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Washington State University
Academic Success and Career Center Cultivating Successful Scholars and Professionals

Internship FAQ


Do I have to reapply to WSU when I do a fall or spring internship?

You have to reapply only if you take more than a semester off (not counting the summer) without enrolling in academic credit. If this is your situation, you must submit a Former Student Application for re-admission. Students should complete and submit a Former Student Application online.

How will my internship affect my student loans?

If you are not enrolled half-time (at least 6 credits) for less than 6 months your internship will not affect your student loans. For example, if you do a 3 month summer internship and attend WSU for fall semester; if you do a 4 month fall internship and attend WSU for spring semester; or if you do a 5 month spring internship and attend WSU for summer session, your student loans won’t be affected.

If you are not enrolled half-time (at least 6 credits) for 6 months or longer and you are enrolled in at least 3 semester hours of approved internship credit as an undergraduate, you have student-status. Request that your departmental internship coordinator write a student loan deferment memo which states:

  • The dates of your internship,
  • That you are enrolled in at least 3 semester hours of approved internship credit, and
  • That your department considers you a full-time or a half-time student (department needs to specify full or half-time)

The memo should be sent to the Registrar’s Office, Attn: Enrollment Certification, French Ad 346, campus zip 1035. Following this process will ensure that your student loans do not go into repayment while you are on internship as long as your full-time or half-time status is consistent with your type of student loan.

If you are not enrolled half-time (at least 6 credits) for 6 months or longer and are not enrolled in at least 3 semester hours of approved internship credit as an undergraduate, or your department has not submitted the student loan deferment memo, then you do not have student-status for loan deferment purposes. Your student loans will go into repayment after 6 months and you will use your 6 month grace period.

How will my internship affect my financial aid or scholarships?

Contact Student Financial Services by email or stop by Lighty 380 for information on how your internship may affect your financial aid package. If the internship is paid in the form of wages it will not affect your current financial aid package. Students should report the income on the FAFSA for the applicable academic year. Other forms of financial aid (grants, loans, work-study) are not available if you are not enrolled in at least 6 credits. Contact your scholarship donors to investigate the effect the internship may have on your scholarships.

Where can I get internship forms?

Forms are available here. Be sure to check with your department to see if there are departmental forms that you should use instead.

Can I get credit if my internship is paid (or unpaid)?

There are paid and non-paid internships available, depending on opportunities in your field. Most academic departments do not have restrictions on whether internships must be paid or unpaid as long as the experience is an approved internship. Check with your departmental internship coordinator to find out the policy on paid internships in your major. The UNIV 398 Internship Synthesis course is offered to both DDP and Pullman based students as general university credit without paid or unpaid restrictions. Please see the current schedule of classes for details.

Are there any local internships so that I can take classes and intern at the same time?

Yes, local internships are available. Look at opportunities listed on career services web site via Handshake and also look for opportunities advertised in The Daily Evergreen. Utilize the Student Employment Office and the Center for Civic Engagement. Also contact organizations or departments of interest directly to inquire about opportunities.

I am an international student, what additional paperwork do I need to complete to be able to do an internship?

International Programs’ Office of International Students and Scholars has information explaining application procedures for Optional Practical Training and Curricular Practical Training for foreign students available in Bryan Hall. Regulations regarding Practical Training change often, so be sure to contact the Office of International Students and Scholars for current policies.

I’m confused, when should I go to my department for internship help and when should I contact ASCC?

Contact your department or your departmental internship coordinator if you:

  • have questions/concerns about academic credit
  • have detailed questions related to your academic major/minor
  • need information about a preparation class which is required before you can do your internship
  • want to explore internship opportunities that are known at your department
Contact Career Services to talk with a career coach if you want to:
  • explore your interests, skills, and values to determine the type of internship to pursue
  • discuss internship search strategies including how to create your own internship
  • receive assistance with internship search materials (resume, cover letter, interviewing)
  • find out the contact information for your departmental internship coordinator

What is a co-op?

Cooperative education, also known as co-op, is similar to an internship except that it usually requires students to work at the employer-site
for more than one semester. An example of an alternating co-op is when a student attends school fall semester, co-ops during spring semester,
attends school during summer, and co-ops again the next fall semester. An example of a back-to-back co-op is when students co-op during the
summer and the fall semester (about 6 months) without attending school in between.

Where can I find internship listings for graduate students?

Employers post internship listings for undergraduate and graduate students in Handshake. See the Student Guide to Internships for complete details.

I’m a student at WSU-Spokane, Tri-Cities, or Vancouver; Do I have to do anything special to get an internship?

Follow the same procedures as provided by the Student Guide to Internships. Be sure to update your Handshake information. Also, talk with the internship coordinator at your campus location. Note that you may be able to participate in on-campus interviews via video-conferencing. If you are interested in
video-conferencing and need more information, contact ASCC at

I live in on-campus housing and I will need to move during my internship. How will it affect my housing contract?

WSU Housing Services will allow internship-bound students to break their residence hall or apartment contracts without penalty. You will need to provide their office with documentation providing the dates of your internship and information about your internship site. Students are encouraged to contact the Housing office with questions about the effect on remaining roommates, and options for returning. For more information, select cancellation and refund policies on their website.

How do I register for next semester while I’m on my internship?

Contact your academic advisor before you leave for your internship to find out the procedures for registering for classes while you’re on internship.

Can WSU Online students participate in internships?

WSU Online (DDP) students can use the same resources as other students to find an internship. Additionally, both DDP and Pullman based students can receive general university credit through taking the UNIV 398 Internship Synthesis Course. See the current semester Schedule of Classes for course information. If you have questions about receiving academic credit, see the Student Guide to Internships.

I’m a WSU Online student and I would like to earn academic credit for my social sciences major, what do I need to do?

If your major is Sociology or if one of your concentrations within General Studies is Social Sciences, you may be able to get academic credit through SOC 495. There is a 3 credit (requires 9-10 hours/week) and a 6 credit (requires 18+ hours/week) option. The internship requires work in an organization in a paid or unpaid job that can be reflected upon sociologically. Almost any job could fit this requirement, but the student needs to get permission from his/her supervisor to do the internship. If you have an internship site in mind, please contact the Department of Sociology for other details about earning academic credit. Dr. Christine Oakley is the contact person within Sociology who can help you determine whether your internship in the Social Sciences will be acceptable. She prefers to be contacted via email at If you need additional information on selecting an internship site, please contact the WSU Online (DDP) Career Counselor, Christopher Miller, at

What do I need to know about insurance coverage during my internship?

Medical Insurance: You are responsible for obtaining your own medical insurance for injuries to self. WSU’s Office of Benefits and Payroll Services has student medical insurance available. You may be able to continue being covered by your family’s medical insurance and student automobile insurance while on internship. Check with your individual policy for complete details. We strongly recommend that you secure sufficient health, accident, disability, hospitalization, and vehicle insurance while on internship.

Student Experiential Liability Insurance and Student Professional Liability Insurance: Many students are able to obtain liability insurance for a low cost through a WSU insurance policy offered through our Risk Management Office or through a professional association in their field. This insurance is required for some internships and is strongly recommended for all internships. See WSU’s Risk Management and Insurance Commercial Insurance webpage.

Workers Compensation Insurance: If a you are paid in an employment capacity,you should be covered by the employers workers compensation policy. If a you are unpaid or receive a stipend, it is highly advisable for an employer to obtain a rider to their existing workers compensation policy to cover the intern. Be sure to ask the employer the status of Worker’s Compensation Insurance before you begin your internship.

Where can I receive assistance with finding an international internship?

If you are interested in earning academic credit or utilizing financial aid during an international internship, go to the Education Abroad Office in Bryan Hall  for assistance. If you do not want to earn academic credit for an international internship, access the international internship web links and meet with a career counselor in ASCC for assistance to discover how GoinGlobal in Handshake can be of assistance. Most international internships are unpaid. It is very helpful for students to have some language proficiency in the language of the country in which they want to intern.

How many hours do I need to intern per credit hour earned?

For the WSU semester system, a minimum of three hours of internship work per week is required for each credit hour earned. During a 15 week semester, this works out to be a total of 45 hours of internship work per credit hour earned. Many departments have more demanding requirements, be sure to talk with the Internship Coordinator in your department to find out your specific requirements.

For more information on internships, read the Student Guide to Internships.

I am enrolled in an internship course this summer while I am on an internship. How can I get the SRC fee waived since I wont be in Pullman this summer?

For students enrolled in Pullman based courses but who will not be in Pullman this summer and therefore won’t be using the Student Recreation Center (SRC), there is a fee petition waiver available here:

SRC Fee Petition Waiver (PDF)

You need to get your advisor to sign the form (you could fax or mail it to your advisor if you are no longer in the area) and then send it to the SRC. The fees are removed at the end of the session (after the SRC makes sure that you have not used the SRC). If you have any questions about the process, please contact Brent Freeman, SRC Coordinator of Membership Services, at 509-335-4227.

If you are enrolled in the UNIV 398 Internship Synthesis Course, contact your course instructor who will place you on a list for the semester to waive the fee if you will not be on campus during your internship.