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Credit Internships

Credit internships are a great opportunity to earn credits while gaining work experience. Many of CSUSM’s academic departments offer credit-bearing internship courses; some are open to non-majors while others are required/restricted courses open only to students in those majors. In order to earn academic credit for an internship experience, you must be enrolled in an internship course*. 

University Internship Course (UNIV 495) is available for enrollment (varies by semester).  Students are encouraged to utilize internship courses within their discipline where applicable. Learn More Here.

Steps for Securing a Credit Internship

Securing a credit internship takes advance preparation. It is strongly recommended students work with an academic and/or career advisor to learn more about internships related to the major or career objectives.
  • Step 1: Enroll in an internship course

    Enrollment for internship courses are overseen by individual major departments. 

    • Check with your academic department to see if they have a designated internship course, and refer to the class schedule to search for currently offered courses.

    If your major department does not have a designated internships course, you may be a good candidate for UNIV 495.

    Contact your academic advisor to learn more about course requirements, prerequisites, additional department forms/processes,  major-specific internship credit limitations, and other information.

  • Step 2: Search for credit internship sites and opportunities

    Log on to the database with your CSUSM username and password. 

    For step-by-step instructions for using the database, see the How to Find an Internship video.

  • Step 3: Apply for a credit internship position

    Once you have found a potential internship opportunity through the CSUSM database, follow the specific instructions detailed in the opportunity or site listing. If no instructions are listed, feel free to reach out to the contact on the site listing.

    *If you want to work with a particular organization that is not in the database, refer to the steps for requesting a community partner.

    Remember, to apply for an internship listing, use the application instructions or reach out directly to the main contact listed on the site.  Application instructions may ask for a resume, cover letter or portfolio, check out the resources below to help get you started:  


    Career Counseling is also great way to get started! They provide guidance with the following and more:

    • Resume and Cover letters
    • Interview Strategies
    • Initial job search tips
    • Cougar Closet
  • Step 4: Internship placement and required forms

    Once you have accepted your internship opportunity AND obtained instructor approval, you may create your internship placement in the Academic Internship Database and begin your required compliance forms. 

    Step-by-step placement instructions

    (If you want to work with a particular organization that is not in the database, refer to the steps for requesting a community partner).

    •  An email copy of your placement and forms will be automatically sent to the internship site supervisor you provided.

  • Step 5: Beginning your internship

    Before attending the first day of your internship, you MUST have reported your placement in the database.  You will also want to check in with your internship course instructor. 

    Your internship course instructor will provide course internship information such as when you may begin your internship, assignments/projects, timekeeping information, and other important information.

    Make sure to check in frequently with your internship course instructor and internship site supervisor for updates and details regarding your internship.

For more information, see the student frequently asked questions.

*The CSUSM University Community Partnership Agreement requires all parties to follow all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, including but not limited to laws prohibiting discrimination and harassment.

If you feel you have been discriminated, harassed, or have a non-emergency safety concern at an internship site, contact the Director of the Career Center,  Dr. Yasmine Farley immediately.