Undergraduate Internship Academic Credit

Undergraduate Internship Academic Credit

General Information

Business Administration BNAD293a/393a is elective credit, supplemental to a student’s internship experience. The Eller College of Management does not require internship credit for student interns, nor does it assign or place students into internships. Students who apply for internship credit are enrolled in an online course which requires academic components that are mandatory for a satisfactory performance. BNAD293a/393a is a competitive course in which students must meet minimum requirements in order to be accepted in the class. The Eller College of Management cannot guarantee any individual student admittance in the class. The Eller College of Management cannot guarantee any performance outcome that may result from the student internship. All admittance to the course and grading for the course is at the sole discretion of the Internship Coordinator.

Purpose of an Internship

The primary goal of an internship is to give students an opportunity to apply lessons learned in the classroom to a real-world experience set in a professional practice-oriented environment, with the intern’s work preferably overseen by a professional. In addition to offering students the opportunity to demonstrate and develop their technical skills, it allows students to develop professional skills such as teamwork, effective communication, social interaction and professional networking, an understanding of business procedures, leadership and critical thinking. Finally, it should provide students with work experience within a semi-formal academic framework that carries with it official course credit from The University of Arizona.

Overview of Credit

  • Credit will appear on your schedule as BNAD293a (pre-professional) or BNAD393a (professional).
  • BNAD293a and BNAD393a is graded on a pass/fail scale and can be taken for 1, 2 or 3 units.
  • Internship credits will not be awarded retroactively for internship duties performed at an earlier time.
  • Please refer to Academic Contact Hours Chart for the required number of hours to be worked for each unit of internship credit.
  • “House Numbered' Course Limitation—contact your Academic Advisor for more information on departmental policies on House Numbered courses as they may be different
    • House numbered courses that have a "9" as their middle digit (e.g., 299, 393, 494, etc.) are restricted as follows:
      • Students—no more than 9 units may be used to meet degree requirements.
      • Honors students—no more than 15 units may be used to meet degree requirements (including the 6 units of thesis credit).
    • BNAD293a/BNAD393a credit does not fulfill any major requirements (major elective classes)

How to Apply

  1. Submit online internship application on eSMS. First click on the "Careers” tab, then click on "Internships for Credit" and add a new application with all required information.
  2. Upon initial approval, you will receive the Internship Work Plan that will need to be submitted to your internship coordinator. Submit copies of the form to the Internship Coordinator, Alicia Menon, via email to aliciamenon@arizona.edu.
  3. You will receive a confirmation email from the internship coordinator regarding your status.
  4. Check your schedule to verify the correct number of units.
  5. Login to D2L Internship Course Page.

Eligibility Requirements

Minimum Eligibility Qualifications

Before applying for an internship, students should meet the following:

  • Be in good academic standing with the University of Arizona and have maintained at least a 2.5 grade point average (major and cumulative) at the University of Arizona prior to enrolling for an internship.
  • Continuing students should have completed at least two full-time semesters--a minimum of 24 University Credits. Transfer students should have completed at least one full-time semester—a minimum of 12 University Credits.
  • Be currently enrolled at The University of Arizona within the Eller College of Management
  • Be a declared major in the Eller College of Management (Business Major, Pre-Business, BA Economics or Pre-Economics)
  • Students in the Honors College may consult with an Honors College advisor regarding Honors credit for an internship.

Student Interns Agree to:

  • Apply for internship credit at least one week before the beginning of the semester for credit to be earned. The course must run concurrently with the dates of the internship.
  • Pay any registration fees associated with the credits to be earned, and if you receive financial aid, consult with the Financial Aid and/or Scholarship Office prior to registering.
  • Discuss with your prospective supervisor at the work site the possible risks and dangers associated with the planned internship.
  • Recognize that you are representing The University of Arizona as an ambassador to the community and abide by the Student Code of Conduct and Code of Academic Integrity.
  • Fulfill all of the academic assignments and reporting requirements of the internship course as specified by the department in order for a grade to be assigned.
  • Ensure that your direct supervisor is able and willing to submit an evaluation on your behalf. Some organizations have personnel policies prohibiting your supervisor from providing a written intern evaluation. If this is the case, special arrangements must be made for your supervisor to speak directly with the course instructor about your performance.
  • Before the end of the semester, complete the Student’s Internship Evaluation Form and give this to the course instructor.
  • Submit the final internship portfolio to the course instructor by the date specified.

Academic Requirements

Dates and Deadlines

Fall and Spring internship credit will require all academic portions due the last day of the regular class of the semester of enrollment. Summer internship credit will appear on students’ Summer schedule for the session that best reflects the duration of the internship. All academic portions for summer internships are due the last day of classes for the corresponding Summer session.

Academic Components

  • All students are required to complete an intern profile with photo, participate in the D2L discussion thread, submit an employer evaluation, complete a student intern evaluation and to turn in personalized academic components as part of the Internship Course.
    • Assumption of Risk Release Form due at the beginning of the semester.
    • Intern Profile—Each student will be asked to answer specific questions on their internship for use in the Professional Development Center internship profiles (posted on bulletin boards, the website and shared with other interested students). This must also include a photo.
    • D2L Discussion Thread—Throughout the semester, you will be asked to log in to a D2L page in order to participate in a discussion thread with other interns. You will get the opportunity to post responses to specific questions posted by the internship coordinator throughout the semester. The intention is to give interns a perspective on the various types of internships available and to network with interns in other fields of interest.
    • Student Internship Evaluation Form—This form is for the student to assess your internship experience at the conclusion of your internship. This form is available on D2L.
    • Academic Components—Defined by the student’s choice and specific internship type. The number of components is determined by the ACADEMIC CONTACT HOURS CHART BELOW (total number of hours committed to the internship and number of units). Each component is approximately 500 words in length and detailed directions are given for each component. The student will turn in all academic components at the end of the internship term or by 5 p.m. on the last day of regular class for the semester of enrollment.

Academic Contact Hours Chart

Total Hours Worked 1 unit 2 units 3 units
Minimum 45 to 89 hours 4 components N/A N/A
90 to 134 hours 3 components 6 components N/A
> 135 hours 2 component 5 components 7 components

Eller Undergraduate Department Responsibilities

The department’s role in the partnership is to send students who will be good UA ambassadors to the community and to ensure that students will have a quality “hands on” learning experience. An internship also enhances the lines of communication between faculty and professionals in business, industry and government. The internship is an excellent complement to the department’s curriculum.

Department Internship Coordinators Agree to:

  1. Select students who are in good academic standing.
  2. Ensure that students are not awarded internship credit for their ongoing job. If an exception is made for a student who is a paid employee of the sponsoring organization, require the student and the work supervisor to submit letters outlining the additional work to be performed above and beyond the student’s regular work responsibilities (e.g., the internship component might be 10 hours/week spent completing a special project beyond the student’s usual work hours).
  3. Ensure that interns are not used as free labor in for-profit organizations/facilities that are owned or operated by the faculty member who will award the internship credit and grade. If internships are permitted in such a facility, the interns should be compensated as an employee of the organization.
  4. Inform students of the necessity of complying with pertinent department and workplace policies and procedures.
  5. If the student’s internship involves doing research with human subjects (e.g., interviewing, collecting data), make sure that Human Subjects training is provided as appropriate to the student’s assignment.
  6. Require that instructors document communications with the student and work supervisor regarding internship activities.
  7. Notify the student that, unless other agreements are made between the student and instructor, the instructor and department will not be responsible for any financial obligations incurred by the student for his/her participation; this includes, but is not limited to, travel and housing arrangements.
  8. Notify the student that neither the instructor nor the University will be responsible for the payment of any medical care for injuries alleged to have resulted from the student’s work experiences.
  9. Address the kind and amount of compensation (if any) that the department permits for internship credit (e.g., volunteer work, paid employment, a scholarship, room and board).

Course Instructors’ Supervisory Responsibilities

  1. The instructor and sponsoring organization supervisor should maintain regular communication about the student’s work activities during the internship. Any conflicts should be quickly resolved by communication among the student, instructor and sponsoring organization supervisor.
  2. The instructor should ensure that the internship experience is related to the curriculum by building into the schedule regular interaction with the student. Communication with the student is an important component that elevates the work to a meaningful learning experience.
  3. The instructor should require the intern to report on a regular basis throughout the internship. These reports should include:
    1. a brief comment on allocation of the intern’s time during the period,
    2. progress toward objectives, and
    3. discussion of any significant difficulties with the internship.

Frequently Asked Questions

What classifies as an acceptable internship for credit?

  • An internship consists of specialized duties that provide training and practice in actual service in settings such as an industry, business, research laboratory, theatre, museum, community agency or government office.
  • Student interns should not replace or serve the purpose of a regularly paid employee. Students in paid internships will need to indicate on their application how their internship goes beyond a normal paid part time position at the organization.
  • Internship credit cannot be awarded for an ongoing job. If an exception is made for a student who is a paid employee of the sponsoring organization, require the student AND the work supervisor to submit letters outlining the additional work to be performed above and beyond the student’s regular work responsibilities (e.g., the internship component might be 10 hours/week spent completing a special project beyond the student’s usual work hours).
  • Internship must be directly related to the student's major and the student must be able to provide documentation from Academic Advisor, Faculty member, and/or Supervisor if requested.
  • The 80-20 rule: No more than 20 percent of the intern's task can be designated as clerical (answering phones, filing, etc). The other 80 percent should be substantial project based tasks allowing the intern to witness the primary business functions of the organization.
  • Internship credits will not be awarded retroactively for internship duties performed at an earlier time.
  • Internship credit cannot be awarded more than 3 units in only one semester for the same internship as this would be duplicate credit on your SAPR. Student must be able to show documentation of a title change, increased responsibilities and/or a change in assigned duties in order to be eligible for credit for a continuing internship.
  • Approval for credit is left at the sole discretion of the Internship Coordinator for the college. If you should have questions on whether or not your internship would be approved for credit, please contact the Professional Development Center.

Is there a deadline to apply for internship credit?

Internship credit must be awarded concurrently with the semester you are interning. Internship credit cannot be retroactively or proactively added. Internship credit is offered during the Fall, Spring and Summer sessions. 

Typically, the Internship Application will be due one week prior to the beginning of the semester in order to give enough time to get approved and registered before the late fee takes affect. Make sure you contact tatumrochin@arizona.edu to be aware of the exact deadline to apply for internship credit for any given semester.

Why should I earn academic credit for my internship?

  • You will have the ability to complement your work experience with an opportunity to reflect on your experience through academic assignments.
  • The internship experience is recorded on your transcript as academic credit.
  • You will have the opportunity to participate in conversations with other interns regarding their experiences and allowing you to network.
  • Employers that require credit will receive documentation describing your enrollment
  • At the end of the semester, you will walk away with a portfolio of work accomplished as part of your internship, along with an evaluation of your performance.

How much will internship credit cost?

Internship credit is regular academic credit. Therefore, all regular university tuition rates, fees, and deadlines apply. Students are financially responsible for any credit. Please use the Bursar's office tuition calculator  to determine the cost per unit for the semester you are interested in applying for.

What responsibilities does my employer have, if any?

Your internship supervisor must agree to correspond with the internship coordinator and to submit an internship evaluation form.

  • Ensure that your direct supervisor is able and willing to submit an evaluation on your behalf.
  • This evaluation is a portion of your academic grade.
  • Some organizations have human resource policies that prevent them from writing on behalf of their interns, if this is the case we will need to make special arrangements for the supervisor to speak directly with the internship coordinator on the student’s behalf.

Sponsoring Organization Responsibilities

An internship provides organizations with an effective outreach to qualified and motivated students. The primary goal of the internship, as stated above, has educational and mentoring components that can be satisfied only through a formal partnership between the organization and University of Arizona college or department. It is the intent of the program that this partnership provides a meaningful learning experience to students as prospective professionals. In this manner, the organization becomes an important asset in the development of interns. As a secondary benefit, the organization has access to well-qualified students as potential candidates for full-time employment after graduation. As a tertiary benefit, the program allows supervisors to evaluate prospective long-term employees under actual work conditions at minimal cost. Initial contacts through the internship may lead to recruitment and eventual hiring, upon graduation, of an employee who has experience with the employer’s operating procedures. In addition, multiple internships with the same student over his/her academic career may enable the intern to function at a higher level that will free full-time professional staff for more complex work.

The sponsoring organization’s responsibilities are:

  1. Assign a full-time professional as the Internship Supervisor.
  2. Prepare a Letter of Agreement outlining the organization’s understanding of the internship it intends to offer, typically under the following headings:
    1. Purpose of the Internship—A brief statement that describes the purpose of the internship and includes a statement on how the program philosophy will be maintained.
    2. Status of the Intern—A brief description of the intern’s status within the agency: expected number of hours per week, hourly wage or salary (if any), eligibility for benefits or not, eligibility for promotion or not, etc.
    3. Minimum Qualifications—A statement that describes the minimum qualifications required of applicants for the internship. Minimum qualifications should include education, work experience, personal qualities, and special skills and knowledge.
    4. Job Description—A broad statement of the job function that describes the intern’s duties and responsibilities, including the identification of a “chain of command” for reporting purposes. Also include the name and position title of the expected supervisor.
  3. Provide proper information and signatures on the student’s Internship Application Form. This is an agreement between the student, the organization, and the department.
  4. Provide pertinent policies and procedures to the prospective intern before she/he begins working.
  5. Provide relevant education/training to the intern.
  6. Maintain the intern status of the student, to be distinguished from employment status.
  7. Make individual arrangements, if agreed upon between the student and organization for any stipend or other benefit of service deemed appropriate.
  8. Notify the department of any decision to remove the student from the internship prior to the agreed upon time, due to the student’s failure to comply with rules or regulations, and provide a written report to the department regarding the reasons for terminating the intern.
  9. Complete and submit to the course instructor the Internship Final Evaluation by the deadline specified by department. The Internship Evaluation will be provided by the student intern.