SUNY Plattsburgh Campus Handbook


Internship Programs Policy

Adopted by the Faculty Senate Action #216

Approved by the President, May 1983

Policy Number Owner
1010.1 Provost/VP of Academic Affairs

Revision History

Date Version Change Ref Section
May 1983 1.0 New Document  
c. 2006 1.1 Minor Revisions  
11/28/2016 1.2 Minor Revisions  
1/2/2017 1.3 Minor Revisions  
3/14/2017 1.4 Minor Revisions  

Statement of Policy

The word "internship" is used to designate any arrangement involving college-sponsored experiential learning including cooperative education arrangements. An internship is not seen as an interruption of the student's academic obligations, but an opportunity for the integration of classroom learning with the learning experiences possible in a work setting.


1. A student receiving credit for an internship must have a faculty sponsor for the internship.

2. Interns are required to work in the internship placement for approximately three hours per week (15 weeks) for each academic credit hour in a semester. Internships may be full or part time, paid or unpaid depending upon the nature of the placement.

3. The specific field duties and responsibilities of the intern will be agreed to by the faculty sponsor, agency supervisor, and the intern, and will be outlined in the learning contract. Interns must have a faculty sponsor and an agency supervisor.

4. Specific academic requirements which are appropriate to the placement will be established by the faculty sponsor (and written into the learning contract). Learning Contracts are available at the Registrar's Office.

Admissions Standards

1. Students wishing internship for credit must have junior, senior or graduate class standing.

2. The minimum GPA for participation in an internship shall be established by the sponsoring department. Departments may establish prerequisite courses and minimum GPA in these courses prior to the commencement of an internship.

Internship Credit

1. Course credit - Interns will be enrolled under a department course - DEPT. 498 (or 598) Internship - Title. Students may take internships for major, minor, concentration or elective credit. Course credit ranges from 1 credit to a maximum of 15. Departments/programs should establish policies on the number of internship credits to meet major, minor or concentration requirements. Failure to complete all requirements of an internship will lead to an incomplete (policy pertaining to I grades will apply), or an unsatisfactory/failing grade will be given by the faculty sponsor.

2. Credit towards the Baccalaureate Degree - Usually, the total number of credits awarded for internships may not exceed 18 toward the fulfillment of the credits required for graduation. The suggested limit of 18 credits does not include any credit taken by interns in related studies such as a seminar that may be taken in tandem with the internship (see below for credit). More than 18 hours may be earned if the hours beyond the limit are considered "add-on" credit beyond the hours required for graduation.

3. Credit Hours - It is recommended that credits be awarded for internships according to the following formula (assuming an internship of 13-16 weeks):

Hours Per Week


 3-4  1
 9-10  3
 18-20  6
 27-30  9
 36-40  12-15

A suggested model for a full time internship, assuming the total number of credits to be awarded for the semester is 15, could be as follows:

9 credits internship, with 3 credits research project tied to internship, and 3 credits additional academic requirements reading, research, etc., or seminar

The advantage of dividing the credits into units is that the person(s) evaluating the internship need not assign a single grade to the student’s performance, but can divide the grade according to each component. (Following the suggested model, only the 9 credits designated "internship" would be counted against the suggested 18-credit limit.)

4. Evaluation of the Internship for Credit - Students taking an internship for credit are required to prepare a learning contract (see sample contract) spelling out the specific learning objectives for the internship. Essential to the granting of credit for the internship experience is that the credit is not for the work experience itself, but it is for the documented learning that takes place as a result of the experience. Students are to provide satisfactory evidence during the course of or at the conclusion of the semester that the academic objectives of the internship were fulfilled. The evidence may include: written projects, journals, research papers, annotated bibliographies, critical evaluations, etc.

5. Learning Contract - The learning contract is an essential ingredient in the determination of academic credit and viability of the internship placement. Just as a student does not receive credit for "taking" a course, a student does not receive credit for merely performing various duties of an internship placement. What is to be learned, what learning activities and resources are to be applied and how the accomplishment of learning is to be evaluated is set forth in the learning contract.

    a. The content of the internship - nature of the tasks or assignments, job description of regular duties day-to-day tasks-- as well as specific projects, reports, etc.

    b. The student's educational goals and objectives -why is this internship being undertaken, what does the student intend to learn, how can this internship relate to the student's major field or other course work?

    c. Method of evaluation of educational objectives and student performance - assessment and evaluation of what the student has learned in the internship experience. The methods of evaluation may include several of the following:

        Evaluation by agency supervisor as to the level of task performance;

        On-site visits;

        Periodic meetings with student, contact by phone, mail;

        Reading lists;

        Research project related to position description and stated objectives of student;

        Reports, papers, etc., written for the agency;

        Oral examination;


        An analysis by the student of the experience ;



The method of grading will be determined by the faculty sponsor. Letter grades and/or pass/fail may be assigned. The determination of the method for grading should be made at the start of the internship.

Agreement between Sponsoring Faculty and Host Agency

The faculty sponsor must develop a written agreement with the agency sponsor. This agreement must clarify what each expects of the other. The agency must agree to provide supervision of the students' work as an intern and to evaluate the intern.


Contact Information

For questions about the Campus Handbook, please contact:

Management Services Office
Office: Kehoe 710-11
Phone: (518) 564-2538
Fax: (518) 564-2540