What is an Academic, Credit-Bearing Internship?

As one approach of experiential education, credit-bearing internships support the University’s mission of providing diverse, dynamic, and meaningful experiences to inspire learners to grow both intellectually and personally; enabling them to contribute positively to local and global communities.  Millersville University recognizes that credit-bearing internship experiences are a valuable part of education, allowing students to engage in a professional experience at an organization with supervision and mentorship from both faculty and employers while developing new skills and learning about a field or industry that complements classroom learning.  The opportunity to apply theory to practice is treated like any other academic course where students may earn credit toward graduation. 

Credit-bearing internship experiences are available to all Millersville University students who meet these eligibility requirements:

  1. Enrolled in a degree program at Millersville University (MU); declared a major and/or minor.
  2. Transfer and second degree students must successfully complete 12 credits at MU.
  3. New first-time, undergraduate students must successfully complete at least 24 credits at MU.
  4. A minimum CGPA and major/minor GPA of at least 2.0 is required (departments may stipulate higher CGPA/major/minor GPA requirements).
  5. Departments may have additional credit or course prerequisites.
  6. Have approval from the appropriate academic department to participate in a credit-bearing internship. This means your first step to start looking for a credit-bearing internship is to complete the request for internship form.
  7. All credit-bearing internship assignments must be approved by the appropriate College/School dean as well.

From the 2017-2018 Millersville University internship evaluations, 94% of employers would consider hiring the student (intern) full-time if an opportunity arose.  Take the first step of applying the knowledge and theory learned in the classroom to developing workplace skills essential for the marketplace by participating in a credit-bearing internship. 

Here's confirmation from your peers why you should complete an internship for credit:

"HIGHLY recommend an internship. School and work are very different, in some ways. From a technical perspective we learn some of the tools and concepts that may be useful in the work place, but ultimately I think it's important to gain first hand experience working in the industry you'd like to get in. Also, it gives you some really good guidance on what you may or may not like. Sometimes the job and people are great but you'd prefer doing something different. Who wouldn't want that?" Bryan Aument, Computer Science May '19 interned at Northrop Grumman Summer 2018 

"I believe that the credit-bearing internship program is a great thing that is employed by Millersville University. It gives students more of a want to go out and get real experience, or it did in my case at least. Once I found out I could get credits for on the job experience as opposed to taking a summer course, it was a no brainer for me. I also like how there are detailed instructions on how to write your paper at the end of your internship. It is extremely helpful and helped me breeze through the paper."  Austin Lowrey, Business Administration, Marketing May '19 interned at Conestoga Wood Specialties Summer 2018

Or read about spring 2017 Applied Engineering Intern, Will Hollis, who interned with James Craft & Son, Inc.

Academic Internships

Rachel’s internship at Aaron’s Acres helped her develop new skills, hands-on experience and field-specific learning.  Watch this video to learn why it’s important for all students to participate in a credit-bearing internship or field experience.

How Our Program Works

Students in ELCM's Credit-Bearing Internship Program are earning academic credits for their internship experience. Review these steps for information on the process to securing an internship for credits.  Here is an overview of what some of the minimum requirements a student must complete in order to earn those credits:

  • All academic internships are completed for a minimum of 3 credits on campus or off-campus
  • Deadlines to register credit-bearing internships for the fall and spring semesters are the drop/add deadlines.  Those dates tend to be a WEEK into the semester.  The deadline for summer internship registration is June 1st.  Please note you must pay for tuition for a credit-bearing internship. For this to occur, students must attend an ELCM registration session as this is how the internship is registered and added to your academic course schedule. 
  • Participation in the internship occurs over a period of 12 to 15 weeks; with students working a minimum of 10 to 30 hours per week; for a minimum of 120 to 225 hours (or 450 for Computer Science majors or Music Business Technology students who are completing their second internship) per semester (hour requirements vary per departments) to earn academic credits for the experience
  • Students must pay tuition (including summer internships)
  • Students must earn a favorable evaluation from the employer
  • Students must initiate and have a minimum of five (5) communications with the faculty internship supervisor establishing learning objectives, goal setting, providing progress reports and evaluating the experience.  One of these communications or meetings should be an employment site visit as long as the company or organization is within a 100 mile radius of Millersville University.
  • Write an outcome paper which is a reflection of the internship experience
  • Complete an evaluation/assessment of the academic internship experience
  • Complete any additional departmental assignments
  • Internship credits will not be awarded retroactively for internship hours performed at an earlier time, meaning a student cannot complete an internship in the summer and register it for internship credit for the following fall semester

Benefits of a Credit-Bearing Internship

Academic Credit 

  • Internships provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to apply classroom knowledge and to strengthen their professional work habits.
  • Credit-bearing internships are part of the total learning experience, giving a student's academic program a sense of reality and relevance.
  • Many employers, colleges, and universities don’t consider an internship real unless it receives course credit through an academic institution. 

Real Work/World Experience

  • Academic internships provide the opportunity for students to gain greater insight into their chosen career, allowing students to explore different work environments and organizational cultures. 
  • Provides the environment to learn how to interact with diverse personalities, assisting them with strengthening or redirecting their career choices. 

Explore a Career

  • Internships may also confirm or redirect career decision-making through on-the-job experience in a chosen field.
  • Well-planned and well-executed internships offer students a chance to gain first-hand knowledge of an organization and an industry, helping them focus their career goals and acquire valuable job skills and work experiences. 

Networking and Connecting

  • Internships are an excellent source of meeting professional people in your field and making connections that may pay off in the future.  Those connections create the potential for regular employment after the internship ends.  Sarah Bomberger, a 2015 graduate of Millersville University, interned at Beers + Hoffman Architecture and landed a job with them after graduation.

An example of all these benefits play out with an internship can be seen with one of our partners, Abacus Sports Installations.  They are a proud supporter of Millersville University and our Internship program.  Susan Proud, VP at Abacus Sports Installations shares her experiences with MU interns: 

We have had the pleasure of having an internship program at our company for the last few years.  During this time we have had 5 different Millersville interns take advantage of our program.  Our program is not like any other.  We take each intern and mold them (allow them to grow) into the best that they can be.  We offer opportunities to be decision makers while mentoring the process.  We are a true advocate for their future.  Each intern is an individual and the opportunities that are presented to each intern revolves around their skills and desires.  Education is important to us and our interns.  Our internships have allowed the student to be able work around their class schedules and develop their own internship within our parameters.

In our process we have permanently hired some of the interns with a full time permanent position.  If they have not been hired within they have been given the guidance to perform professional interviews so that they have the best opportunity.

Colton Dunkle May '16,  “I cannot thank you enough for giving me the opportunity to let me express my inner creative self and show what my true potential can really be. You gave me a chance that not many other companies would have bargained for and I can only hope I met your needs and satisfied your goals for the time I was at Abacus. Without Abacus, I wouldn’t even be considered for the position, and I am forever grateful for this experience and your family.”

Students: Start Your Credit-Bearing Internship Search Now!

Experiential Learning and Career Management’s credit-bearing internship program offers innovative learning environments to better equip you for your chosen profession.  

Your first step is to complete the Request for Internship form.  It is recommended that you start the internship process ONE semester prior to your internship experience.  Click here to learn about internship opportunities, requirements and strategies.

Employers: Click here to learn more about the credit-bearing internship program
Faculty: Click here to learn about your role with internships

Questions? Contact Us!