Center for Community Engagement

Academic Internships

Kyle Craig worked on SAE Baja Cars for years at Cal Poly Pomona. The experience led to an internship and job at Space X.

Kyle Craig worked on SAE Baja Cars for years at Cal Poly Pomona. The experienced led to an internship and job at Space X.


An internship is a closely monitored, structured program that complements the academic/classroom experience. An internship merges academic experience, personal development, and career exploration in one course or set of courses. Internships can be part-time or full-time, paid or unpaid, and generally last one term or more. Internships can take place in any sector: nonprofit, for-profit, or government. Although interns are typically learners/trainees, an internship will provide meaningful, professional work experiences and meet specific learning outcomes. Internship coursework should include reflection and integration of learning into the course objectives.

Internships are recognized as high impact educational practices and central to the continuum of real-world experience. Cal Poly Pomona encourages all students to gain hands-on learning experience as part of their undergraduate coursework. A quality experience is critical to all internships to enhance student development, meet host organization needs, and promote university public relations.

An internship experience would offer the following benefits:
  • Apply your inside classroom learning through hands on experience.
  • Develop connections/relationships with those in your interested field.
  • Discover your strengths and weaknesses and develop them.
  • Develop leadership experience.
  • It may allow you to obtain a full-time position in the future.

An academic internship is:
  • Where the student intern receives academic credit for their internship experience.
  • The academic internship courses will include significant involvement of students and their supervised faculty in planning, processing and evaluating the learning results from their experiences.
  • The student intern may be paid as an employee of the sponsor company or unpaid.

A non-academic internship is:
  • Where the student intern does not receive academic credit for the experience.
  • Must be paid unless the internship program meets federal guidelines as outlined by the Department of Labor (DOL); employers are encouraged to offer students a regular wage.
  • Employer works directly with the student intern; contractual agreements are between the employer and student.
  • For more info on non-academic internship please visit CPP Career Center.

A CPP Cooperative (Co-Op) Education is:
  • A PAID internship.
  • Cal Poly Pomona students and students from other southern California universities are eligible.
  • The student intern receives academic credit for the experience.
  • The student intern is an employee of the Cal Poly Foundation and is paid by Foundation.
  • Co-op employment lasts a minimum of six months and can be as long as two years. Students may work a maximum of 1,000 hours per year. (no more than 20 hours per week during academic year and up to 40hrs per week during the summer).
Visit the Co-Op Program for more information.

Please make an appointment with your faculty internship advisor in your academic department. CPP offers different types of internship opportunities, discuss with your internship advisor if there are curriculum requirements for your field of study.

1. Consider the skills you may want to develop:

  • What skills will be beneficial in the field that you wish to pursue?
  • What skills do you lack, or require improvement?
  • What environment will provide you with the opportunity to develop these skills?

2. Begin your search 3-6 months prior to when you want to intern.

3. Create or update your resume (visit the CPP Career Center for assistance):

  • Academic Projects
  • Relevant Coursework
  • Campus & Community Involvement
  • Participation in Student Organizations

4. Obtain faculty recommendation & prepare references.

5. Research internship company to prepare you for the interview.

1. Use your resources (Ask faculty, peers, and look on Social Media).

2. Research and apply to internship postings on Handshake.

3. Attend any career fair events, networking mixers, internship fairs on or off campus.

4. Visit CPP Career Center for more info on internship and attend their internship workshop.

Once you secured an academic internship position you will need to:

1. Register for an academic internship course.

2. You will have access to BroncoSERV at the beginning of the internship terms to access and complete the following forms:

Note: Make sure all appropriate signatures are there.

For more info on how to begin your academic internship, visit Academic Internship.

Please contact your academic department.

Internship hours depends on the internship site/employer and your department. Typically, during the academic year, we suggest conducting 10-20 hours of internship hours. However, summer hours can go up to 40 internship hours a week.

Timesheet maybe required for academic internship course to complete. However, please confirm with your instructor or course syllabus on how timesheet will be submitted. Note that your instructor or placement site may have their own timesheet. If not, please view downloadable timesheet.

Prerequisites depend on your academic department requirements.

To find out more information, you will need to contact your academic department.

You'll need to complete the following academic internship forms (completed by student) in BroncoSERV:

Typically, if you cannot find your internship site, it can mean your internship site is new partner in need of an agreement, or the organization has not completed the required forms with CPP. Students can provide their site supervisors the link to Request to Initiate Partnership – Academic Internship. Once it has been completed by the organization, CCE will review responses and connect with the supervisor and/or legal contact regarding an agreement. Please note the review process may take 2-3 weeks during the beginning of each term due to high volumes of activity.

Yes, please visit BroncoSERV for approved internship sites with a current agreement.

After you have registered for the academic internship, you will have access to BroncoSERV database at the beginning of the term of your internship.

You will now be able to view your course, search for internship sites, and once you have found your internship site you can now “place” and complete required student forms

To find internship opportunities, you may either visit your department or the International Center for assistance, located in Building 1 Room 104.

If you are an international student seeking an internship experience, you may visit the International Center located in Building 1 Room 104.

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