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Frequently Asked Questions About Internships

General Questions

Question: How can I apply for an internship?
Answer: Please visit our Procedures page for detailed instructions and remember to include all relevant application documents.
Question: Does this internship policy and procedure apply to all students?
Answer: Yes, this internship policy and procedure apply to both new and continuing students. They also apply to both domestic and international students.
Question: How can I request a waiver if I don’t want to do an internship?
Answer: You will need to submit an Internship Waiver Request (IWR) form to your academic department chair to present the reasons why you are seeking exemption from the internship requirement. If approved, you will be allowed to take extra academic classes in your degree program in place of this requirement.
Question: I am a U.S. student who already has a full-time job related to my graduate program. Can I get credit for this job to satisfy my internship requirement?
Answer: Credit will not be given for past employment. However, you may pursue a separate internship with the same organization. Such an internship must offer unique goals, objectives, duties, and an experienced supervisor who will provide training and guidance in an area different from your previous employment. Such an internship would offer you an exciting opportunity to apply your studies and grow professionally.
Question: If I complete a degree at ITU, may I return for a 2nd degree in a new field and have internships in that field?
Answer: Yes, a student who completes a degree at ITU and is then admitted to a second degree program in a different field will be allowed 10 credits for internships under the new program. That student will not have to take CFL 591 and may also request a full-time internship in the first trimester of the second degree program, provided the student’s past studies satisfy the GPA requirement and all other parts of the internship policy. A student who does not complete a degree at ITU and simply changes programs will not have this option.
Question: Why did the internship policy change in Summer 2015?
Answer: In 2015, ITU conducted an internal audit of its policies under new leadership. The audit found these changes were needed in order to make the existing internship program stronger, to have it more closely tied to our graduate programs, and to provide the greatest long-term benefit to our students, their academic programs, and their future careers.

Questions About Internship Classes

Question: Do I still need to take Integrating Academic & Internship Learning (CFL 591) if I already began my graduate program at ITU?
Answer: Students who have completed an internship at ITU before Fall 2015 do not have to take Integrating Academic & Internship Learning (CFL 591). All other new and continuing students must take CFL 591 before or during the same trimester as their first internship.
Question: Can I take Integrating Academic & Internship Learning (CFL 591) in advance before I seek an internship?
Answer: ITU will allow students to take Integrating Academic & Internship Learning (CFL 591) in advance, even if they are not planning to take their first internship until a later trimester.
Question: What are the schedule, content, and materials used in Integrating Academic & Internship Learning (CFL 591), and the other INT 593 (Formerly named GRN 900) series classes?
Answer: Please visit ITU’s Schedule of Classes for scheduling information. Additional information will be provided to students at the time of enrollment.
Question: How are CFL 591 and the INT 593 series classes graded? How do they relate to my graduation requirements?
Answer: Students in these classes will receive a Pass or No Pass grade. Credits from INT 593/GRN 900 can be used towards graduation requirements. However, each graduate program has unique graduation requirements. Students are therefore encouraged to meet with their Academic Counselor for more details about their own program.
Question: If I am continuing with the same internship provider next trimester, will I have to complete new assignments for my INT 593 class?
Answer: Yes, that is correct. Students will complete assignments each trimester that they are enrolled in an internship class, even if it is with the same internship provider.
Question: Is it okay to take nine credits of academic classes in a trimester and also take additional internship credits?
Answer: Yes, this is allowed.
Question: Can an internship start late after the first day of the trimester or end early before the last day of the trimester?
Answer: Yes, the student and internship provider have some flexibility in this area. To earn the academic credit involved for INT 593, a student must complete a minimum of 315-hours for a full-time internship or a minimum of 150-hours for a part-time internship. These hours are confirmed by the internship provider in the student’s final assignment for INT 593. As long as the dates of the internship are within the trimester and meet the minimum requirement, the request will be approved. Also, if the student’s internship is interrupted for some reason during the first half of the trimester, the student can submit a request for a Change of Internship Provider through the ITU website.

Questions About Internships

Question: What is the difference between a job and an internship?
Answer: An internship is hands-on training in a student’s field of study. The opportunity offered by your internship provider (the company or organization where you are interning) must be supplemental to the provider’s operations. The internship may be paid, but it cannot replace an employee, fill a vacant position, or provide the same type of position/compensation/benefits that the internship provider would provide to an employee.
Question: Who oversees my internship?
Answer: The professor for an INT 593 class oversees the academic components of the internship. The supervisor named in the Offer Letter oversees the internship on behalf of the provider.
Question: How can I be sure that my internship is appropriate?
Answer: Our Procedures page has specific instructions, forms, and references to help you. These give both the student and the internship provider the information needed to make sure an internship is appropriate. By signing the Internship Cooperative Agreement, the internship provider confirms the internship has followed these standards.
Question: Will ITU approve an internship outside of enrollment in an INT 593 series class?
Answer: No. ITU will only approve an internship that is part of enrollment in INT 593. No other internships will be approved at ITU. Internships are also subject to specific conditions, including beginning an internship only after the trimester has begun and completing it before the end of the trimester, at which point you will receive a grade for that class.
Question: Do I have to follow this procedure every trimester?
Answer: Yes, all internship requests are reviewed every trimester in order to ensure that students are making satisfactory academic progress and engaged in an appropriate internship. However, if you have a good internship experience and wish to renew with the same provider in the next trimester, you can submit a Continuing Internship Provider Request form.
Question: What happens if my internship request is denied?
Answer: If your internship request is denied for academic reasons, you cannot submit a new request for that trimester. In that case, please meet with your academic advisor to discuss ways to improve your GPA, so you can be eligible for an internship in the next trimester. Also, if you are attending ITU on an F-1 student visa, you may be required to replace the INT 593 series class with another class to maintain your full-time status.

If your internship request is denied because the position submitted is not an internship, you may submit a new request for a different internship opportunity within the due dates posted on our Procedures page.

Question: May I continue an internship beyond the end of the trimester?
Answer: No. Internships at ITU are based on enrollment in an INT 593 series course. The final grade in that class is given based on a student’s performance up to the last day of the trimester. At that point, both the class and internship will end. Incomplete grades may be given to complete academic work, but may not be used to extend the length of an internship.
Question: Can I have more than one internship provider at the same time?
Answer: No. However, you may change an internship provider once per trimester if you experience problems with the current one. Requests to change an internship provider must be submitted before the end of the eighth week of the trimester.
Question: Can my internship be with ITU?
Answer: Absolutely. ITU has interns working in several departments. If you are offered an internship at ITU, please submit a request using the same procedure and forms.
Question: Can an internship provider designate ITU as my internship site?
Answer: No. ITU has a Conflict of Interest policy that prohibits such activity, including recruiting other ITU students and attending campus events as a representative of an internship provider. Internship providers who wish to reach out to ITU students should contact our front desk at (888) 488-4968 and ask for the Associate Director of Employer and Community Relations.

Questions About F-1 Visa Status

Question: Is there any difference in the internship procedure for students attending ITU on an F-1 student visa?
Answer: Students attending ITU on an F-1 student visa will have an extra step. Before an internship can begin for the current trimester, you must receive an updated I-20 with authorization for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) that includes the specific dates and provider your internship is authorized for. You cannot begin your internship until you have received a notice from ITU and received your updated I-20 if you are an F-1 student.
Question: I am an F-1 student transferring to ITU from another school. Is the procedure different for me?
Answer: No, the procedure is the same. Students transferring into ITU must have their SEVIS record released to ITU by the transfer deadline. Also, students who have already completed full-time CPT with another school at the same degree level, without graduating, are advised that their prior CPT will be counted towards the 12-month limit. After a student has used 12-months of full-time CPT at the same degree level, that student will lose eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT).
Question: Is it true that requesting Curricular Practical Training (CPT) will result in me receiving a “Request for Evidence” later on, if I apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT)?
Answer: No, requesting CPT during your graduate program does not automatically result in a Request for Evidence (RFE) when you apply for OPT. The U.S. government issues RFEs for different reasons, including gathering more information about a part-time or full-time, paid, off-campus internship done while a student was completing a graduate program on an F-1 student visa. RFEs do delay the processing time of an OPT request, but they are not a sign that the U.S. government will approve or deny that request.
Question: What steps should I take if my internship is located in different city than ITU's campus?
Answer: Students can only accept such an internship if they are commuting to all their classes at ITU in that trimester. Attendance policies in these classes will be enforced. Students are also encouraged to keep records of their travel to and from ITU as proof of their commute.

Other Questions

Question: Is there someone I can contact to expedite my internship request?
Answer: ITU offices process internship requests based on the chronological order in which we receive them. Please rest assured that we are doing our best to process your application in a timely manner and will contact you as soon as we are able to.
Question: Whom should I contact if I have other questions or concerns, or if I found an error on an internship document issued by ITU?
Answer: Please contact the International Student Office (ISO) right away about any errors you discover or other concerns using ITU’s ticketing system. When you contact us, please be clear whether your ticket is about an error, a question you would like answered, or a different issue. We will refer each ticket to the appropriate department for a prompt response.

Last modified: August 25, 2016