Unpaid Internship Considerations

While searching for internships, you will encounter both paid and unpaid opportunities. Like paid internships, unpaid internships can offer the opportunity to try a new field and build skills to enhance your professional development. Taking an unpaid internship can be financially challenging, however, and in order to comply with the law, employers offering unpaid internships must follow certain guidelines. For more information regarding the rights of an unpaid intern, please review the U.S. Department of Labor internship fact sheet

How Career Advancement Can Help

Career Advancement is committed to helping all students with their professional development, regardless of their financial circumstances or field of interest.
In order to access the widest range of professional learning experiences, Career Advancement encourages students to:

  • Plan Ahead. Meet with Career Advancement advisers early for discussion, planning, and preparation.
  • Be creative. If an unpaid internship is the best or only professional development option, consider a term-time internship or combining an internship with part-time work.
  • Take advantage of Career Advancement programming. If your employer requires credit, Career Advancement offers an Internships for Credit Practicum.
  • Summer Action, International Experience, and Seidel Scholars Grants offer grants for unpaid professional experiences in the summer.
  • Look for other university funding. Depending on your interests, you may be able to combine an internship experience with other university funding opportunities. If your internship is related to your academic studies, your major department may also have funds.

Students are also encouraged to apply to the Jeff Metcalf Internship Program. All positions in the Metcalf Program are paid. Metcalf internships are offered all over the country and the world, year-round.