Internship Policy

An internship is a supervised, work-related experience (volunteer or compensated) that is also related to an academic discipline and is sponsored, evaluated, and graded by a University faculty member. The internship is a new experience and does not represent credit for past work or continuation of the current work situation.

Internship Enrollment Eligibility

In order to enroll in an internship, students must:

  • Be in good academic standing, with an overall GPA of at least 2.0.  
  • Have completed a minimum of six credits in the major and fifty-five credits for the degree. Completion of twelve credits in the major will be sufficient to waive the degree credit requirement.

Academic Credit for Internships

Students must be registered for an internship course at the time they are completing the internship in order to earn credit. Students enrolled in an internship course (see available course options below) engage in formal and reflective writing, journaling, and analysis about their work experience and how it relates to their academic and career pursuits. Class workshops and group discussions provide further opportunities for debriefing and consolidation of ideas and skills. The following rules apply:

  • One to three credit hours (and up to six with special permission) may be granted for a completed internship
  • Credits/grade earned are a combination of hours spent “on the job” and the academic work completed during the internship.
  • Grades are reported as S for satisfactory or NC for no credit.
  • A maximum of six internship credits can be used as requirements in a major, with three additional internship credits available to be used toward graduation. No more than a total of nine credits of internship can be counted toward graduation. 
  • A faculty member must sponsor the internship. For students enrolled in CGS 1900, PUBSRV 1900, or NPHS 1900 internships, the sponsoring faculty member is the internship course instructor.  

Use our handy Internship Checklist to make sure you follow the necessary steps for securing and getting credit for your internship!

Internship Approval

To be considered for approval, an internship must:

  • Bear clear relevance to the student's academic program.
  • Include internship duties and responsibilities appropriate for university credit (intern not exempt from routine work).
  • Provide new learning experience aimed at deepening and broadening one’s knowledge and skills. Previous/current work experience will not be considered.
  • Be supervised by an individual at the internship location. (This supervisor must agree to do so.)  

Note: If you are completing an internship at a facility external to the University, you may be required to have a criminal background check, an ACT 33/34 clearance, and/or a drug screen to determine whether you are qualified to participate in the internship. Additionally, in order to become licensed or employed, many states will inquire as to whether or not you have been convicted of a misdemeanor, a felony, or a felonious or illegal act associated with alcohol and/or substance abuse.

Internship Waivers

Only under exceptional circumstances and with approval by the CGS Assistant Dean, students may be granted a waiver of the internship requirement. Students considering petitioning for a waiver must meet with their CGS advisor first to: 1) confer that a waiver is a viable alternative, and 2) review what documentation should be submitted as part of the waiver packet. Internship waivers are not automatically granted and are evaluated by the CGS internship waiver committee on a case-by-case basis. Waiver requests must be made one term in advance. The review of waivers may take anywhere between one and three weeks. Students are responsible for collecting any required documentation and securing letters of reference. No application for a waiver will be considered before all supporting documents have been submitted. Students who receive a waiver must make up the credits by taking an elective course in their field of studies.

Available Internship Course Options

CGS Program of Study Course Internship Course Instructor Internship Hours Required

Administration of Justice / Legal Studies 

ADMJ 1900 Pre-Service Internship

Internship Course Instructor: Shawn Ellies | sellies@pitt.edu 

Faculty sponsor: Wesley Hiers, Director, Administration of Justice and Legal Studies programs | wjh16@pitt.edu

120

Public Service / Non-Profit Management Certificate

PUBSRV 1900 Internship Seminar

Carol Balk | bmm96@pitt.edu

120

Media and Professional Communications & all other programs not listed here

CGS 1900 Choosing Your Path Internship

Mark Burdsall | 412-624-8038 | pauab5@pitt.edu 

120

National Preparedness and Homeland Security Certificate

NPHS 1900

Carry Balaban or Kenneth Sochats | cbalaban@pitt.edu or sochats@pitt.edu 

150