For credit-bearing internships, Grinnell is unique in that students receive credit based on the academic work completed outside the onsite work hours at the internship organization, not on the number of hours worked at the internship. Students may choose to receive two or four credits for their internship experience, and must secure a Grinnell College faculty member to serve as their Faculty Sponsor for the experience. The amount of student’s coursework is based on whether the student is pursuing two or four academic credits for the internship experience, not hours worked at the internship site. A student who has been approved for a credit-bearing internship has until the drop/add deadline to drop the academic components of an internship.

Most Grinnell students do not pursue academic credit for their internships, but students who do typically have specific reasons for doing so, including:

  • Credit-bearing internships are highly encouraged for a concentration (e.g. Global Development Studies or Technology Studies);
  • The student has an F-1 visa and is getting paid by the employer,  so therefore needs academic credit for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) work authorization;
  • Academic credits are needed to meet graduation requirements;
  • Academic credit is required by the internship employer.

The following criteria must be met to be eligible for academic credit:

  • For an academic semester, the internship must be for at least 12 weeks working 14 hours per week onsite; an internship during the summer term must be at least 8 weeks working 40 hours per week onsite.
  • Applicants must be currently enrolled at Grinnell College as first-year, second-year, or third-year students or as first-semester seniors.
  • Applicants must be in good academic standing.
  • Applicants must have a current GPA of at least 2.7/4.0.
  • Academic credit for an internship experience cannot be retroactively granted. A student must have approval for academic credit before the internship starts.
  • Approval for academic credit can be for a paid or unpaid internship.
  • A student may be approved for a maximum of 12 internship credits during their tenure at Grinnell over the course of three academic terms.
  • Grinnell College will NOT approve requests for academic credit for internships in areas identified by the U.S. State Department as “unsafe for travel.” Please check the U.S. State Department's website for an updated list of countries/regions with travel warnings.

There is no additional tuition fee for academic semester internships as long as there is not an overload situation.

If a student receives College internship funding for a summer internship, tuition is waived for the first two credits and students are billed for any additional credits, with a maximum of four credits.

If a student does not receive College internship funding, the student is billed for all credits approved at 50% of the per credit rate, which is approximately $635 per credit (full credit rate is roughly $1,270).

Academic Process and Responsibilities


  • The student needs to secure a Grinnell College faculty member to serve as the student’s Faculty Sponsor for the experience.
  • The student and the Faculty Sponsor create the Student Learning Internship Plan (SLIP) collaboratively, which serves as the syllabus for this experience. The instructions for completing the SLIP are accessible to the student and Faculty Sponsors on the Center for Careers, Life, and Service’s (CLS) Internship website. Academic requirements and expectations should be consistent with the implications of the 300-level designation.
  • The student will submit their application through the CLS’s online application process by the deadline set forth by the CLS for each semester. The following documents are required attachments to the online application: Résumé, Confirmation of Intern Acceptance (completed by the Internship Supervisor), SLIP, Credit-Bearing Internship Form (signed by the student, Faculty Sponsor, and Faculty Adviser).
  • The CLS Internship Coordinator, Registrar, and Associate Dean will review the application and approval will be granted for academic credit if all criteria are sufficiently met. The CLS Internship Coordinator will notify both the student and her/his Faculty Sponsor if the student’s application is approved or if additional information is needed for approval to be granted.
  • If approved, the student is required to attend a pre-internship orientation given by the CLS prior to the start of the internship. Students who are on approved OCS programs at the time of application will receive the orientation materials electronically if they are unable to attend the orientation in person.

During the Internship

  • It is the student’s responsibility to maintain regular (weekly or bi-weekly) communications with their Faculty Sponsor throughout the internship experience via in-person meetings, phone, Skype, and/or e-mail.
  • The student will post weekly blogs and respond to other interns’ blog postings through PioneerWeb. Guidelines are provided for blogging. If internet access is not available, the intern will need to journal during their internship.
  • Students will proactively communicate with the CLS regarding concerns or challenging situations that arise during the internship experience.
  • Students need to monitor their progress in the context of their Student Learning Internship Plan (SLIP) and collaborate with their Faculty Sponsor to navigate the student’s academic and professional development to achieve the goals outlined in the SLIP

Post Internship

  • Students need to submit academic components for their internship to their Faculty Sponsor: their journal (if unable to blog), final intellectual product/project, and any other academic components of the internship as outlined in the SLIP.
  • In addition to completing the academic components, students must also meet all CLS requirements during and after their internship to receive their grade. Students will receive detailed instructions regarding these requirements, which include:
  • Write regular guided reflections through blogging via OrgSync during the internship experience to address the student’s professional development (this is separate from any field notes, journals, etc. that might be required for the academic component of the internship);
  • Submission of a Final Learning Summary: This is a 2- to 3- page, double-spaced report that should be viewed as a personal and professional reflective tool. Students are encouraged to comment on their accomplishments as well as the experience, knowledge, and understanding they gained while completing their internship. The Final Learning Summary is used to think critically and analyze what was learned to help the student move beyond “what I have done” to “what does it mean” with respect to their future academic and career goals;
  • Submission of a thank-you card to alumni who supervised the student’s internship or provided funding (if applicable);
  • Completion of a Final Evaluation of the internship experience;
  • Submission of an electronic picture of the intern at their internship site (recommended);
  • Any requirement required by a grant program that funded the student’s internship (if applicable).
  • Students are encouraged to discuss their overall performance evaluation with his/her Faculty Sponsor following his/her internship. Be sure to review the SLIP to determine success toward achieving goals. Discuss next steps for learning (linking experiences to coursework, presenting the student’s experience to the campus community to benefit others [e.g. poster presentation, serving on a panel, etc.], thinking ahead to the next internship and/or other steps as appropriate).

Granting letter grades is an option available only to students who request that academic credits count toward graduation requirements within their major or concentration. All other academic credit for internships will be the S/D/F grading option.

When determining the student’s final grade, Faculty Sponsors will use the following evaluation factors:

  • Mid-Term and Final Student Evaluations completed by the Internship Supervisor;
  • Quality of weekly/bi-weekly communications;
  • Completion of assigned readings;
  • Completion and quality of the student’s final “intellectual product” (a piece of writing, an experiment, a performance) and any other academic assignments as outlined in the SLIP.
Faculty Sponsor Information

Students interested in pursuing academic credit for an internship need to provide this Credit-Bearing Internship Faculty Sponsor Resource to the Grinnell College faculty member whom the student is requesting to be his/her Faculty Sponsor. Faculty members are encouraged to contact the Assistant Director of Career Development and Internships should additional questions arise.

Application Instructions and Materials

The application for academic credit is now on OrgSync.  You will be asked to complete questions about the internship supervisor and the faculty sponsor.  In addition to the application questions, you will be asked to upload the four documents below (documents are also available in the OrgSync application):

  1. Résumé: You are highly encouraged to have your résumé reviewed at the CLS. Save your résumé as a one-page PDF to upload into your online application.
  2. 2014-2015 Confirmation of Intern Acceptance: This document must be signed by your Internship Supervisor. You cannot submit your OrgSync application without this document. E-mail correspondence will not substitute as confirmation of acceptance from the internship site.
  3. 2014-2015 Credit-Bearing Internship Form: This document must be signed by you, your Faculty Sponsor and your Faculty Adviser.
  4. Student Learning Internship Plan:  You need to collaborate with your Faculty Sponsor to create this document that will serve as your syllabus for this experience. Follow the SLIP instructions (see below) for how to create this document.

    Student Learning Internship Plan (SLIP) Instructions: This document outlines the information that you and your Faculty Sponsor need to provide as you work together to create your SLIP. Save your SLIP as a PDF to upload into your OrgSync application.

Internship Academic Credit Application Deadlines for 2014-2015

Spring 2015 Internship: Friday, December 12, 2015 at 11:59 p.m.

Summer 2015 Internship (No request for College funding; includes CPT): Monday, April 13, 2015 at 11:59 p.m.

Fall 2015 Internship: Monday, August 17, 2015 at 11:59 p.m.

If you have any questions regarding this application process, please contact Christie Mohlke at mohlke[at]grinnell[dot]edu or call 641-269-4940.