needed for post-graduation success;
  • Career exploration for younger students that have the maturity and desire to learn and are ready for more than a part-time job can offer;
  • Engage inan intellectually challenging and diverse learning environment outside of the classroom.

Academic Internships vs. Non-Academic/Independent Internships:

Academic internships are when a student finds a position and then also connects it to a designated undergraduate or graduate course. The instructor determines if the content of the internship meets the criteria for course credit. Academic internships mean that the student takes a class and as such, there is tuition connected to them; please keep this in mind, especially for part-time students or students interning over the summer, where tuition is charged by credit hours.

NOTE: credit and compensation are not synonymous and therefore should not be referred to as the same idea or for the same purpose. Credit is offered by the department with an internship course and compensation is determined by the hiring department.

When a student is earning credit for the internship, on-campus employers may be asked to adjust the position description if needed (to reflect learning), and to sign paperwork for the department issuing the credit.

NOTE: if a student is completing an academic internship, the credit CANNOT be from the same department where they are interning. Ex: students who intern at the Center for Career Development cannot also earn credit through the Career Center’s one-credit course.

Sometimes an on-campus employer wishes for the student to earn credit, as there can be an increased level of accountability. Whether requiring it, or just being open to it, there are a few ways to make it easier for the student to find a course:

  1. Employer confers with specific internship course instructor(s) and ensures that the opportunity matches the course requirements; students would be referred specifically these classes, basically making it pre-approved for the student. Click the course pages in the first paragraph of this section, to review options.
  2. Employer identifies departments where past students have earned credit while interning with them and makes these courses known to the student applicant.
  3. Employer places a statement in the position posting, making it explicitly clear that they are open to working with students who choose to earn credit, though not identifying a specific department or course by name.


Striving for student equity, paid internships are ideal. The On-campus employer determines the amount of compensation and can use the scales provided by Student Employment for appropriate ranges. Interns may be paid more than minimum wage.

Forms of compensation can include an hourly or weekly wage. Compensation and credit are not interchangeable terms; the student has to pay for credit while the employer provides a salary.

Funding sources for on-campus internships may be through student labor or work-study. When using work-study, there are certain rules which must be followed:

Per the Federal Regulations, a student employed in a Federal Work-Study job and receiving academic credit may not be:

  • Paid unless the employer would normally pay a person for the same job
  • Paid for receiving any instruction in a classroom, laboratory, or other academic setting
  • Paid less than they would be if no academic credit were given

Questions regarding these policies may be directed to UConn Student Employment.

When hiring international students, please direct them to the Center for International Students and Scholars, as international students have specific rules and guidelines to follow based on their student visa-some may work for pay while others may be prohibited.

When hiring an undocumented student, The Internship on Scholarship program helps those who otherwise might not have been able to have a paid position.

If it is determined that a department cannot pay their interns, please keep the number of required work hours low and be sure to offer good supervision, mentoring, and training, so the student receives benefits for their growth and development. To read more the purpose of paid opportunities, please visit read the Position Statement on Unpaid Internships and Equity by NACE, the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Developing and On-Campus Internship


What are the goals that both the supervisor and the intern hope to fulfill?
The goals and expectations for the position must be clearly outlined for both your department and the student when designing, advertising, interviewing, hiring, and supervising.

Points to Consider

Will the student be required to have completed certain coursework or be part of a specific class year, to be eligible for an internship?
There are no general University requirements or restrictions for when a student can intern.

How many interns will the department be selecting?
The number of interns selected will depend on the size of the University department and office, as well as its goals and objectives. Students tend to respond well when there is more than one intern and there are group projects and/or team interactions.

How many staff members work in the office? Are there other student workers?
The department needs to ensure an adequate amount of work, a designated workspace, and a feeling of belonging for the intern. Consider too, how the work for a student worker/employee is different from a student intern?

Is the internship in-person, remote, or hybrid?
There are benefits to all models and being flexible (as the position allows) could yield a greater applicant pool from all five campuses.

What kind of support does the Career Center offer to internship sites?
The Career Center can support internship sites from helping to craft the position and the posting, advertising your openings, and providing resources to your department through the hiring process. Professional Development seminars for supervisors and interns are offered throughout the year, and there is a Teams site dedicated to student employee supervisors.


When should the selection process begin?
It is recommended to begin the search about three to six months before the internship start date. The position may stay open for just two weeks (minimum required by Student Employment), or you can keep it open until it is filled.

What are successful ways for searching for and recruiting new interns?
Request that students submit a resumé in the position posting. Use any of the following methods to promote the on-campus internship and to have the most diverse pool of applicants possible. Be sure to include skills needed for the role vs just the actual tasks:

  • Post on the Student Employment website (required for all paid positions)
  • Post within the Center for Career Development’s online job management system, Handshake
  • Place the position on the hiring department’s website and/or in a newsletter
  • Host presentations throughout the academic year to advertise open positions
  • Attend career fairs offered on your campus
  • Reach out to student clubs and organizations
  • Communicate with academic advisors and faculty, and ask them to forward postings

Online Resources and TEAMS Site

TEAMS Page: Through a collaboration between the Career Center and Student Employment, there is a dedicated TEAMS page for student employee supervisors. Information on interviewing, hiring, onboarding, training, supervising, mentoring, career readiness, evaluating, and more is accessible through the site; email internships@uconn.edu to join.

From Offer to Exit: an internship guide for your students, serves as a working tool for your interns to maximize their experience. Includes practical advice and tools, such as a Learning Agreement, a written document where the intern and supervisor discuss the skills an intern will develop in the role.

Off-campus Employer Internship Guide: contains additional information that may prove useful as you design your on-campus internship.

Contact Us
Email: internships@uconn.edu
Phone: (860) 486-3013
Experiential Learning Webpage