Internships and Co-ops

What are they, how to get them, and why they are useful?

Internships are an opportunity for students to get hands-on experience in the field of their choice. They offer real-world work experience, and opportunities to network with professionals. Additionally, most Engineering and Technology internships are paid an average of $16 an hour! 

Internships, Co-ops and Externships Explained


An Internship is a supervised pre-professional learning experience that allows students to apply their skills and knowldege in a professional setting. 

These experiences are designed to enhance the student's preparedness for an intended career with a business, industry, or government agency. Internships can be either full-time or part-time lasting the duration of one semester. They are also available every fall, spring, and summer semesters. 

Students may complete multiple internships with the same company or change employers at the completion of the semester. Because internships are a learning experience specific to your field of study, you may be eligible to utilize them for credit towards your degree program. 

Co-op is short for cooperative education which is a formal plan of education in which students alternate approximately three semeseters of full-time work with full-time study. 

The "traditional" co-op begins at the completion of the freshman year and last for five work sessions, but many co-ops start later in the student's academic career and lasts for three sessions. The student's duties will progress over the course of each session until they are performing the tasks that they would be expected to do upon graduation. Co-ops like internships are learning experiences that may be used for credit toward your degree program. 

An Externship is a single-day job shadowing experience. Job shadowing is an activity in which students arrange to spend a few hours or days observing professionals working in their fields of interest. 

Students may see firsthand many of the rewards and challenges of a particular career as well as some of the job characteristics that no one ever thinks to tell you. Externships are not eligible for academic credit. 


Reasons to do an Internship

  • Increase understanding of classroom theory through hands-on application
  • Confirm your choice of major
  • Investigate potential career opportunities
  • Sharpen interpersonal skills
  • Become more marketable upon graduation
  • Earn a competitive wage while you learn
  • Earn academic credit

Where can I find an Internship?

The job search process can be a daunting task.  The key to success is being proactive and treating the search like a job in and of itself.  Take initiative, stay active, and utilize the Office of Career Services to aid you in the process.

Visit the Job Search Process section to find out more.

Job Search Process

Can International Students do Internships?

Yes, International Students could benefit greatly from doing an internship! 

International students are eligible to do up to a year of internships/co-op experience utilizing Curricular Practical Training. Information on CPT and how to apply is available through the Office of International Affairs website.

Office of International Affairs

Register for the Internship / Co-Op Course

If you would like to obtain course credit for your internship or co-op experience, simply follow the below steps. Once you have submitted your information and your supervisor has submitted their details, you will receive an email from our office with permission to enroll in the course. 

To enroll in the internship course, please follow these steps: 

Step One: Obtain and accept an internship offer

Step Two: Complete the form located at:

Step Three: Ask your Supervisor to complete the form located at:

Step Four: After both forms are received, Career Services will review and process them. Student will receive an email that will provide final instructions for enrollment in the internship course.

Step Five: Once you are enrolled, you will be able to view all the assignments in Canvas.

  • To enroll in the course, students must be enrolled in one of our academic programs or be a pre-major.

  • Internship Experience must be related to your major.

  • Experience must last a minimum of ten weeks and 200 hours. Construction Management internships must last 400 hours.

  • You must enroll in the course at the same time you are completing your internship experience. EDDP students will be permitted a one-term deferral to enroll during the Fall semester for summer internships and co-ops due to the unique financial arrangement with the partner institution.

If you have difficulties registering for the course or have questions about the process, please email  

Paid or Unpaid?

The Office of Career Services and Professional Development strongly encourages our employers to pay interns and co-ops. (IUPUI Engineering and Technology students receive $10-$25 per hour for their internships with an overall average of $16.00 per hour.)

Although the vast majority of these opportunities are paid, please keep in mind the primary purpose of interning or co-oping is to gain valuable experience in your field. Pay should be secondary to the resume-building experience provided by the employer and unpaid experiences are elegible for credit. 

When pursuing unpaid positions be certain to scrutinize the duties and responsibilities of each position to make certain that the opportunity matches your career objectives. If you are unsure of the credibility of the position, please feel free to contact our office for assistance.