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An Academic Internship is a course for academic credit which offers a student an individualized educational experience in conjunction with a structured employment situation. Academic credit is awarded for the educational component, not directly for the employment situation.

At the University of Richmond, internships earn credit differently in different areas of the University. Schools and academic departments have wide latitude in determining the objectives of internships and the amount of credit awarded. In all cases, credit is commensurate with the hours involved and the quality of the learning experience and is determined by the credit-awarding school or academic department. Academic credit is awarded when the student fulfills the objectives set by the school or academic department.

All Richmond credit awarded for internships at the undergraduate level should conform to the following guidelines:

  1. Approval: Each school or department should have published guidelines for the process of getting approval and registering for an internship. The process should involve some type of school or departmental approval for each internship to ensure adherence to school-determined criteria.
  2. Enrollment/Timing: Students must be enrolled in the course and pay tuition in the semester in which they plan to complete the academic component of the internship.
  3. Content/Final Product: Each internship should have a significant academic component with documented learning objectives and a final deliverable required of the student (final paper, project, analysis, etc.) to demonstrate the academic work completed.
  4. Time Required: There should be a minimum requirement for the hours of educational effort required for a student to receive credit. Such work should be comparable with the work expected of students for the earning of credit in that school or department in a traditional classroom setting. For one unit of credit, students should be required to complete a minimum of 150 hours of work during a 15-week semester (the equivalent of 10 hours/week) consisting of a combination of structured work experience, class time and independent work. For each one semester hour of credit, students should be required to complete a minimum of 45 hours of work during a 15-week semester (the equivalent of 3 hours/week).
  5. Published Requirements: Each school or academic department should have a set of clear requirements for the awarding of academic credit for internships. Different departments within a school may have different or more specific requirements for the awarding of credit, but all school and departmental requirements should conform to the university-level requirements for the awarding of credit, particularly in terms of the level of effort expected for each unit of credit.
  6. Grading: The instructor of record may consult with the student's work supervisor and will evaluate the student's work, including the final product, and submit a grade by the end of the semester.
  7. Credit Limits: Each school or academic department will determine and publish appropriate limits for internship credit in those subjects within the school or department and as credit applied toward the majors and minors within the school or department. Department limits cannot exceed limits imposed by each school and the university.

A PDF version of this policy is also available.

Approved by University Faculty Senate, February 17, 2017