Internships - undergraduate level

Open Internships
First Tee
Habitat - Family Services
Habitat - Volunteer Services
Harbor WildWatch - Environmental Education
Joint Base Lewis-McChord - Education Services

Participating in an internship is one of the most rewarding things you can do while you are a student at UW Tacoma. Employers and graduate schools like to see this experience in your college education because it prepares you for the world in ways that the classroom experience does not. Independent work develops your initiative, responsibility and creativity. It shows you have the qualities to work independently on projects, and you take pride in your work.

Internship Course Number Grading Options
TCOM 490 Credit/No Credit
TESC 496 Credit/No Credit
TIAS 496 Credit/No Credit
TPOLS 496
Contact Katie Baird 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.

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.

NOTE: At the latest, students considering pursuing internships should prepare during the quarter preceding the one in which they plan to register for the internship. For example, if you plan to register for an internship during the spring quarter, you should start looking for a site in the winter quarter. 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. Please remember that you need to register for your internship by the 10th day of the quarter in which you plan to participate in the internship.

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

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 contract between the work-site supervisor, a faculty sponsor 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. TPOLS 496 students should contact Katie Baird to initiate the process.

Retroactive credit for internship will not be granted. For example, if a student completes volunteer work 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 sponsor.

Shaquita Humphrey-Pressley: Ethnic, Gender, and Labor Studies internship at U.S. Congressman Derek Kilmer’s office
Shaquita Humphrey-Pressley, an Ethnic, Gender and Labor Studies major, interning at U.S. Congressman Derek Kilmer’s office. Shaquita focused on educational issues and was invited by the Congressman’s office to attend a student loan press event in Seattle. Rep. Kilmer read Shaquita’s comments on the importance of affordable student loans to completing an education.
What is an internship?
  • A learning opportunity that applies classroom knowledge to practical experience
  • Is structured and has a defined beginning and end
  • Has well developed, relevant and clearly defined learning objectives
  • Provides mentoring and supervision from a professional with expertise in the field of study
  • Enables the student to develop new skills and advance current skills to the next level
What an internship is NOT:
  • Unpaid labor that has no learning objectives
  • Primarily clerical work
  • Easier than taking course work for credits
  • An unfocused and ill-defined experience
  • Unsupervised work that offers no guidance

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 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.

Questions to ask 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?
  • What geographical location do I want to be in?
  • How much time do I have to commit to an internship?
There are 3 basic steps to register for an internship:
  1. Find an internship.
  2. Find a faculty sponsor.
  3. Complete the Internship Contract Form.

Please contact the IAS Internship Program Manager with questions or concerns.