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"The least of the work of learning is done in the classroom." — Thomas Merton

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 give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.

Criteria for an Experience to Be Defined as an Internship

To ensure that an experience—whether it is a traditional internship or one conducted remotely or virtually—is educational, and thus eligible to be considered a legitimate internship by the NACE definition, all the following criteria must be met:

  1. The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
  2. The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
  3. The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
  4. There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework.  
  5. There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
  6. There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.
  7. There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.

For further discussion and information concerning the legal requirements and standards of internships we recommend you review the NACE Position Statement: U.S. Internships A Definition and Criteria to Assess Opportunities And Determine the Implications for Compensation or contact Matt Real, Associate Director of Career Development at 502.272.7242 or mreal@bellarmine.edu.

On-Campus Recruiting

To discuss how Bellarmine University and our students can impact your company/organization's recruitment needs, please contact Matt Real, Associate Director, at mreal@bellarmine.edu or 502-272-7242.

Professional Standards, Ethics, & Equal Opportunity Terms and Conditions

Please review the Bellarmine University Career Development Center Terms and Conditions prior to engaging in any campus recruitment activities.