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Internships & Co-Ops

Getting Experience

What is an Internship?

Internships are typically one-time work or service experiences related to the student’s major or career goal. The internship plan generally involves students working in professional settings under the supervision and monitoring of practicing professionals. Internships can be paid or unpaid, and the student may or may not receive academic credit for performing the internship.

What is a Co-op?

Cooperative education programs, or co-ops, provide students with multiple periods of work in which the work is related to the student’s major or career goal. The typical program plan is for students to alternate terms of full-time classroom study with terms of full-time, discipline-related employment. Since the program participation involves multiple work terms, the typical participant will work three or four work terms, thus gaining a year or more of career-related work experience before graduation. Virtually all co-op positions are paid, and the vast majority involve some form of academic credit.

Student Internship & Co-op Guide

Print this Student Internship & Co-op Guide for more information, and to review specific Office of Career and Professional Development policies.

 


Internships
Overview of Professional Internships
  • Single-semester work experiences (minimum)
    • Note: Students can work consecutive [spring & summer or summer & fall] terms. Students can also work multiple internships with the same or different companies.
  • Related to a student’s major
    • Note: Our Service Learning program allows students to intern for non-profit or other civic organizations
  • Full-time (at least 40 hrs/week) or Part-time (at least 20 hrs/week)
  • Completed during the Fall or Spring semester (16 – 18weeks) OR
  • Completed during the Summer semester (12 – 14 weeks)
  • Paid or Non-Paid
  • Available for Academic Credit (count toward your degree requirements)
    • Must be approved by Faculty/Academic Advisor
  • Available for Non-Academic Credit (allows you to maintain full-time or part-time student status)
Goals and Benefits of an Internship

Your participation in the internship program will offer you a myriad of opportunities that will be beneficial to you both now and in the future. These goals & benefits include:

  • Gain relevant work experience prior to graduation
  • Increasing your understanding of classroom theory through practical experience
  • Exploring career goals and options
  • Integrate practical knowledge into classroom learning
  • Enhancing your marketability to employers upon graduation
  • Sharpening your communication and interpersonal skills
  • Gain an understanding of professional cultures and expectations
  • Evaluating and improving on your strengths and weaknesses
Academic Credit for Internships

It may be possible to receive academic credit for your internship. Only academic departments can offer credit, and policies differ greatly depending on the department. keep in mind that some employers require students to receive academic credit as a form of “payment” due to liability issues, but may also be willing to classify you as a volunteer through non-credit enrollment if receiving credit is not an option.

Non-Academic Credit Internships

The Office of Career and Professional Development offers non-academic credit hours for students wanting to remain enrolled while away at their internship. These hours will also be reflected on your unofficial transcript as proof that you participated in experiential learning.

Non-credit internships do not aid in your degree progression or affect your GPA, and you will not be charged tuition for them.

Requirements

The Georgia Southern University Internship & Co-op Program is open to all full-time undergraduate and graduate students meeting the following requirements:

  • Have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 (3.00 for graduate students) or good academic standing
  • Have completed a minimum of 30 credit hours
  • Have attended Georgia Southern for one semester (For Transfer Students)
  • Be available to participate in at least one work assignment (one assignment = one semester).
Internship Registration

Make your internship official!

Prior to starting your internship, it is critical that you contact the Office of Career Services to register for the appropriate tuition-free, audit-credit internship course in order to remain enrolled full-time at Georgia Southern while you are working. This course will allow the internship to be officially recognized by the University on the student’s transcript and prevents gaps in enrollment (for insurance purposes, housing, student fees, student loans, etc.) The number of audit credits depends upon the number of hours worked per week.

Make an appointment with your Career Development Specialist, or email the Assistant Director of Experiential Learning, Caitlyn Cofer, at ccofer@georgiasouthern.edu. You may also stop by our office located on the 1st floor of the Williams Center Room #1047.

To register, you’ll need to complete the following:

  • A copy of your offer letter
  • Experiential application by going to Eagle Career Net, then selecting “Experiential” on the right-side menu, and then “Start an Application.” If you are unsure of the answers to anything, simply put “n/a.”
  • Experiential Learning Registration Packet.
Resources to Find an Internship

There are many great sources to finding internship positions. The following listed websites are provided below to further assist you in your internship search. Please keep in mind that to qualify as an internship, a job must be related to your major and must be supervised.

Co-ops
Overview of Co-ops

Georgia Southern supports the Alternating Plan and the Parallel Plan for cooperative education.

  • Alternating Plan – allows students to work full-time (40 hrs/week) for one semester and return to school the next semester. (One semester of work and one of school is called one rotation). This plan continues for at least two (2) rotations.
  • Parallel Plan – allows students to work part-time (at least 16 hrs and no more than 30 hrs per week) and attend school part-time. This plan requires a student to work four or more work/school combination periods scheduled over two academic years.
Goals and Benefits of a Co-op

By participating in the Georgia Southern University Co-Op Program you should:

  • Gain practical work experience related to your chosen major
  • Further clarify your academic focus and career goals
  • Integrate practical knowledge into classroom learning
  • Gain an understanding of professional cultures and expectations
Learning Outcomes

After completing the co-op you should demonstrate the ability to:

  • Apply classroom knowledge to actual work situations
  • Communicate effectively
  • Design and conduct experiments, as well as analyze and interpret data
  • Design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs
  • Function as part of a multi-disciplinary team
  • Identify, formulate, and solve engineering or business problems
  • Understand and apply professional and ethical responsibility
  • Understand the impact of engineering or business solutions in a global and societal context
  • Recognize the need for, and engage in lifelong learning
  • Understand contemporary issues
  • Use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering and business tools necessary for engineering/business practice
  • Utilize job search skills: resume, interview, decision making skills
  • Develop professional contacts
  • Constructively receive and apply professional feedback
  • Take initiative in a professional setting
Co-op Program Requirements

The Georgia Southern University Co-Op Program is open to all full-time undergraduate and graduate students meeting the following requirements:

  • Have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 (3.00 for graduate students) or good academic standing
  • Have completed a minimum of 30 credit hours
  • Have attended Georgia Southern for one semester (for Transfer Students)
  • Be available to participate in at least two alternating semesters (40 hrs/week) OR four parallel semesters (16 – 30 hrs/week) of a work rotation.
Co-op Registration

Make Your Co-Op Official

Prior to starting your co-op, it is critical that you contact the Office of Career Services to register for the appropriate tuition-free, audit-credit co-op course in order to remain enrolled full-time at Georgia Southern while you are working. This course will allow the co-op to be officially recognized by the University on the student’s transcript and prevents gaps in enrollment (for insurance purposes, housing, student fees, student loans, etc.) The number of audit credits depends upon the number of hours worked per week.

Make an appointment with your Career Development Specialist, or email the Assistant Director of Experiential Learning, Caitlyn Cofer, at ccofer@georgiasouthern.edu. You may also stop by our office located on the 1st floor of the Williams Center Room #1047.

To register, you’ll need to complete the following:

  • A copy of your offer letter
  • Experiential application by going to Eagle Career Net, then selecting “Experiential” on the right-side menu, and then “Start an Application.” If you are unsure of the answers to anything, simply put “n/a.” For visual instructions, click here.

Last updated: 10/12/2018