Biotechnology Internship Program
Internship Requirement and Information
Biological Sciences Department, Cal Poly Pomona

When do I start looking for an internship position
What kind of work is qualified as Biotech internship
Examples of jobs that do "Not" qualify for credit as a Biotech Internship
How long does the internship last?
Where do I start looking?
What to do after finding an internship s

General description

The internship is required for students majoring in Biotechnology in the Department of Biological Sciences. Doing an internship allows students to gain real job experience in the biotech related environment before their graduation. An internship is a wonderful way for students to enrich their training in Biotechnology and is a part of Cal Poly's tradition of 'hands-on' education.

When do I start looking for an internship position

Plan at least one half year ahead of time!!! The more you plan, the better internship experience you will have.

What kind of work is qualified as Biotech internship

Students can choose one of the following 3 categories of internship experience. Categories 1 and 2 are the most desirable and therefore have no restrictions on the nature of the job. Category 3 will have certain restrictions as described below.

  1. An internship in a biotechnology related industry, includes industries involved in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, neutraceuticals, diagnostics, chemicals, foods, cosmetics, medical devices, and biotech related service and consulting firms. There are no restrictions on the nature of the work. Students can do their internship doing any type of work in the industry, ranging from R&D, clinical studies, marketing, QA/QC, manufacturing, to administrative jobs.
  2. An internship in a government agency could include work in areas such as Food and Drug Administration (FDA), USDA, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Water District, OSHA, etc. Experience in these agencies may either help students gain experience in QA/QC lab work and/or in government policy work related to the biotech industry.
  3. An internship in a research laboratory at a University / research institute will require students demonstrating that they are actively engaged in a research project involving bench work or clinical studies that can be considered a project that might be of interest to the biotechnology industry. This project must include a presentation component involving either a poster presentation on their project at a formal scientific meeting or any form of official publication of their project. In addition, if this category is chosen, the student must submit a paper to their supervisor summarizing their work and explaining in the paper in detail how their research might be of value to the biotechnology industry. Working as a laboratory assistant for media preparation and washing glassware will not qualify as an internship in this category.

Examples of jobs that do "Not" qualify for credit as a Biotech Internship

Health care and hospital related patient care.
Laboratory assistants in a research laboratory or stock rooms
Pharmacy stores

How long does the internship last?

For industry and government internship, a minimum of 10-20 hours per week for 10 weeks is required. If a research project is chosen, students are required to work at least 200 hours or until the project is finished. Although the minimum requirement is set, students should take advantage of the opportunity to continue the relationship with their internship sponsor.

Where do I start looking

1. Understand what type of work you might want to do. The best way is to take BIO 230 (Horizons in Biotechnology), which will expose you to various aspects of the biotech industry.
2. Prepare your resume. Consult with the career center or take BIO 207 (Careers in Biology) for job seeking skills.

Start a search for potential sponsors. Use the tools in this and other web sites, network with friends and classmates, and talk to Dr. Lin for potential opportunities.

1) There are many internship programs in the research institutes, government agencies and industry around the country. Please check my web site for a list of Existing internship programs, Co-Op Education job listings or search the Internet for more opportunities. Make sure they fall into the categories described above.
2) Contact Recruiters and Career Services for internship and temporary job opportunities.
3) Locate companies and potential places in the area you plan to work. Contact them directly.
4. Start contacting potential sponsors by sending your resume and calling them for an interview. Also file your resume with Recruiters/Career Services. If you are apply to existing internship programs, be sure not to miss the application deadlines.
5. Getting ready for interviews and internship offers.

Helpful hints:

  • Remember to follow up on your leads; show your enthusiasm in the work
  • To increase your chances, try to keep some flexibility on the location, time and the type of work
  • Volunteering is the best way to find or even create a job in a place you really like. Most large companies do not have a flexible budget to pay for internships unless there is a pre-existing temp or internship programs.

What to do after finding an internship sponsor

You need to register for 2 credits in one of the following classes in order to fulfill your internship requirement. Then follow the requirement for each class.

  1. BIO 441 Internship in Biology. You will need to fill out a form (available from the Department Office) with an approval signature from your internship supervisor as well as your biotech program advisors (Dr. Adler-Moore or Dr. Bozak). By the 9th week of the quarter, you will need to turn in a written report to complete the class. The written report should describe in detail your duties and the value of this experience as it relates to your education and career objectives. The Department Office will contact your internship supervisor for an evaluation and the final grade.
  2. SCI 470 Cooperative Education. If you select this type of internship, you must check with your Biotech program advisors to make sure that the work fits into one of the categories for internships listed above. Please follow the rules of this class. A written or oral report will be given at the end of each quarter. For details, please check their web site at

Internship and the time after…

Try to perform your best while working at any job; even it is not your dream job. The internship experience not only allows you to gain practical experience but also helps you build your network in the industry and strengthen your potential future career opportunities. If you put your heart in your work, you will have a rewarding internship experience with any type of work you do.

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Any comment or question?
Please contact Dr. Wei-Jen Lin at:
909-869-4179 (office)
909-869-4078 (fax)