What is an internship?

"Internships" come in many different shapes and forms—for that reason the word has varied meanings.

For some, it means "volunteer," for others "paid apprenticeship." Some organizations require that you earn academic credit, while others don't. Different terms might be used to describe an internship, such as "externship" or "fellowship." In some cases, summer jobs, work-study, or part-time situations might qualify as internships.

The three most common factors that define an internship are these:

  1. The work has a specific end point; it is temporary, whether it's a month or two years in duration.
  2. The work includes specific learning objectives.
  3. The work is performed under the guidance of a supervisor or mentor.

At Puget Sound, it's possible to link some situations that meet these criteria to the curriculum for academic credit. Curious about pursuing an internship for credit? Contact CES. We can help you strategize!