There are many great reasons to get an internship, co-op or other experience during college: to explore a career field, to build a professional network, to gain new skills, and to make yourself more marketable for a good job after graduation.
The types of internships, co-ops and other experiences available are diverse and varied:
- They may be linked to an academic department and/or done for academic credit.
- They may be an independent experience outside of the academic curriculum.
- Some opportunities are paid while others are not. (For unpaid internships in non-profit, community organizations and government agencies students can pursue funding through UMass Lowell’s Moloney Student Scholar Program)
- Internships can be part-time (typically during the fall or spring semester) or full-time (typically during the summer).
- A traditional internship typically lasts for 3 – 4 months.
Here is more detail to help define these career connected experiences at UMass Lowell:
Most undergraduate academic programs offer some form of experience-based learning course. Course titles often include one of the following terms: “service learning,” “cooperative education,” “industrial experience,” “practicum,” “internship,” “field experience,” etc. Find experience based learning courses in your college here. Also, read the course offerings and descriptions for the upcoming semester in the UMass Lowell online academic catalog and speak to your academic advisor or department chairperson to learn requirements, available credits, policies, and registration procedures.
Students may also be able to obtain credit for a directed/independent study (not part of a class). If interested in this possibility, the student should speak with their academic advisor or department chair to discuss the suitability of the experience for academic credit, as well as the academic component of the work which often accompanies such experiences.
Many students also complete internships outside of their academic curriculum, many of which are paid experiences. The Career & Co-op Center’s Handshake system includes posts of many internship opportunities for students in all majors, in all years. In addition, UMass Lowell’s career fairs attract employers from the region interested in recruiting students for internship opportunities.
- Non-credit internships are found and completed independently by students to supplement their formal education and to gain practical work experience.
- These internships may come with compensation ranging from salaries, stipends, and hourly payments to travel allowances, housing and food subsidies, or scholarships.
- These internships may be unpaid. For unpaid internships in non-profit, community organizations and government agencies students can pursue funding through UMass Lowell’s Moloney Student Scholar program.
- Hours are not regulated by the university, so it falls upon the student to make sure the amount of time working is reasonable and relevant.
- If you are interested in discussing a non-credit internship, please contact the Career & Co-op Center.
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