Internship Guidelines

The Career Center has a password-protected website known as Handshake for listing internships and other employment opportunities. This section contains key information and resources to assist with your internship recruitment needs.

Listing an internship

The Career Center has a password-protected website for listing internships or other employment opportunities, known as Handshake. To create an account, post an internship position, or enter Handshake click here

If you have additional questions, please call (631) 632-6810 or email

What are the benefits of having an intern?

Employers want to hire students who have some type of related experience on their resume for entry-level positions. For this reason, the Career Center is always looking for employers who are willing to provide internship opportunities to Stony Brook students in order to better prepare them for graduation. You may be wondering, "What's in it for me?" There are several reasons you should consider hiring an intern. Here are a few:

  • Interns are enthusiastic young people who provide fresh perspectives, new ideas and viewpoints.
  • Interns allow flexibility in staffing needs - interns can help with important projects/activities you don't have the time to get to.
  • Cost effective screening program to recruit highly qualified students: "test" student interns now to see if the student would be a viable candidate for a full-time position after graduation.
  • Greater retention of newly hired employees: students who have already participated in an internship program and are offered full-time employment tend to stay longer than candidates hired from the outside.
  • Interns returning to school are effective PR ambassadors: word will spread fast about the wonderful experience you are able to provide students.
  • Employer-University ties are strengthened. As your program grows in popularity, the process for hiring interns will become seamless.

What exactly is an internship?

An internship is a carefully monitored work or service experience in which an undergraduate has specific learning goals and actively reflects on what s/he is learning throughout the semester. The duration of a credit-bearing internship parallels an academic term. Students engaged in credit-bearing internships must have a faculty sponsor, complete a journal, and submit a term report.

Internship for Cash, Credit, or both?

Some employers offer credit-bearing internships, some have noncredit-bearing but paid positions, and others even offer credit-bearing and paid internships!

Credit vs. Non-Credit Internship


  • Student earns academic credit – 1 to 6 credits
  • Student pays tuition for credit hours
  • Internship may be paid or unpaid
  • Internship must be approved by the university
  • The Career Center approves all EXT 288 and 488 credits
  • Respective departments approve all other internship credits: for example, the Political Science Department approves POL 288 and 488; the Program in Writing and Rhetoric approves WRT 288 and 488; the Hispanic Language and Literature Department approves SPN 288 and 488; and so on.
  • Student secures a faculty sponsor
  • Graded Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory
  • Students should work at least 4 hours per week for each credit hour earned for fall and spring (3 credits = minimum of 12 hours per week) and an equivalent amount for summer
  • Internship may be included on a resume
  • Internship credit and grade will be included on transcript
  • Related paperwork: a formal agreement between student, employer, and faculty; a job description outlining the specific responsibilities; a mid-term and a final evaluation completed by employer
  • Provides a systematic opportunity to test and evaluate academic knowledge in applied settings
  • Deadline is the same as add/drop deadlines listed on the university calendar
  • Student gains practical experience, which is valued greatly by employers


  • Student does not earn credit
  • Internship may be paid or unpaid
  • No restrictions by University
  • No supervision by University
  • Related paperwork: no formal agreement between student, employer, and faculty; no job description outlining the specific responsibilities; no final evaluation completed by employer
  • Internship may be included on a resume
  • No academic deadline
  • Student gains practical experience, which is valued greatly by employers

Employer Responsibilities

The Internship Program seeks to provide students with a realistic exposure to deadlines and expectations outside traditional classroom experiences.

What does sponsoring a student for academic credit involve?

  1. Develop a detailed position description outlining learning objectives to be achieved throughout the experience. For faculty approval, the description must clearly outline how the experience will enhance learning in the classroom.
    Please note: We understand that clerical tasks are a part of many professional jobs and expect that some duties of this nature will be assigned. However, the student should have professional assignments similar to other entry-level workers.
  2. Sign the student’s internship agreement form.
  3. Ensure that a well-trained supervisor is assigned to the student and available on a regular basis for necessary training and guidance.
  4. A mid-term and final evaluation that assesses the student’s job performance must be completed.

What about compensation? You are not required to pay a student for an internship. We encourage students to pursue internships for the practical training. We also realize that not all organizations have the budget to compensate an intern. That said, it will make a big difference to a student if some form of monetary compensation is available (eg. hourly wage, monthly stipend, reimbursement of transportation expenses).

Criteria for an Experience to be defined as an Internship

To ensure that an experience—whether it is a traditional internship or one conducted remotely or virtually—is educational, and thus eligible to be considered a legitimate internship by the NACE definition, all the following criteria must be met:

  1. The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer, nor should it be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
  2. The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
  3. The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
  4. There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework.
  5. There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
  6. There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.
  7. There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.

Developing an Effective Internship Program

Please click here for our guide to developing or improving your internship program.

Employer Policy

To view our employer policy, click here