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Policy & Eligibility Requirements

Internship Eligibility Requirements:

  • Students who are juniors and seniors (56 or more credit hours) and have a 2.0 cumulative GPA and a 2.0 major GPA, at least 12 credits completed in their majors and have been enrolled at SMU for at least one year are eligible to participate in an internship experience through the academic department in which their major is offered.
  • One to 17 credits can be earned in an internship, with a maximum of 17 credits for any combination of internship and field exploration experiences. The number of internship credits for which a student registers is based on a number of factors including: departmental curriculum requirements, duration of the internship and the intern’s time commitment, a student’s concurrent course load, the number of elective credits desired, and the credits previously earned through experiential education. 
  • All internships must be pre-approved by the major department and the Director of Internships. 
  • The distribution between graded and ungraded internship credits will be as follows unless specific departmental guidelines have been established: three credits graded; remaining credits will be Pass/No Credit. The academic department determines the number of internship credits applicable to the fulfillment of an academic major. 

After you have fulfilled the initial requirements:

  • Make an appointment with the Director of Internships to pick up required paperwork and discuss possible internship sites and credit. 
  • Make contacts with possible internship sites. This may include interviews or phone calls to sites.

After you have identified an internship site: 

  • Seek site approval from your appointed faculty supervisor by completing the Learning Contract and Plan.
  • Submit the Internship Registration Form to the Internship Office.

After the internship starts:

  • Submit reflection papers, time cards, meet with your site supervisor regularly, maintain communication with your faculty supervisor on a regular basis (by phone or in person), make sure your site supervisor completes a midterm and a final evaluation at the appropriate times.
  • Fulfill any additional requirements established by you and your faculty supervisor.
University Policy
INTERNSHIP
Course 496/497
FIELD EXPLORATION
Course 298

1. An Internship is a planned work experience for academic credit supervised by a qualified professional in a real work atmosphere. An internship provides eligible students an opportunity to participate in experiences that enhance academic, professional, and personal development. This experience integrates a student’s academic and career interests with "hands-on" work experience. An internship must be directly related to a student's major and can be either part-time or full-time, and paid or unpaid.

1. Field Exploration is a planned work experience for academic credit that provides students with the opportunity to explore a field and/or major and gain basic knowledge. This experience involves mainly "observation" and limited "hands-on" experience. Field exploration is generally part-time and is unpaid.

2. Students must have completed a minimum of 56 or more semester credit hours (at least junior status) before participating in an internship.

2. Students must have completed a minimum of 30 or more semester credit hours (at least sophomore status) before participating in field exploration.

3. Students must have a 2.0 cumulative GPA and a 2.0 major GPA.

3. Students must have a 2.0 cumulative GPA.

4. One to 17 credits can be earned for an internship experience. The formula to be used in determining the credits for an Internship is 45 "contact hours" = one credit hour.

4. One to three credits can be earned with a maximum of 17 for any combination of internship and field exploration. The formula to be used in determining the credits for field exploration is 45 "contact hours" = one credit hour.

5. Up to three credits can be graded for any combination of internship and field exploration experience. The remaining credits will be graded on a P/NC basis. 

5. Up to three credits can be graded for any combination of internship and field exploration experience. The remaining credits will be graded on a P/NC basis.

6. Students must have at least 12 credits completed in their major prior to participating in an internship.

6. No prerequisite of major credits is required to participate in field exploration.

7. Students must be enrolled at Saint Mary’s at least one year prior to participating in an internship.

7. Students must be enrolled at Saint Mary’s at least one semester prior to participating in field exploration.

The following statements apply to both Internships and Field Exploration:

8. No retroactive credits are allowed. Internship and field exploration credits MUST be registered for during the semester or semesters in which the experience takes place.

9. Each academic department MUST establish its own internship and field exploration policy, which is shaped within the general guidelines established by the university. The department will review its policy periodically and make adjustments as necessary. As a minimum, this policy will include the following:

  1. Whether internship and field exploration experiences are allowed, not allowed, encouraged, or required for its majors;
  2. How many credits may be assigned to an internship and/or field exploration and how many credits will be allowed for a grade. Note: This must remain within the parameters of the university internship and field exploration policy.
  3. Any departmental curriculum requirements that must be completed before students can engage in an internship or field exploration.
  4. Any departmental evaluation procedures in addition to the basic requirements set by the university through the Internship Office.
  5. How the department handles student approval to participate and site approval (faculty monitoring of interns, ex. by designating a member of the department as the departmental supervisor of interns).

10. The department chair and/or faculty supervisor will approve or disapprove a student’s site based on the following factors: 

  1. articulation between the student’s academic program or career goals and the site
  2. degree and quality of on-site supervision
  3. a conference with the student
  4. advice from departmental faculty

11. The Internship and Field Exploration Program is structured according to a "shared model" format which includes the following: centralized coordination of policies and application procedures through the Internship Office, together with departmental control over the approval of sites, evaluation of student achievement, and awarding of credit.

12. Students may not be placed in internship or field exploration experiences where members of the immediate family either partially or wholly own the business.   

13. If a student is terminated from his/her internship or field exploration experience, the faculty supervisor and department chair will determine if any credit will be awarded after a discussion with the student and site supervisor.

14.  Students may not request to register an internship after the midpoint of the semester or summer. 

15. Students not meeting the above eligibility requirements can appeal by writing to the Director of Intenships. This will be forwarded to the student’s faculty supervisor and the Dean of Student Success. The student will be notified by writing when a decision is made.

16. Exceptions to any university internship or field exploration policy may be made for legitimate reasons upon the recommendation of the department chair and or faculty supervisor and the approval of the Dean of Student Success.