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UNIV 495: Internships

DISCLAIMER: University Internship Course (UNIV 495) will not be available for Fall 2022.  Please check back for Spring 2022 enrollment. Students are encouraged to utilize internship courses within their discipline where applicable.

UNIV 495 is an approved, supervised learning and work experience designed to give you hands-on experience in your chosen career alongside qualified professionals. UNIV 495 is particularly aimed at students from majors that do not offer an internship course. Units earned are applied toward the university’s upper-division unit requirement*. Internships let you apply your classroom learning and test your aptitude in the real world while earning college credit. Having a completed internship on your résumé sends a message that you are serious about your career advancement. 

Enrolling in UNIV 495

Students enrolled in UNIV 495 are required to obtain an internship that carries significant responsibilities in your field of study with opportunities to hone your skills while exploring career issues and interests. The internship should involve ongoing interaction with professionals who can provide guidance and mentoring. The Academic Internship Database houses hundreds of prospective internship sites to begin your search.  If you want to intern with an organization not in the database, submit the UNIV 495 request for faculty approval form to find out if it’s suitable.

  • UNIV 495: Internship Criteria

    An internship position must carry significant responsibilities in the student’s field of study, giving the student opportunities to hone skills while exploring career issues and interests. The position should involve substantial interaction with professional staff and/or supervisory personnel who can provide guidance and mentoring.

    • Students must secure a suitable internship in their field of study no later than the second week of the course. 
    • The internship must involve professional work, which gives the student an opportunity to explore career development issues and interests.
    • The internship must not entail more than 20% clerical work and may not involve telemarketing or sales.
    • The duration of the internship must be at least 10 weeks and a total of 120 hours.
    • The workload must include at least two learning objectives/responsibilities that provide experience in the student's chosen career field/interest.  
    • The internship must involve significant interaction with professional staff and/or supervisory personnel who can provide guidance and discuss the organization's vision, goals and objectives.
    • Work must be performed in a workplace/business environment.
    • Work must be performed while the student is enrolled in an internship course.
    • Students must finish the internship placement process prior to the start of their internship.
    • Interns must complete career readiness assignments outlined in the course syllabus. 
  • UNIV 495: Finding a Suitable Internship
    • Log onto the Academic Internship Database and review opportunities using key words to narrow your search.
    • Submit the UNIV 495 request for faculty approval form to find out if it’s suitable.
    • If you want to work with a particular community partner that is not in the database, you will need to view the  Request New Community Partner page.
    • Apply for the internship position by following the instructions detailed in the opportunity listing. The process for each site varies but basically works like this: 
      • You telephone the contact person at the organization(s) where you are interested in interning and seek an appointment for an interview.
      • They will probably ask you to send your résumé and perhaps a cover letter and/or writing sample.
      • You set up an interview.
      • If the organization offers you an internship and you accept, you have landed an internship!
      • If you have interviewed with more than one organization, contact them and thank them sincerely for taking the time to talk with you and inform them you have selected another site.
    • Once you secure the internship position, return to the database and finish your internship placement (Step 4) prior to the start of the internship. Failure to do so may result in being dropped from the class. 
    • This interview process usually takes two weeks, so it’s important to start early. The process may take longer if you want to work with an organization that is not already in the database.  Plan accordingly.
    • You must secure an internship no later than the second week of the semester to remain in the course.
    • Check the Cougar Course container for assignments.
  • UNIV 495: International Students
     If you have an F-1 or J-1 non-immigrant visa status, you must first obtain the necessary authorization to engage in off-campus employment from the Office of Global Education, located in Craven Hall 3200, (760) 750-4090, or

*Inquire with your department chair or faculty advisor about whether these units can be approved to count toward your major.