What is an internship?

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 (National Association of Colleges and Employers - NACE).

For a step-by-step guide for creating and managing an internship program, download the:

Internship Fair

Interested in recruiting at the Fall 2023 Internship Fair? Registration is NOW OPEN on Handshake.

If you have any questions about registering to attend Internship Fair, please feel free to contact us at We look forward to you joining us at the next Internship Fair.

Hosting an intern

As you think about hosting an intern, it is important to make sure your organization is ready. Start by reviewing this checklist to see where your organization/department stands. While it is not required that you have a check in each box, it is good to begin thinking about the following considerations:

Please see Employer Manual for additional resources and sample forms on creating internship programming.

  • NACE Standards
    We have read and understood the legal standards applicable to internships according to the U.S. Department of Labor - Fair Labor Standards Act and the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE Standards)
  • Policies and Procedures

    Employers who recruit interns with FIU must agree to follow the Career and Talent Development guidelines that include the following:

    • Create a company account on Handshake and provide a comprehensive job description of each internship position desired to be filled by an FIU student or alumni
    • Internship positions must provide clear learning outcomes, internship objectives, and a defined start and end date
    • Employer supervision must be provided on-site and students must be provided with training and mentorship
    • Internships that are virtual, work from home, or require home site visits are not permissible
    • Full-time internship positions are required to provide compensation regardless of academic semester
    • Students will not be held financially responsible for training, materials, and/or other items required to perform job as required by the internship
    • Internship employers are responsible for the ethical and legal conduct of their employees throughout the internship experience
    • Re-disclosure of candidate information is strictly prohibited without the candidate's written consent
    • Internship programs must meet the requirements of the U.S. Department of Labor – Fair Labor Standards Act’s definition of an internship
    • The extent to which the intern and the employer clearly understand that there is no expectation of compensation. Any promise of compensation, express or implied, suggests that the intern is an employee—and vice versa.
    • The extent to which the internship provides training that would be similar to that which would be given in an educational environment, including the clinical and other hands-on training provided by educational institutions.
    • The extent to which the internship is tied to the intern’s formal education program by integrated coursework or the receipt of academic credit.
    • The extent to which the internship accommodates the intern’s academic commitments by corresponding to the academic calendar.
    • The extent to which the internship’s duration is limited to the period in which the internship provides the intern with beneficial learning.
    • The extent to which the intern’s work complements, rather than displaces, the work of paid employees while providing significant educational benefits to the intern.
    • The extent to which the intern and the employer understand that the internship is conducted without entitlement to a paid job at the conclusion of the internship.
  • Physical resources
    • A safe, adequate workspace (accommodations for students with disabilities)
    • Access to computers, internet access
    • Telephone
    • Reference/Informational materials
    • Parking
  • Financial resources
    • Hourly pay
    • Monthly or semester stipend
    • Scholarship or tuition payment
    • Academic credit
    • Transportation or lunch stipend
    • Professional development opportunities
  • Responsibilities
    • Creating an orientation for new interns
    • Holding one-on-one weekly meetings with the intern
    • Being open and available to answer questions
    • Providing the intern with career development opportunities
    • Outlining learning objectives with the intern
    • Reflecting with intern on how their internship relates to their classroom learning
    • Evaluating the intern's performance throughout the internship

NACE Standards

In addition to the U.S. Department of Labor's guidelines, Career and Talent Development also follows the standards established by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). All of the following criteria must be met: 

  • 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.
  • The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
  • The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
  • There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student's academic coursework.
  • There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
  • There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.
  • There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.