One defining characteristic of the New York University educational experience is the opportunity students have to apply their classroom learning to real-life experiences in a variety of professional and community-service settings. New York City provides such opportunities in abundance, and the College of Arts and Science and the University take full advantage of our location in the financial, cultural, scientific, and media capital of the world. Our alumni base, for example, encompasses every conceivable profession, and alumni give generously of their time to undergraduate students seeking experiential learning.
These are the most common form of internship. Jobs related to a student's professional interests provide pay for the work that students are doing for the organization. Many companies and organizations provide part-time jobs that allow students to gain experience and to network in the field, while at the same time helping to alleviate the financial burden of being a college student. (Please note: Some for-profit companies ask students to volunteer, but allow it only if the student can earn academic credit. Many of these so-called internships do not relate directly to a student's academic work and are not worthy of academic credit in a discipline. In these cases, the company should consider providing compensation for the work done by a student, thus making it a paid internship.)
Voluntary or Community Service
Certain organizations encourage students to work on a volunteer basis to gain experience and to provide needed assistance to the organization. This type of arrangement is common, for example, in government and not-for-profit organizations. Such internships are valued, sometimes even required, for admission to some professional schools, but the College awards no credit for them.
A few departments offer academic internships that directly advance a student's knowledge in the academic discipline and thus earn course credit. Such academic internships must be sponsored by an appropriate faculty member through an academic department and normally require close faculty supervision, significant research in addition to the practical work experience, a reporting of findings, and a formal assessment of the student's work. All such internships require permission of the department or program, and registration for them must be within the regular deadlines. Students pursuing internships outside of the major field of study can receive credit through an academic nondepartmental seminar.
Departments offering credit-bearing internships may restrict them to declared majors, since those students have the requisite background. Internship courses can be counted toward some majors but not toward others.
In some departments, independent study that draws on the activity or environment of the internship may be a possibility. Like a credit-bearing internship, independent study requires a proposal by the student, careful guidance from a faculty member, and a body of work that can be evaluated for course credit.
(1) How can I receive credit or funding for my internship?
The NYU College of Arts and Science provides students with an opportunity to gain credit for internships that are “actively monitored,” provide substantive projects, and range from 8 and 15 hours per week. Students can also earn credit or funding for internships through their major or minor department, the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, Gallatin, the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, the Undergraduate Film and Television Department at Tisch, and the Wasserman Center for Career Development.
(2) Does the internship meet the Fair Labor Standards Act guidelines?
Before accepting your internship, you should review the Department of Labor Internship Fact Sheet for general information regarding the minimum wage and overtime pay requirements for interns in the “for-profit,” private sector.
(3) Is the internship related to your major or minor?
If you have a declared major or minor, ask your major or minor department whether they will award credit. Typically, the internship needs to be related to the department and is usually accompanied by a 20-page paper or a similar assignment for credit. Each department differs in its policies regarding internships. This is a possibility for fall, spring, summer, and winter credit, and students may not receive more than a total of eight internship credits towards their major degree requirements.
(4) Is the internship unrelated to your major or minor?
The College of Arts and Science offers a college-wide Internship Seminar for students engaged in an unpaid internship in non-profit and governmental agencies as well as in for-profit companies. The CAS Internship Seminar and Fieldwork (NODEP-UA 980/981) provides students with an opportunity to complete an internship that is far from their major or minor. Note that internships for credit require an academic component. Therefore, a student must take the Internship Seminar to enroll in the Internship Fieldwork component of the course, for a total of four credits. The course usually fills up by the first week of classes. It is only available during the fall and spring semesters, and students may only pursue this option one time.
(5) Is the internship in a government or non-profit sector?
The Department of Social and Cultural Analysis offers an internship program for the government and non-profit sectors: SCA-UA 40/42. Like the previous option, there is a seminar which must be taken in conjunction with the fieldwork, for a total of four credits. Visit the SCA Internship page for additional information, or contact Betts Brown in the SCA Department. This option is available during the fall and spring semesters, and sometimes in the summer.
(6) Is credit required by an agency but not needed for your degree?
If you need the credit for an internship but not necessarily for your degree/graduation, you can try to arrange an Internship Study through Gallatin: INDIV-UG 1801. This option is solely to meet the company’s requirement. While credits are technically granted by the University for this (thus satisfying the company’s requirement), please be aware that CAS will not count those credits towards your degree (so any grade associated with it will also not be factored into your GPA and it will not be part of the 128 credits you need to graduate). For more information, contact the Gallatin Internship Director Faith Stangler at email@example.com. Students must submit their proposals by the end of the first week of classes. This option is available during the fall and spring semesters, and sometimes in the summer.
(7) Is the internship in business but credit is not needed for your degree?
The School Professional Studies (SPS) has a one-credit business internship option: BUSN1-UC 574 / BUSN1-DC 574. While credits are technically granted by the University for this (thus satisfying the company’s requirement), please be aware that CAS will not count those credits towards your degree (so any grade associated with it will also not be factored into your GPA and it will not be part of the 128 credits you need to graduate). Contact Professor Stephanie Meth for more information. This option is available during the fall, spring, and summer terms.
(8) Is the internship in media but credit is not needed for your degree?
Tisch has a one-credit media internship option, sponsored by the Undergraduate Film and Television Department: FMTV-UT 1037. While credits are technically granted by the University for this (thus satisfying the company’s requirement), please be aware that CAS will not count those credits towards your degree (so any grade associated with it will also not be factored into your GPA and it will not be part of the 128 credits you need to graduate). Visit the Tisch Special Programs page for additional information. This option is available during the fall, spring, and summer terms.
(9) How can I apply to receive support for a non-paying internship through the Wasserman Center?
The Wasserman Center Internship Grant was established to provide financial assistance to students pursuing non-paying internships within not-for-profits, the arts, education, public service and other industries that do not traditionally pay their interns. The Wasserman Center is able to offer approximately 100-120 $1,000 grants during the fall, spring, and summer terms. This number is subject to change based on available funds. Applications are reviewed by the Wasserman Center Internship Grant Committee and representatives from various NYU academic departments.
(10) Can I receive credit for an internship outside the United States?
Whether a CAS student is able to participate in a for-credit internship outside the U.S. depends on many variables, including the student's country of citizenship and local laws in the host country. Please seek advisement and pre-approval from the Office of Global Programs staff and the director of undergraduate studies in your department before undertaking a non-U.S. internship.
(11) Can I request a letter of support for my internship?
The College of Arts and Science can only provide a letter of support for CAS students pursuing an internship for credit based on one of the options outlined above. NYU does not support unpaid internships at for-profit companies, and therefore a letter of support cannot be provided in those circumstances. Please speak with your CAS advisor about the possibility of receiving a letter of support if you are receiving credit for your internship.
(12) In which states can I receive credits for internships?
Owing to recent changes in states' laws governing out-of-state entities and their right to award credit for certain educational experiences, including internships, within state boundaries (known as "State Authorization"), CAS can only award credit for internships that take place in:
- District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.)
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
The list above will be updated as NYU obtains authorization in other states.