An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths and employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.
Internships may be linked to an academic department or done independently. The internship is usually the length or equivalent of an academic semester or summer, may be part- or full- time, paid or unpaid.
Cooperative Education (Co-ops) are full-time, paid experiential opportunities lasting an average of three to six months over the course of a semester and may include part/all of the summer, too. In some fields (e.g., engineering), the student may alternate between full-time on-campus study and periods of full-time work. Although working full-time and not earning credit, students may keep their full-time UT student status by being classified by the Registrar’s Office as “Co-op in Field” (noted on transcript). To be classified as such, students must contact the Center for Career Development & Academic Exploration to complete necessary paperwork*. The Registrar’s Office requires students be advised before beginning their co-op, be in good standing with UT, and have no outstanding fees/fines. Students do not typically earn academic credit for co-ops and, therefore, are not charged university tuition.
**Some academic departments and colleges manage their own co-op process. Engineering students should reach out to the Tickle College of Engineering’s Office of Engineering Professional Practice. Supply Chain Management majors should reach out to the SCM internship coordinator at email@example.com .
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NACE Position Statement on Internships
UT’s Center for Career Development & Academic Exploration is a member of the National Association of Colleges and Employers. As a member, our practices and policies regarding internships are guided by the NACE Position Statement on Internships.