Updated April 2023
Section I. Student Eligibility and Responsibilities for Credit-Bearing Internships
- A student may not use Emerson College as a host organization for a credit-bearing internship.
- A current Emerson faculty or staff member may not serve as site supervisor to an Emerson student intern through the internship for credit program.
- Any organization owned by a current Emerson faculty or staff may only host interns if the organization has 25 or more employees and the internship has received approval by the School Dean.
- A student wishing to pursue a credit-bearing internship must submit an Experience application through Handshake. The application must be approved by the Career Development Center, the designated Emerson instructor or Department Internship Coordinator (DIC), and the student’s internship site supervisor.
- Retroactive credit will not be granted for a credit-bearing internship.
- All 4- and 8-credit internships are paired with an internship course taught by a DIC. A student completing a credit-bearing internship must register for the course, pay for any applicable tuition and registration fees, and meet all course requirements. A student must register for the paired course for the applicable term (Fall, Spring, Summer) according to registration policies and deadlines posted on Emerson College’s academic calendar.
- All 4- or 8-credit internships must begin within the first two weeks of the term.
- For 4- or 8-credit internships, a student must register for the paired internship course within their academic department. Internships cannot be done within a student’s minor, with the exception of 1-credit internships for domestic students. International students: see Section 2 for limitations.
- A student is responsible for knowing and ensuring the completion of all course prerequisites in order to register for a credit-bearing internship.
- Both graduate and undergraduate students must meet eligibility requirements in order to pursue an internship for credit. See the Internship for Credit page.
- A student may apply a maximum of 13 internship credits to the total graduation credit requirements. The Emerson Los Angeles and Washington D.C. programs count towards this amount.
- Graduate students may participate in 1-credit or 4-credit internships. The 8-credit internship option is not available to graduate students.
- If doing a second internship at the same organization, a new Experience application must be submitted demonstrating new responsibilities and learning goals.
- A student intern is expected to comply with the Emerson College Code of Conduct in all interactions with their host organization. Please see the Student Handbook and the Student Intern Code of Conduct.
- A student intern is not required to complete internship hours with their host organization during holidays recognized at Emerson College. The intern’s schedule must meet the minimum required internship hours whether or not holiday time is taken.
- A student may not take an internship as a directed study or directed project. These opportunities are managed by the student’s academic department.
- An undergraduate student with junior standing (64+ credits earned) may seek approval from the Department Chair to transfer in future internship credits from an external 4-year degree-granting institution. If the internship is approved as being related to the student's major curriculum, then it may count towards the 13-credit limit. Internships completed pre-matriculation are not eligible for transfer. A graduate student cannot transfer credits from another school or program.
- Via the internship application process, students are asked if they waive their rights under the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) to permit the College to communicate with the internship site about the student’s progress (recommended). Whether or not the student waives their FERPA rights has no impact on the College’s decision whether or not to approve the student’s application.
Section II. International Students
- International students pursuing an internship (paid or unpaid) must earn academic credit for their internship and follow Curricular Practical Training (CPT) policies. Note: The authorization process can take up to two weeks and the student cannot begin an internship until the approval process has been completed.
- The Office of International Student Affairs (OISA) must also approve the student’s Handshake application in addition to the site supervisor and course instructor.
- CPT authorization is only granted for internships and experiences that align with the international student’s major.
- Any non-internship career opportunities outside of Emerson that may qualify for CPT work authorization (such as a practicum) must be reviewed by the Career Development Center and OISA.
Section III. Host Organization Responsibilities for Credit-Bearing Internships
- Any business owned or operated by a current Emerson faculty or staff member may not host an Emerson student intern through the internship for credit program.
- A student who has been hired for a regular paid job at an organization cannot convert the job into a credit-bearing internship.
- The host organization must provide for the Emerson student intern one identified internship site supervisor who has knowledge of and an educational and/or professional background in the industry of the internship.
- The site supervisor must be able to clarify their credentials, define their links to the organization, and provide business contact info.
- The host organization is expected to comply with the Emerson College Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policies in all interactions with the student intern.
- With the exception of remote internships, the host organization is responsible for ensuring a safe workspace for the intern in a professional setting and cannot be located in a private residence or non-commercial setting.
- The internship site supervisor is responsible for ensuring that no more than 25% of the intern’s duties involve clerical work and that the student intern does not perform inappropriate tasks, such as maintenance duties or personal errands for host organization staff.
- The host organization agrees to provide any necessary equipment for the student to be able to fulfill duties. If the student is using personal equipment, this is by choice. Related, the host organization is responsible for ensuring that the student intern is not required to use their personal automobiles for duties at or related to the internship/intern site. This can, however, be opted into by the student.
- Organizations may offer to host a student intern for an additional semester. If the student accepts this offer, the student is responsible for applying for academic credit a second time. The student must demonstrate that the additional internship will provide a new academic challenge.
- Liability Insurance: Emerson College’s liability insurance includes student interns under limite circumstances. It covers Emerson student interns while they are serving in a supervised (i.e., credit-bearing) internship program in satisfaction of course requirements, as long as they are acting within the scope of their duties and obligations as interns. The insurance, underwritten by Lexington Insurance Company Reciprocal Risk Retention Group, a well-known higher education insurer, contains the limitations and exclusions common to such policies.
- Organizations that host an international student intern who is not being paid should be aware that there are particular rules which preclude them from receiving compensation of any kind, including gifts, unless they are authorized for such in advance. This authorization must be stated on their CPT Authorization form.
- The internship site supervisor is responsible for submitting midterm and final performance evaluations to the student intern course instructor during the course of the semester which may be used in determining the student’s course grade.
Section IV. Forms
- Employer internship agreement forms requesting the signature of a school supervisor/career counselor should be presented to the student’s academic department. The Career Development Center does not sign such forms due to liability reasons. In lieu of such forms the Career Development Center can provide an Eligibility Letter for the following:
- Confirmation of eligibility to enroll for internship credit
- Confirmation of eligibility for internship credit (already enrolled)
- Confirmation of eligibility, course registration, and/or approval to receive credit