Why should I complete an internship? An internship is a practical way to gain valuable experience to help define your career goals. It is an opportunity to put theory and learning into practice. The internship experience should fit with both your academic and professional goals.
May I complete an internship as a senior ? Yes, seniors may complete an academic semester internship within their final academic year. These internships can be credit-bearing or not. Students also are encouraged to register their internship through the CDO even if they do not pursue academic credit for their internship.
I am an international student. May I complete an internship? Yes, but eligibility varies widely by situation and the individual student. To help determine eligibility, please address the following steps. Schedule a meeting with the Director of the Office of International Student Affairs and a CDO career counselor to discuss your options. Remember, some internships, including GRINNELLINK opportunities, may have additional requirements or regulations. For example, internships with government agencies may require citizenship and/or an additional work authorization.
How do I find an internship? There are many ways to search for an internship including searching for postings, networking, and creating your own. Visit the CDO's Search Resources page for a comprehensive list of resources. The CDO maintains the Pioneer Internship Database, accessed through PioneerWeb, a past internship database which details over 1,000 internships completed by former Grinnell students. Also, new jobs and internships are posted daily to PioneerLink – a comprehensive internship searching resource. Additionally, the CDO provides a weekly e-newsletter highlighting internship opportunities. Schedule an appointment to meet with a CDO career counselor regarding your internship search.
What is the process for earning academic credit? Students must secure a member of the Grinnell faculty who is willing to serve as Faculty Sponsor during the duration of the internship. The preferred grading option is S/D/F. A letter grade option is only granted for academic programs that require an internship for graduation (e.g. Global Development Studies). Students will work with their Faculty Sponsor to create a Student Learning Internship Plan for their application for academic credit. If you are interested in applying for academic credit for an upcoming internship, contact the CDO Internship Coordinator well in advance of the semester you wish to do your internship. Academic credit cannot be granted after an internship has already started or is completed.
If I’m approved for academic credit, how much will this cost? For credit-bearing summer internships that receive Grinnell College internship funding, 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 tuition is not waived and the student is billed for all credits approved for the summer internship at 50% of the per credit rate. There is no additional tuition fee for academic semester internships as long as there is not an overload situation.
What if I’m going to be off-campus in the Spring? The application process for any aspect of the internship program is the same as students on campus. If you need assistance, have questions about any of the applications or need assistance finding an internship, please contact the CDO at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of the career counselors will help you.
How will I get to my internship site? It is the responsibility of the student intern to arrange transportation to and from the internship site. If your internship is unpaid, you can apply for College internship funding for financial assistance.
What if my internship is in a country with a travel warning? Grinnell College will NOT release internship funding or 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 with travel warnings.
How do I submit my internship funding and academic credit application materials? Students must apply through an online application by the appropriate deadline. Interns applying for funding need to ask two Grinnell faculty members to submit a recommendation form (available on the application process and deadlines webpage) to the CDO by e-mail. Students applying for academic credit only do not need the faculty recommendation forms. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure their internship application is submitted in its entirety, including the faculty recommendation forms by the deadlines.
I have missed the application deadline and secured a unpaid internship. Do I still have options? Yes. The CDO offers the opportunity to register and track non Grinnell funded and non credit-bearing internships.
Internship Summer Funding FAQ
What summer funding options are available to me?
GRINNELLINK Internships - Specific internships with College alumni and friends are open exclusively to current first, second and third-year Grinnell students. These opportunities are competitive and will provide funding to the selected student. Internship sites change from year to year and may include opportunities in museum studies, art and design, environmental issues, healthcare, social services, biotechnology, financial equity analysis research, and legal services on constitutional issues to name a few.
Grant Funding - Current first, second and third-year students are eligible to apply for grant funding to support unpaid, full-time summer internships lasting 8-10 weeks. Students must find and secure an internship before applying for funding. Grant programs support experiences in prairie studies, entrepreneurship, gender and women's studies, international relations, applied technology, world population control, writing, religious leadership, environmental studies, arts & museum administration and conflict resolution. Grant programs are competitive and look for clarity in presentation, support from sponsoring agencies, well-defined responsibilities, originality, and uniqueness of opportunity. Visit Summer Funding Opportunities for descriptions of all the various internship funding grant programs.
Endowed Funding - Endowed funds have been made available for internship experiences which meet specific criteria/parameters set forth by specifically named endowments. Students must find and secure an internship before applying for funding. Funding opportunities are available for internships that offer work in affordable housing, Christian leadership, and physics. Other endowed funds are available for internships opportunities in specific locations: Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. OR in Spain/Latin American country. Visit Summer Funding Opportunities for descriptions of the endowed internship funding opportunities.
Do I have to have a certain GPA to apply for internship funding? Internship programs require a minimum 2.5 GPA. Students are required to be currently enrolled as a full-time student, pre-registered for classes, are in good academic standing, and are enrolled in classes for the semester following their internship experience. Transfer students without a Grinnell GPA must submit a copy of their previous institution’s transcripts in addition to their Grinnell College transcripts (obtained from the Registrar) in their application.
If I receive summer funding, what can that stipend pay for? Grant Programs, Endowed, and GRINNELLINK funding may be used for expenses directly related to a summer internship. For example - travel to and from the internship site, housing, daily transportation, and meals. Funding is NOT to be used for wages, future expenses, personal items, product purchases, program fees, etc. On-campus experiences are NOT eligible for Grant or Endowed funding.
What are the application deadlines for internships? Review the CDO internship website for current deadlines at Application & Deadlines. Typically, application deadlines fall in early February for GRINNELLINK and early April for Grant and Endowed Programs.
If I am an international student and I receive Grinnell College Internship funding, do I have to pay taxes on my stipend? Yes, if your internship is in the U.S. This stipend is considered a non-qualified scholarship, which is taxable (a scholarship is qualified if it is used for tuition/fees). Grinnell College will withheld United States federal income tax from your stipend at a rate of 14%.