Internships - undergraduate level

Open Internships
Boy Scouts of America - ScoutReach Program Lead
Camp Seymour: Grant Researcher. Contact Internship Program Manager before applying.
Camp Seymour: Marine Science Curriculum Development. Contact Internship Program Manager before applying.
Camp Seymour: Sustainability Internship. Contact Internship Program Manager before applying.
Camp Seymour: Videographer Internship. Contact Internship Program Manager before applying.
First Tee
Joint Base Lewis-McChord - Education Services
The Ledger - Various Positions
Museum of Glass: contact Internship Program Manager.
Pacific Northwest Salmon Center: Grantwriting Assistant. Contact Internship Program Manager before applying.
Pacific Northwest Salmon Center: Media Intern. Contact Internship Program Manager before applying.
Pacific Northwest Salmon Center: Noxious Weed Technician. Contact Internship Program Manager before applying.
Pacific Northwest Salmon Center: Summer Chum Sampling Assistant. Contact Internship Program Manager before applying.
RallyPoint 6 - SCOUT or Fellowship Internship

One of the most rewarding things you can do while you are a student at UW Tacoma is an academic internship. Employers and graduate schools like to see this experience in your college education because internships develop your initiative, sense of responsibility, and problem solving skills.

Internship FAQs

How do I register for an internship?

The basic steps: find an internship, find a faculty supervisor and fill out the IAS Internship Learning Agreement. You then bring the internship learning agreement to the IAS office. You'll be given an entry code to register. You register for an internship just as you would any academic course. For more details on the registration process and the academic requirements during an internship, see below.

Does the School of IAS provide internship placements?

No, we do not provide formal placements. Students are expected to be proactive in finding an internship site. The IAS Internship Program Manager may know of internship openings for your major, and if not, will guide and help you with ideas.

Who should I ask to be my faculty supervisor?

A faculty member who knows who you are; it can be someone you have taken one or more courses from where you did well or your faculty advisor might be willing to do it.

What is the required number of hours to earn my credit?

Generally, three (3) hours per week for 10 weeks equals one (1) credit, or a total of 30 hours.

Credit Hours Hours Worked per Week
2 6
3 9
4 12
5 15
6 18
7 21
8 24
9 27
10 30

How many credits can I earn for internships?

A student can receive 1-15 credits for an internship, but all 15 credits may not count toward a student's major; some of the credits may have to be counted as elective credits. It depends on what your major allows and what courses you already have taken. Please contact your academic advisor to see how the credits can be applied.

Can my internship be more than one quarter (for example summer and fall quarters)?

Yes, if your faculty supervisor and site supervisor agree to it. You can earn the same number of credits each quarter, for example 5 and 5 to equal 10 total credits, or split the number of credits any way that it makes sense for your internship project. Each quarter requires a new internship contract. For example, if you do an internship for summer and fall quarters, you need to fill out a contract and register for the internship for each of those two quarters.

How do I fill out the learning objectives on the internship learning agreement?

When you meet with your faculty supervisor to discuss the internship, you should talk about the learning objectives. The objectives will outline what you and your faculty supervisor set as your educational goals for the internship. They will reflect what tasks the site supervisor has assigned to you; "task A will help me to learn, understand and develop skills in..."

Can I earn credit for an internship I have already done?

Retroactive credit for an internship will not be granted. Internships must be set up as a learning experience ahead of time so that the work can be academically approved and guided by a faculty supervisor.

Do I have to pay tuition for an internship?

Yes. An internship that earns academic credit is the same as taking any other academic course.

Can I do my internship this summer and register for the credits this fall?

We strongly discourage this, but if it is a financial aid hardship it can be done with the approval of the faculty supervisor and the School of IAS.

The internship I am applying for requires a resume and cover letter. Where can I find help writing these documents?

The Career Development office on our campus in MAT 106 can help you with a resume and/or cover letter. In addition, UW Seattle offers students online help with resumes and cover letters. On the Seattle Campus Career Center web page, click on the Career Guide and Online Streaming Workshops icons.

Questions you should be able to answer before committing to an internship:
  • Why do I want to do an internship?
  • What is my area of interest?
  • How does this relate to my degree program?
  • What do I want to learn from an internship?
  • How much time do I have to commit to an internship?

Internship Course Numbers

Internship Course Number Grading Options
TCOM 490 Credit/No Credit
TESC 496 Credit/No Credit
TIAS 496 Credit/No Credit
TPOLS 496
Contact Ann Frost to initiate the process
Graded for capstone project
TPOLS 497
This internship is paid and competitive.
Graded for capstone project
TSPAN 496 Credit/No Credit

While a student can receive 1-15 credits for an internship, all 15 credits may not count toward a student’s major; some of the credits may have to be counted as elective credits. Please contact your academic advisor in the Academic Advising Center to determine how you can use these credits.

It is recommended that students do an internship during their junior or senior year within the last 90 credits of their degree program.

UW Tacoma's Institution to Institution Internship Program (I21)

These positions are PAID and competitive.

The I21 program is designed to provide year-long internships to current students while providing transformational professional and educational experiences that directly relate to educational and career goals. Students have the option of earning academic credit and should consult with their program and academic advisor for details on degree planning. All students selected for these internships must have a faculty advisor with whom they meet with on a regular basis, regardless of whether they are earning academic credit or not.

For more information, contact Julia Smith in Urban Studies.


IMPORTANT: At the latest, students who want to do an internship should prepare during the quarter preceding the one in which they plan to register for the internship. This means the BEGINNING of that quarter; not the end of the quarter. Be aware that many internship applications have deadlines; especially the ones for government agencies and larger corporations. You need to start looking early!

In summary, internships combine academics and work at a site outside the classroom setting. Details about the academic and work expectations are outlined in a mutually-agreed-upon Learning Agreement between the work-site supervisor, a faculty supervisor and a student. In addition to working at the site, students are expected to complete academic requirements including a work log/journal, a final paper related to the work project and a self-evaluation of the internship experience. Generally, three (3) hours of work per week during an eleven-week quarter is equal to one (1) credit.

Credit Hours Hours Worked per Week
1 3
2 6
3 9
4 12
5 15

Retroactive credit for an internship will not be granted. For example, if a student completes volunteer work or a non-academic internship over the summer, and then requests credit for an internship, it will not be approved. Internships must be set up as a learning experience ahead of time so that the work can be academically approved and guided by a faculty supervisor.

There are 3 basic steps to register for an internship:
  1. Find an internship.
  2. Find a faculty supervisor.
  3. Complete the IAS Internship Learning Agreement.

How to register for an internship

Find an internship site

  • Determine the type of work you want to do and identify the learning objectives you want to accomplish by engaging in this type of work.
  • Search for a work site and identify a site supervisor. Local businesses, government, non-profit agencies and educational institutions regularly utilize interns. There are links on this page to help you start your search for an internship site.

Find a faculty supervisor

  • Make your request once you have found an internship.
  • The faculty member supervises the academic component of the internship. Faculty sponsorship of internships is at the discretion of the IAS faculty.
  • A natural fit is a faculty member who teaches courses that match the content of your internship.
  • It’s best to approach a faculty member with whom you already have a working relationship.
  • Determine the number of credits you wish to attempt. Generally, three (3) hours/week on site over the course of an 11-week quarter will earn one (1) credit. Check with an IAS academic advisor or your faculty advisor about appropriate placement of these internship credits in your program of study. Remember, internships are offered only on a credit/no credit basis.

Academic requirements

  • Meetings: In addition to the initial development meetings, students are expected to confer on a weekly basis at a specified time with the site supervisor and the faculty supervisor to review and assess the student's performance and progress in the internship. Meetings with faculty should be on days when they have office hours. Conferencing via email is also encouraged.
     
  • Course assignments:
    • Work log - Students must maintain a weekly work log in which they keep a record of their work and their comments and reflections on it. The log should be submitted to the faculty supervisor at least twice during the quarter and again with the final paper.
       
    • Final paper - Students must submit a paper at the end of the quarter. The paper should provide an analysis of an issue or issues related to the field work experience, and should use relevant books, articles and other reference sources suggested and approved by the faculty supervisor, to give depth and a broader perspective to work experiences. The paper will vary in length according to the number of credits being earned: 1-2 credits = 4-5 pages, 3-4 credits = 7-8 pages, 5 credits = 10-15 pages. At the discretion of the faculty supervisor, other projects may substitute for the final paper.
       
    • Self-evaluation - Students must submit an evaluation of their internship, 12 pages in length, indicating whether their goals were met, how they performed their responsibilities and whether their ideas and attitudes changed as a result of the experience.

Complete the paperwork

  • When writing the learning objectives for the internship, ask yourself the following questions:
  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • How will you know that you have reached the goal?
  • What methods or resources will you use to attain this goal?
  • Is this goal attainable within this context?
  • How will this goal assist your educational or vocational development?
  • Ask your faculty supervisor and site supervisor to review and sign the completed form. Make copies of the signed form before coming to the IAS office. The original will be kept in the IAS office. You will need to have copies for your faculty supervisor, your site supervisor and for your own records. Bring the original signed form to the IAS office to obtain an entry code for registration and to have the IAS Internship Program Manager review and sign it.
     
  • If your faculty supervisor is a lecturer, rather than a tenured professor, the form requires the signature of the Dean of IAS or the Associate Dean of Students. The IAS office will obtain this signature for you, but it may delay the completion of your form for a few days. Please turn your form in early to allow for this. The entry code for registration will be emailed to you as soon as possible.
     
  • Completion of the form does not mean you are automatically enrolled in the course. Use the entry code to register before the 10th day of the quarter.
IAS intern Jordan Wilkerson with Steve Pool. Jordan networked to obtain an internship at KOMO.

Mid-term evaluation forms for student and site supervisor: These forms provide the student and site supervisor a way to evaluate how the internship is evolving. Adjustments can be made to improve the experience at this point if needed.

Final evaluation forms for student and site supervisor: The student's site evaluation provides the student an opportunity to give an assessment of the internship experience. The site supervisor's form ranks the student's performance. Both forms assist us in making modifications for future interns.

The United States Department of Labor website outlines the criteria for unpaid internships under The Fair Labor and Standards Acts.

Internships may be paid or unpaid. Payment for internship work is subject to business/agency policy and is negotiated between the student and the business/agency. Payment is not the distinguishing factor of what defines an academic internship; earning academic credit is the distinguishing factor. Whether or not the student is paid has no bearing on the granting of credit provided all requirements of the IAS Internship Learning Agreement are successfully met.

In the circumstances of a paid internship being done as a Capstone project, it is the student’s responsibility to check with their faculty supervisor to ensure all Capstone requirements are being met.

Starting your search for an internship:

Searching the web is an important tool for finding an internship, but also be sure to talk with family members, faculty and friends for their ideas and possible referrals. The School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences does not provide internship placements. However, the IAS Internship Program Manager may know of openings in your area of study or will be able to help you with ideas and suggestions.

To find companies and organizations that might offer internships in your area of study, search by keywords and include "internships" in your search. Some organizations list their internship opportunities under their employment or jobs sections on their websites.

Some general websites with internship postings

Writing a proposal for an internship

If you find an internship position with an application process in place, all you need to do is apply. If you are hoping to create an internship at an organization of interest, you will need to write a proposal. Many great internships are waiting to be created! Some companies do not participate in a formal internship program or publicize their opportunities, but this does not mean they are unwilling to consider an intern. If you are willing to put in the time and effort to find an opportunity tailored to your goals, you can develop a very rewarding experience for yourself.

How to write your proposal

  • Define what you are proposing; is it a specific project the organization needs or a particular position you know about? It's important to define a concise description of what you are offering to do for the company. The people at the organization are too busy to take the time to help define what someone "willing to do anything" could do as an intern. Defining what you want to do should be a reflection of the learning goals you have set for yourself.
     
  • Highlight why you are a good fit for the project you want to work on or the position you want to fill.
     
  • Include the dates of your availability and how many hours a week you can be on site. Also, let the organization know if you are seeking a paid or non-paid position.
     
  • Include an updated resume and a cover letter with your proposal.
     
  • Find the name of a specific person within the organization that has the authority to hire an intern. Make an initial contact through a phone call or an email. Ask if they hire interns, have hired interns in the past or if they might consider hiring an intern. If they are willing to have an intern, ask if you may forward your proposal, cover letter and resume for their review.
     
  • How to find the right person to send it to: start with Human Resources, but also request referrals to a manager who might hae a better idea of the company's current project needs.
     
  • Follow up with a thank you note - a handwritten thank you note - even if you do not get an internship. Remember, you are establishing contacts in your chosen profession and first impressions matter.

How to be successful in your internship

  • One of the most important steps you can take as you begin your internship is to treat it like a real job. That means taking ownership of how you do it and what you gain from it. Prepare by thinking about the goals that you have identified for yourself and what you hope to learn and achieve.
     
  • Treat everyone you meet with respect and professionalism, and build appropriate relationships with everyone. An internship is an important part of laying the foundations for your professional career.
     
  • Respect the organization’s dress code. If you have to ask if an outfit is appropriate for the workplace, it probably isn’t.
     
  • Keep conversations professional. You want to establish a reputation based on your work, not on your personal life. As a UW Tacoma student, you are a representative of the University; this means you need to be at your best in all circumstances.
     
  • Know the organization’s policies and procedures. Spend time before you start your internship reviewing any information you have about the organization. Ask questions about policies and procedures on such things as voice mail and email etiquette, internal communications, etc. so that you know what is expected of you.
     
  • Foster a good working relationship with your mentor/supervisor. Keep track of your projects and accomplishments to use when you have a meeting with your supervisor and also for updating your resume.
     
  • Ask for clarification on expectations. Ask for help with those things you don’t understand and ask for more challenging work when you are ready for it. Be open to all feedback and constructive criticism.
     
  • Show enthusiasm for your assignments. Take initiative and seek out opportunities to learn. See if there are any ways you can make improvements. However, understand what your limits and bounds are as an intern and work within them.
     
  • Take the time to get to know your co-workers and understand how to work well with them. Ask about what they do and how their work supports the goals of the organization. Think about how you can be a professional and contributing member of the team.
     
  • At the end of your internship, reflect on what you have learned about yourself; your abilities, skills, interests, values and accomplishments. Did your internship contribute to your future plans? Did you meet the goals of your learning objectives?
     
  • If all you learned from your internship is that this field is not the right one for you, that is still very valuable information. Use it to rework your plans for the future.

A nice final touch that will leave a good impression of you: Send a thank you letter to your supervisor. Don't make the mistake of using a template you find on the Internet. Write a personalized note using your own words, and mention specific good experiences that you had as an intern.

Please contact the IAS Internship Program Manager if you have any questions.