FAQ for Students
1. What is an Internship?
2. Why participate in an Internship?
3. What kind of employers or worksites might students find?
4. Will students have enough of the skills that employers might expect?
5. Will other students be working there?
6. How can students work and still be a student?
7. How does an internship fit into my schedule?
8. How do students find an internship position?
9. How many credits can students earn?
10. Enrollment requirements
11. Why would students want to register for an internship?
12. How do students register for internship credits?
13. What is the cost?
14. How does an internship fit into graduation requirements?
15. How are internship credits graded?
16. What is needed for a passing or satisfactory grade?
17. Under what circumstances would a student receive a failing or unsatisfactory grade?
18. Are students eligible for financial aid?
19. Does an incomplete grade affect financial aid for the following semester?
20. Are there additional requirements for international students?
What is the Internship Program?
The NDSU Career Center defines an Internship as paid work experience related to students’ academic major or career goal and taken for academic credit. Employers hire Internship students to achieve company goals by providing work opportunities to students whose skill sets are current to the position offered.
Why participate in the Internship Program?
- Test a career decision before graduation
- Gain a competitive edge in the professional job market
- Gain "real life" experience
- Earn money to help with college expenses
- Network with professionals and potential employers
- Improve resume writing, job searching and interviewing skills
What kind of employers or worksites might students find?
Students will find a broad range of opportunities. Some are large corporations representing a wide scope of career fields, such as: technology, manufacturing, financial services, sales and communications. Many students work in smaller businesses, gaining important entrepreneurial experience. Others are employed at nonprofit agencies and government offices.
Will students have enough of the skills that employers might expect?
Employers realize students are developing their skills as they continue their education and plan appropriate work levels.
Will other students be working there?
It depends on the employer. Smaller businesses are less likely to have other students, while larger companies may employ multiple students each term.
How can students work and still be a student?
By registering for 3 credits through the NDSU Internship Program-working 300 hours or more per semester- students maintain full-time student status even if they are not taking any additional credits. During this time, student loans do not enter repayment.
How does an internship fit into NDSU students’ schedule?
Internship Program assignments may be completed during any semester. Options include:
- Parallel: Students work part-time with a local employer and still take classes at NDSU
- Alternating: Students alternate between attending classes on campus full-time for a semester and working full-time on an internship assignment for a semester
- One Semester: Students work on an internship assignment for one semester only
- Consecutive: Students work 2 or 3 semesters in a row
How do students find an internship position?
Many students will find and apply for the internship position of their choice through a posting on CAREERlink.
Some students find positions related to their major on their own and want to earn internship credit. Other areas to search include:
- Career Fairs
- Company websites
- Academic departments
- Newspaper/independent job search
- Schedule an appointment with a Career Specialist to discuss your position.
How many credits can students earn?
Credits are earned on the number of hours worked per semester.
- 100-199 hours per semester = 1 credit
- 200-299 hours per semester = 2 credits
- 300+ hours per semester = 3 credits
- Minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA prior to internship registration
- Internship is directly related to the student's academic major and/or career goals
- Duties are defined and at the professional or paraprofessional level
- Students must be engaged in learning by actively participating in the work experience
- Students must work on-site (working remotely is not allowed)
- Students must be paid at least minimum wage
- Students must be covered under employers' Worker’s Compensation insurance or comparable vocational training insurance
Why would students want to register for Internship Program credits instead of just working a part-time job?
Students who participate in the Internship Program are stronger job applicants after they graduate because they have acquired prior, related experience generally sought by employers.
Additionally, students registered for the program have the benefit of maintaining full-time student status and have the academic credits reflected on their transcripts.
How do students register for internship credits?
Appointments are required to register for credits and to complete the necessary forms. Call 701-231-7111 to schedule an appointment. Students will come to the Career Center at 306 Ceres Hall and should plan to spend 20-30 minutes completing the registration packet.
If a student is extending an out-of-town experience (or is registering from out-of-town for the first time), contact the Internship Program Coordinator at 701-231-7111.
What is the cost?
Cost per credit is always the same as in-state tuition based on students major, plus university fees. There are no additional continuing education fees.
Payment for credits is the responsibility of the student, unless covered by the employer or a third party. A growing number of employers are making the investment in NDSU students by paying the cost of the student’s credits; however, this payment is not required of the employer, so this will depend on each experience credits.
How does an internship fit into graduation requirements?
Every college recognizes the credits differently, so it is important for students to discuss where internship credits are applied to their curriculum with their faculty advisor. Most commonly, students use the internship credits in the following areas:
- Fulfill a curriculum requirement
- Technical elective credits
- Free elective credits
How are internship credits graded?
- Undergraduate students are graded Pass/Fail and Graduate students are graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.
- "Pass" does not affect students' GPA; "Fail" is calculated into students' GPA
- Graduate students' GPA is not affected unless the internship is part of the students’ course plan
- If all required items are not returned on time, students will receive an incomplete grade. All incomplete grades must be resolved by mid-term of the following semester or it will be converted into a failing grade.
- Credits are not given a letter grade intentionally. The Internship Program is intended to give students an opportunity to test a career decision, not to impact students' GPA.
What is needed for a passing or satisfactory grade?
All students are required to return:
- Work agreement
- Midterm evaluation
- Final evaluation (completed by the student and supervisor).
- Some students have an assignment due to their faculty advisor given at the beginning of the semester, and due at the end of the semester. Once the advisor reviews the assignment and deems it satisfactory, the advisor will notify the Career Center.
Under what circumstances would a student receive a failing or unsatisfactory grade?
- The student does not return required documentation by midterm of the following semester
- The student separates employment early without due cause
- The student is terminated from employment for poor performance or unprofessional conduct
Are students eligible for financial aid?
Yes. The NDSU Registrar’s Office considers enrollment for students taking a 3 credit of internship as full-time, 2 credits of internship as three-quarter time and 1 credit of internship as half-time enrollment. NDSU Student Financial Services will evaluate a student’s eligibility for federal financial aid based on their equivalent enrollment rather than their actual number of enrolled credits. If the student is enrolled for credits in addition to the internship, they will count toward total enrollment for financial aid awarding purposes.
Types of federal aid that students may be awarded include the Pell Grant, Direct Loans, Perkins Loan and SEOG. Federal Work-Study is not awarded since the student is already employed. North Dakota residents will also receive consideration for the North Dakota State Grant. Students seeking federal or state financial aid are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) annually at www.fafsa.ed.gov, and eligibility for aid is based on the completed FAFSA.
If you have additional costs associated with your internship such as dual housing (maintaining housing both locally and in the city of your internship), commuting costs, required uniforms or clothing for a specific dress code, etc., you may request a budget increase to allow for additional aid by completing the Budget Increase Request Form at http://www.ndsu.edu/bisonconnection/finaid/other/budget_increase_request/.
For more information on financial aid, contact Andy at 701-231-6221 or Kristie at 701-231-8061.
Does an incomplete grade affect financial aid for the following semester?
Yes. Incomplete grades are treated as failing grades for financial aid during the evaluation of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). If a student’s financial aid is affected, the student will receive an email from the financial aid office alerting them of their SAP status of either financial aid warning or financial aid disqualification. When an incomplete grade is changed the student should contact Brigit in Student Financial Services to notify her of the grade change and their SAP status will be reevaluated at that time.
For more information on financial aid, contact Student Financial Services at 701.231.6200.
Are there additional requirements for international students?
Yes. Although the Immigration and Naturalization Service considers the Internship Program a form of curricular practical training (CPT), F-1 students must complete 9 months (2 semesters, excluding summer) at NDSU prior to participating in an off-campus experience.
Prior to registering for Internship Program credits, students need to contact the Office of International Programs to complete the CPT application.
For more information, contact the Office of International Programs at 701.231.7895.