Internship Guide

Internships offer the potential for valuable learning opportunities outside the standard classroom setting. They can also serve as a bridge between the traditional academic setting and the professional world to which the student aspires.

An internship will allow you to:

  • Test career options and gain valuable experience
  • Apply academic knowledge and theory in real work settings
  • Make valuable contacts with potential employers
  • Develop and improve self-confidence and professionalism
  • Earn academic credit toward completion of degree requirements
  • Enhance your marketability upon graduation


The following minimum requirements must be satisfied at the beginning of the internship experience:

  • Students must have completed a minimum of 12 credit hours at SUNY Cortland. Transfer credit does not count toward eligibility.
  • Students must be in good academic standing (no probation) with no incomplete coursework when the internship begins.
  • Students must receive credit in the semester they are completing the internship. No retro credit (credit applied to internships completed in previous semesters) will be awarded.

NOTE: Please check with your academic advisor for additional eligibility requirements.


A credit-bearing internship is an applied learning experience that combines academic study with career-related work/learning experiences. SUNY Cortland offers students the option to earn up to a total of 16 academic credits inclusive of all internship experiences. Students from any major who meet campus eligibility guidelines may apply for internship credit by following the application guidelines outlined in this document.

Credits are determined by the amount of time you contribute to the internship employer. Forty (40) hours of working time at the internship site is required for each academic credit requested.

For example:

Fall/Spring (15 weeks): A three-credit internship requires a total of 120 hours, or an average of 8 to 10 hours per week. Summer (full-term, 10 weeks): A three-credit internship requires a total of 120 hours, or an average of 12 hours per week.

Academic credit will NOT be granted for prior experience, and you may not apply for credit for past work experiences. Internship credit is a combination of the site work and the academic reflection required at the time of the internship opportunity. It is imperative that students reflect on their work experience as it is being completed and relate it to their academic instruction in order to receive the full benefit of an internship experience. Learning outcomes should be developed with your faculty sponsor to determine measurable objectives that will be obtained through your experience.

Credit is approved and granted by your major academic department and associate dean. Decisions are guided by individual department policy. Credit approved for internship experience will count as non-liberal arts free elective credit unless otherwise determined by the sponsoring department.


Deadlines for Internship Credit Registration Online Form completion, including all signatures via Adobe Sign:

 Term of Internship

Due Date

 Summer Session I

May 1

 Summer Session II

June 1

 Fall (full semester or first-quarter)

July 1

 Fall (second-quarter)

October 1

 Winter Term

December 1

 Spring (full semester or third-quarter)

December 1

 Spring (fourth-quarter)

March 1

The deadlines above are strictly enforced. Any student requesting an extension will be required to secure permission from their associate dean’s office. Please note that students not adhering to the established registration calendar are subject to late registration fee penalties.

Application checklist

  1. Identify a faculty sponsor
    1. This faculty member takes responsibility for assigning and collecting academic coursework, maintaining contact with the student throughout the internship, and providing a final grade upon completion of the experience.
    2. Some departments have a designated faculty sponsor. For assistance with identifying the correct faculty member in your department, contact the internship coordinator at 607-753-4715.
  2. Review your Degree Works to understand your credit needs
    1. Make an appointment with your academic advisor if you need assistance understanding how an internship will fit into your degree completion.
  3. Begin your internship search and secure your internship
    1. Securing an internship is the first step in completing the required process for internship credit approval. For assistance in the internship search process, you can make an internship appointment through Handshake or by contacting Career Services at 607-753-4715.
    2. If a student secures an off-campus internship site where an affiliation agreement is not in place between SUNY Cortland and the site, please note that SUNY students are not covered by the NYS Court of Claims Act or Public Officers Law Section 17 for defense and indemnification of their negligent acts while serving internships at these off-site locations. Please contact the internship coordinator for more information.
    3. Ensure you have a resume and cover letter ready for internship applications. Visit Career Services during drop-in hours for assistance. To view the current drop-in schedule, please visit
    4. If you have already secured an internship, complete the Internship Request Form and contact your faculty sponsor to review your internship duties as well as your learning outcomes and academic assignment(s).
  4. Complete the Internship Request Form
    1. To initiate internship registration, complete the Internship Request Form online and input all required names and email addresses for student, internship employer, and faculty sponsor.
    2. Watch for an email from Adobe Sign and follow all directions. Some information that is required to complete the paperwork includes: an internship description and job duties provided by your employer and academic assignments agreed upon between the student and faculty sponsor. Students will be required to submit a resume to Career Services as part of the process, and to disclose if they have any prior felony, as required by SUNY policy.
    3. In addition to the student signatures, the Adobe Sign online process will require approval signatures from the employer site supervisor, faculty sponsor, department chair, and associate dean.
    4. For instructions on how to complete the form, please contact Career Services at 607-753-4715.

Credit registration process

Internship registration for CPV 400 and ECO 401 classes are processed by the internship coordinator in Career Services. Registration requires completion of:

  1. the online Internship Request form followed by
  2. completion of the Online Credit Registration Form via Adobe Sign

Students should be aware that they are NOT registered simply because they have submitted the request form. Students should also be sure they are not on any Banner holds that prevent registration, and if the internship registration will put the student over the maximum of 18 credits for the semester, the student will need to either drop a class or seek approval from their advisor and associate dean via a credit overload petition. Confirmation of the official registration will be emailed to the student, including the class CRN assigned.

Forms submitted after the deadlines listed above are subject to late registration fees according to registration guidelines as outlined by the Registrar's Office.

Things to consider and confirm throughout the process

  • Start early! Searching, applying, and securing an internship can take time. Additionally, once you have identified an internship, the campus review and approval process may require affiliation agreements to be processed which can take up to six weeks.
    • Make sure you are preparing at least a semester in advance as some companies have specific deadlines that will occur earlier than SUNY Cortland’s processing deadlines.
  • Content of the job – What are the job duties and responsibilities? Does the job relate to your career interests? Will this placement give you the opportunity to apply academic theory in a realistic manner? How will the placement contribute to your overall educational objectives?
  • Training – What types of training will you receive? Is there a formal training program that will allow you to expand your understanding of the career requirements? Is the employer truly committed to helping you learn?
  • Supervision – How will you be supervised? Who will you report to and how often? In addition to faculty sponsors/internship staff contact throughout the placement, the on-site supervisor is expected to be accessible.
  • Academic assignments – What books or readings will be required? What type of project or paper will you have to submit? Will a reflective journal be required?
  • Relocating – Have you researched the geographic area? Will you need funding? Please see information on the Internship and Living Stipend page.


 Are there internships on-campus?

Yes! Many of our campus departments work hard to create meaningful opportunities for our students to engage in a variety of work experiences. Departments will advertise in a variety of ways. You can find opportunities on Handshake, in campus emails, departmental updates, and internship appointments.

How do I find an internship?

There are many job/internship searching sites available online. We recommend Handshake, Linked-In, and Indeed as a few reputable options. To discuss these and other search resources as well as review interview tips, schedule an internship appointment through Handshake using your MRD credentials to sign in or by contacting Career Services at 607-753-4715.

Can I receive credit for an internship I completed in a different semester?

No. Academic credit will NOT be granted for prior experience - you may not apply for credit for past work experiences. Credit is only received at the time the work is being completed.

How do I find a faculty sponsor?

Some departments have designated faculty sponsors. If your department does not, you should reach out to a faculty member within your major with whom you have built rapport. Provide them with the information you have obtained regarding your internship and ask if they would be willing to serve as your faculty sponsor for the indicated semester. If they agree, and have never acted in this role, they can contact the internship coordinator for more information on responsibilities.

How is my internship graded?

All grades for internships are submitted by your faculty sponsor as “satisfactory/unsatisfactory.” Grades are based upon review of submitted required academic assignments, required hours completed, an intern appraisal form which allows your internship employer to provide feedback and comments on your work and performance. No letter grades are assigned.

For additional information:

Contact the Career Services Internship Coordinator, at 607-753-4715, or by email to

Page last updated on May 24, 2024.

Contact Us:

Visit Career Services, Van Hoesen Hall, Room B-5
Internship Coordinator Taylor Lynch