Academic Internship Course

We can help you create an internship search plan and show you how an Academic Internship Course can fit into your schedule.

Please review this Career Planning Checklist for Achieving Success in the Virtual World to assist with your career planning in a digital environment.

Are you a rising junior or senior?

The Academic Internship Course (for-credit) is available to juniors and seniors who wish to pursue an opportunity linked to their areas of study. Internships are supervised by an Internship Specialist or Faculty Internship Supervisor who helps facilitate learning and self-reflection. Learn more about the guidelines and process for obtaining an Academic Internship below. 

Start the process early!

Some employers start recruiting for student interns several months in advance! Therefore, we recommend that you meet with your CAC Internship Specialist  (see left column) to discuss the Academic Internship search and application process within the first two weeks of the semester prior to your planned internship, but no later than 3 weeks before the add/drop date for classes in the semester you plan to intern.

Policies

Read the complete Academic Internship Program (for-credit) Guidelines here. Highlights include:

Rising Junior or Senior?

Academic Internships (for-credit) are open to rising juniors and seniors. Sophomores who wish to complete an Academic Internship must submit a written appeal to the CAC, contact cacintern@lakeforest.edu for details.

Transfer Students

Transfer students in their first semester at the College will not typically be approved to pursue an Academic Internship.

International Students

Employment authorization is required for international students before they start their internship:

  • F-1 Visa international students
    Contact Erin Hoffman, Associate Dean of Students (x5200 or hoffman@lakeforest.edu)
  • J-1 Visa international students 
    Contact Alexandra Olson, Coordinator of the Global Engagement Office, (x5231 or aolson@mx.lakeforest.edu). 
  • Start Dates for International students 
    International students may not start an internship before they receive their employment authorization.
Approvals
  • Before the Career Advancement Center will approve an Academic Internship, students must be approved by the Dean of Students, the Title IX Coordinator, their Faculty Academic Advisor, and their Internship Specialist or Faculty Internship Supervisor. The Career Advancement Center will request the above approvals on the student’s behalf.
  • In The Loop : In The Loop program participants require additional approval from Jennie Larsen, Director of Center for Chicago Programs (larsen@lakeforest.edu).
Area of Study

Internship must be aligned with student’s area of study.

Credits
  • A minimum of one (1) credit and maximum of two (2) credits may be awarded for each internship per semester. 
  • One (1) credit = approximately 150 hours of on-the-job experience. 
  • A student will not typically be allowed to receive more than a total of three (3) internship credits during their time at the College. Exception: Students in the “In the Loop” Program may earn a fourth (4th) internship credit during that program.
Acceptance of Offer

Once an offer has been accepted, the student is expected to decline subsequent interviews and stop applying for positions. It is expected that students honor their commitment to their employer once they have accepted an offer. The Internship Specialist is available to help assist students evaluate their offer before committing.

Start/End Dates

Academic Internships include a required online course. As such, internship start/end dates must coincide with those of the academic semester. Students may not start their internship before securing approval from their Internship Specialist. Any hours worked prior to the first day of classes will not count toward the required minimum. Additionally, if students complete their minimum required hours early, they may not end their internship prior to the last day of classes.

Continuation of Part-Time Job/Internship

Internships must provide real career building experience. Students wishing to continue an existing job or internship as an Academic Internship must show that their responsibilities have significantly changed and that the new responsibilities will give the student a sufficiently different educational/academic experience.

Remote Internships

Typically, the bulk of internship work should take place at a physical site. However, remote internships will be considered. Students must meet with their Internship Specialist to discuss the details of the remote internship and receive approval from the CAC prior to starting their internship.

Commission-Based Internships

Internships based solely on commission will not be approved.

Retroactive Credit

Retroactive credit is not permitted. In order to earn academic course credit, students must complete the Academic Internship Course concurrent with the internship experience.

Interested? Take these steps now:

  1. Review the complete Academic Internship Program Guidelines.
  2. Connect with your Faculty Academic Advisor to ensure that an Academic Internship will fit into your academic plan.
  3. Complete the Academic Internship Course - Interest SurveyYou will be assigned to a Internship Specialist or Faculty Internship Supervisor who will help you with your internship search. 
  4. Meet with your Internship Specialist or Faculty Internship Supervisor (see list on right) to discuss the Academic Internship approval process.
  5. Work with your Career Advisor to create your resume, craft cover letters, and prepare for interviews. Please note, for the Creative Arts and Communication and Law and Public Service pathways, your Career Advisor and your Internship Specialist will be the same professional.
  6. Complete and submit the Academic Internship Course Application, once you have secured an internship. You must contact your Internship Specialist or Faculty Internship Supervisor for access to the application. 

Application Deadlines

Deadlines to secure an internship and submit the Academic Internship Course Application:

Fall/Spring Terms

Students should work with their Internship Specialist or Faculty Internship Supervisor to complete and submit their Academic Internship Course application no later than one week prior to the add/drop date for classes to allow time for approvals.

Summer Terms

Summer applications are accepted on a rolling basis. However, the preferred registration deadline for summer internships is one week prior to the first day of the May Term.  All requirements and hours must be completed by July 31, unless the student receives special permission from their Internship Specialist or Faculty Internship Supervisor and the Director of the Career Advancement Center to finish after this date. Learn more about summer internships on the Summer Internships page.

Non-Credit Internships

Students who are not yet eligible for an Academic Internship, have earned all available internship credits, or wish to obtain an internship that does not meet the Academic Internship Program Guidelines may choose to pursue a Non-Credit Internship.

Please be aware that certain organizations only offer internships for academic credit, which must be obtained through your Internship Specialist or Faculty Internship Supervisor. In the case of Non-Credit Internships, students will work with their Internship Specialist to secure an opportunity, if available.