Please use the below information for help answering your questions.
At CMCI, we define internships as structured, supervised, short-term educational training programs in which undergraduate or graduate students perform tasks and duties within a professional organization to gain knowledge and experience. We view employers as educational partners. Students are supervised and evaluated by both employers and professors, and earn academic credit/letter grades during their internships. Internship experiences should benefit both students and employers. They are a form of experiential learning helping connect students to future careers, while giving employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.
CU CMCI does not offer internship credits/letter grades for remote or unsupervised internships, because although they offer valuable work experience, they offer little to no mentoring or educational support. Students may engage in paid or volunteer “freelance” work within the professional industries of their choice, but may not receive academic credit for these experiences if unsupervised.
Internship credit is given to students based on # of hours worked (Schedule to be negotiated between student and employer).
Employers must meet certain criteria:
Some nonprofit or educational employers like to offer a stipend amount to offset expenses either during or at the end of an internship. In this case, we categorize the position as an unpaid internship. However, you are welcome to note the stipend benefit in the body of your description. A stipend may be complemented by other benefits such as accreditation, instruction, work experience or transportation reimbursement. Universities usually refer to money paid to graduate research assistants as a stipend, rather than as wages, to reflect complementary benefits.
While we encourage all employers to pay interns, we realize this is not always possible. However, we do require all employers to follow the same guidelines required by the University of Colorado Boulder’s Career Services Office and the federal government. Employers are required to sign a contract, agreeing to abide by these policies, when they post internships on our online system. See Employer Legal Policies, for more information.
- Regular, Part-Time Employment: a professional position requiring less than 34 hours of time per week (less than 85% FTE) in a traditional employee and employer relationship. Benefits may be included. Regular tax, social security, and other government requirements are filed by the employer.
- Regular, Full-Time Employment: a professional position requiring more than 34 hours of time per week (at least 85% FTE) in a traditional employee and employer relationship. In most cases, benefits are included, and regular tax, social security, and other government requirements are filed by the employer.
- Seasonal: a time-limited position in which an employee and employer relationship exists. Some benefits may be included, and regular tax, social security, and other government requirements are filed by the employer. These may include “summer jobs” and/or short term jobs that may be full-time during semester breaks.
It depends on how much credit they want to earn, but students typically work 10-15 hours/week to earn 3 internship credits (our minimum requirement is 50 hours of work per credit).
It depends on the student’s major and desire to earn credit. In CMCI, Journalism and Media Studies majors are required to earn three internship credits to graduate. Other students (Advertising, Public Relations, Media Design; Communication; Critical Media Practices) are not required to earn internship credit to graduate, but have the option to receive upper-division elective credit. It is the employer’s responsibility to confirm the student’s credit decision.
If a student is receiving credit, the internship office will send an approval request and evaluations via email. Students participating in formal, unpaid internships for credit are considered employees of the university and are covered under the University of Colorado’s Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage.
Students participating in formal, paid internships for credit are considered employees of the host company. The state of Colorado requires employers to provide workers' compensation insurance to all paid interns working in Colorado. This can be part of your company’s W2 process.
If the paid intern is not working in Colorado, we recommend you check your state’s requirements.