School of Public Affairs

Internships

What is an internship?

An academic internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theories learned in the classroom with practical application and skill development in a professional setting. Students earn academic credit and are evaluated according to a job description that is incorporated into a course.

Internships are overseen by a faculty member and by a designated employee of the host organization. Academic learning objectives are integral to the internship, distinguishing them from volunteer positions or jobs.

Why should I do an internship?

Internships are a critical part of your educational experience and provide the following benefits:

  • Gain work experience to help you build your skills and resume
  • Apply your classroom education to the work world
  • Develop a professional network of contacts and mentors
  • Define and help focus your career interest
  • Possible employment after internship

Internship process

  1. Meet with your major advisor to ensure that an internship meets program requirements
  2. Meet with your department Internship Faculty Coordinator regarding internship requirements. See department contact and requirements links below.
  3. Departments do not assign or locate internships for students. Apply and secure an internship.
  4. Once you have secured an internship, meet again with your department Internship Faculty Coordinator for approval of the internship. Complete any department paperwork.
  5. Make an appointment to meet with Kristy Modrow, School of Public Affairs Experiential Learning and Outreach Director to complete all required university paperwork.
  6. Once paperwork is approved, start your internship.

Criminal Justice Studies

Internship requirements

Students in concentration programs (Corrections & Reentry, 21st Century Policing and Victim Services) are required to complete least a 3 credit internship (CJS 444 - must be related to CJ).

Minimum requirements to intern include: completion of and a minimum GPA of 2.5 in the following courses: CJS 111, CJS 411 and CJS 433.

It is strongly recommended that students complete a full-time, 16 credit internship as a number of CJ-based organizations require a full-time internship for entry level positions (e.g., corrections). A full-time internship (12-16 credits) equates to 400 hours (25 hours per week). The remaining 13 credits can be used as elective or upper-division university credits. 

Internship duties cannot be the same as duties performed for current employer. Special projects may be considered. 

1 to 11 credits = 33 hours interned per credit/per semester (i.e., 3 credits = 99 hours interned per semester).

12-16 credits = 400+ hours interned per semester (25+ hours interned per week). 

Past internship sites

St. Cloud Area

Twin Cities

Greater MN

Out of State

Economics

Internship requirements

Internship credits range from 1-12 (ECON 444). A maximum of three credits may be applied to the major's elective credits with others applying as general electives.

An employment letter is required with a description of duties/responsibilities. Internship duties cannot be the same as duties performed for current employer. Special projects may be considered. 

3 credits = 10 hours interned per week (160 hours per semester). Most ECON internships are 3 credits.

Past internship sites

Geography & Planning

Internship requirements

Planning & Community Development (CMTY 493)

Credits range from 3-16. 3 Credits count towards the major.

Internships are required of all majors. Students complete a minimum part-time internship (20 hours per week). 

Geography/GIS Internships (GEOG 444)

Credits range from 1-12

Land Surveying and Mapping Sciences (GEOG 444)

Internships are required of all majors. Students complete a full-time internship (40 hours per week), which equates to 3 credits (unless approved by internship faculty advisor).

Hospitality and Tourism (HTSM 444)

Credits range from 1-12

600 hours = 6 credits (required per major requirements)

Students must be admitted into the Hospitality and Tourism Major (students with a HTSM minor are not eligible), must maintain a 2.50 GPA, must have earned a ‘C’ or better in ALL HTSM classes, must have completed a minimum of 60 university credits prior to the first day of the internship.

Past internship sites

Geography/GIS

St. Cloud Area

Twin Cities

Greater MN

Hospitality and Tourism

St. Cloud Area

Twin Cities

Greater MN

Out of State

Land Surveying and Mapping Sciences

St. Cloud Area

Twin Cities

Greater MN

Out Of State

Planning and Community Development

St. Cloud Area

Twin Cities

Greater MN

Out of State

Political Science

Internship requirements

Political Science students can take 3-9 internship credits (POL 444), however, only 3 will count toward degree requirements, while the other 6 credits may count toward general University electives. 

  • 112 internship hours = 3 credits
  • 224 internship hours = 6 credits
  • 336 internship hours = 9 credits

Students must be at least junior (90+ earned credits) to intern. Political Science will not grant credit for prior experience that has been completed. An internship should provide students with a new, challenging experience. 

Minimally, a student should have completed 60 hours of the 120 required to complete a bachelor’s degree prior to interning.

Past internship sites