Internship credit is an excellent way to tie a professional experience with your academic career here at CU Boulder. Internships for credit can help you reflect, gain skills and work toward your degree while gaining professional experience.

Before pursuing internship credit, consider the following:

  • You typically do not need internship credit in order to do an internship. If you need internship credit because your employer requires it but you cannot receive it through your department, see the CSVC 1000 information below.
  • Some courses will have pre-approved internship hosts while some courses will allow you to find your own internship host. You can find internships on Handshake among other places.
  • Most internship credit courses have prerequisites and are for upper-class students. Check with your department to make sure you can receive credit.
  • Internship credit will typically require 40 to 55 hours of internship work per credit.
  • All semesters will have strict timelines and registration deadlines and some internship courses are only offered during the summer. Find this information ahead of time so you’re prepared.
  • There will be responsibilities in addition to the internship that may include research, papers, evaluations, in-class work and out of class projects.

COVID-19 update

As a result of COVID-19, guidelines for in-person internships have changed:

In-person internships sponsored by CU Boulder departments and programs were suspended in March 2020 when in-person instruction was suspended.

In-person internships may resume for fall 2020 if:

  • Campus is maintaining operations that include in-person instruction
  • Internships adhere to campus travel restrictions (domestic and international)

If CU Boulder moves to remote-only instruction at any point during the semester, then in-person internships must also be suspended, whether or not they are attached to course credit. It is also permissible for employers to conduct an internship entirely remotely or move an internship from in-person to remote participation at any time.

Departmental internships for academic credit

For more information on internship credit in your department, please review the following information.

Academic credit varies by major in the College of Arts and Sciences so your ability to receive credit will depend upon your major(s), minor(s) and prerequisites already completed. Below are the list of departments that do offer internship credit. If you do not see your department, you should work with your academic advisor to see if there is another option.

Internship and co-op credit is available to students in the College of Engineering and Applied Science as a free elective. Electrical engineering students can apply for up to six credit hours of technical electives for an internship.

All College of Media, Communication, and Information students – except for those majoring in information science – can receive internship credit through the college. See complete information on the CMCI internship website.

The College of Music does provide internship credit via the Internship in Music Business course through the Entrepreneurship Center for Music. There are also multiple practicum courses that are similar to internships. Meet with your academic advisor for more information.

Leeds School of Business does not typically offer internship for academic credit for undergraduates. If you are required by your employer to receive credit, Career Services offers a course called CSVC 1000 that will be sufficient for your employer but will not count towards your degree.

The School of Law provides credit for substantive legal work through the externship program.

Alternative credit opportunities

CSVC 1000

If you are unable to get credit through your major and your employer requires credit, you can sign up for an extra credit internship class through Career Services, CSVC 1000. This is a one-credit, pass/fail class that does not under any circumstances count toward your graduation requirements. The only requirement for this course is that you must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours during the semester that you participate in the internship (or for summer internships, you must be enrolled in 12 credits during the following fall semester).

For information on CSVC 1000, please contact internships@colorado.edu.

Center for the American West

The Center for the American West offers internship opportunities for CU Boulder undergraduate juniors and seniors to work for public and private organizations on projects that deal with Western topics and issues and offer professional training for the student. These three-credit hour internships foster students’ development as community leaders working for a sustainable West.

CU in D.C.

The CU in D.C. program gives CU Boulder undergraduate students the opportunity to put classroom learning into real world action. Participants spend time living, studying, and interning in the nation’s capital. They gain practical work experience by doing a professional internship in the daytime, and they continue their coursework by taking CU Boulder classes in the evening.  Students grow personally, professionally, and intellectually and say that CU in D.C. is a formative and rich college experience.

Education Abroad

Education Abroad provides students with the opportunity to combine experiential learning and academic theory as a means to gain professional experience and to develop a new perspective on a career field. You will experience what it's like to navigate work culture in your host country and have the chance to expand your international network all while earning academic credit.

INVST

Students who participate in the two-year INVST Program are able to access a Community Leadership Internship for credit. This skills-training course develops students' competencies as community leaders working for a just and sustainable world.  Under the supervision of the instructor and a community partner, students learn organizational and leadership skills by serving as volunteer staff at community-based organizations.  First-hand experience provides students with a deepened understanding of the complex issues facing humanity. Learners are exposed to solution-based strategies for positive change.

President’s Leadership Class

President’s Leadership Class students are required to complete one Applied Learning Experience and the accompanying course during their undergraduate career.