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Enrollment and Course Requirements

  • I have a question regarding course enrollment?
    The Career Center does not oversee enrollment or course requirements. To obtain more information, contact your major adviser or course instructor. For additional information regarding internships that will be taken for a course, see the “credit internships” section on the CSUSM Career Center Website.
  • Can I begin my internship hours before the course begins?
    Internships typically begin after the first class meeting and a starting date will be provided by your course instructor. Arrangements to begin the internship at an earlier date must be arranged with the course instructor.
  • How many hours am I required to complete for my internship?
    A typical course will require between 90-150 hours for the semester. If the internship will not be taken for a course, we suggest the internship does not exceed more than 20 hours per week. Unpaid internships should not exceed a semester.

Remote Internships

  • How do I find a remote internship opportunity?
    The safety of our students and community remain a top priority. Use the database to search for the key word: “remote” internships. In addition, use your network to learn more about internships in your industry. You can also utilize other online search engines such as LinkedIn, and
  • What is a remote opportunity?

    An internship that does not require you to be in a specific physical location. The duties and tasks assigned to you can be completed online or from a virtual location.

Finding an Internship

  • I’m planning on taking an internship course, how do I start and where can I find one?

    If you are planning on taking an internship course, log on to the Internships database to view over 1,000 CSUSM approved internship sites. Handshake will also offer listings to non-credit internships. Refer to the CSUSM Intern Handbook for more information.

    Keep in mind that getting an internship takes advanced preparation. Consider the following questions while searching for an internship:

    1. What are your specific career interest?
    2. What do you want to gain from the internship?
    3. What type of organization are you interested in?


    You can also seek out additional resources by:

    • Consulting with your professors, major advisor or a Career Counselor to assist you with additional planning
    • Use your social and professional networks
    • Attend the CSUSM Internship and Career Fairs
    • Research companies and organizations in your field of interest

    For additional information about securing an internship, see the credit and non-credit internship sections on our website.

  • When should I apply for an internship?

    The application timeframe is largely based on the organization type. Government agencies and larger companies typically recruit students 6 months up to a year prior to the internship start date. Some businesses and non-profit organization will recruit several weeks prior to the internship start date. For exact deadlines, research organizations you are considering applying to in the future.

  • Can I get credit for a past internship I've completed?
    No. Internships cannot be approved retroactively. 
  • Is it okay to intern for a family member?
    To avoid a conflict of interest, students may not intern with family members.
  • Can I complete my hours at my current workplace?

    The Career Center will allow internship hours to be completed at a student’s current workplace under the following circumstances: 1) students must obtain approval from the course instructor regarding the appropriateness of the work for the discipline; 2) the nature of the work must be professional, with no more than 20% clerical and/or routine duties; 3) the work must be related to the chosen career.

  • Are there any international internship opportunities?
    At the moment, all internship opportunities are located in the USA. For study abroad opportunities, contact the Global Programs and Services.
  • Can I intern for a home-based business?
    Home-based businesses may be approved once required criteria are met. Furthermore, a site visit may be required but does not guarantee approval.   

Using the Internship Database

  • How do I use the database?

    The database is helpful to find businesses, non-profits, and government agencies that are approved internship sites. To use the database, log in with your CSUSM credentials.

    Helpful Tips:

    • Work with an advisor learn about opportunities in your major and/or career interest
    • Select as many “Organization Types” in the database that are relevant to your search
    • Think of keywords associated with your search and use them in the “keyword” field in the database (examples: biotech, marketing, Temecula).
  • How do I select an opportunity in the database?

    Once you have been offered the internship and have received faculty approval, create a placement in the database.  Please watch the video below for more information. 


  • Can I select more than one site to complete my internship hours?
    The option to select more than one site for an internship course may not be offered by every course instructor. Students must seek approval from the course instructor prior to selecting a second internship site. Consequently, the database will only allow once placement to be created by the student. After receiving instructor approval, send a request for a second placement with your name, course, second site information, site contact, and hours estimated to:
  • My internship site is not in the database, how do I add them?

    To request a site to be added to the database, review the steps for requesting a new community partner. This process may take anywhere from 4-6 weeks as it requires online paperwork and documentation. To help expedite this process, be sure to check in with your site supervisor to ensure they have submitted all requested information.

    PLEASE NOTE: Deadlines to submit new requests are August 1 for the Fall semester, May 1 for the Summer sessions and December 1 for the Spring semester.

  • If my internship is unpaid, what happens if my site doesn't sign the agreement?

    A University Community Partnership Agreement for unpaid opportunities is important because it establishes guidelines and policies for a quality internship experience. If we do not hear back from your site or if they refuse to sign the agreement, you will need to find a new placement.

  • How do I modify my placement?
    To make corrections to your completed placement, send your request with your name, course, and the information needed to be updated to:
  • I recently enrolled in my class, why don't I see it in the database?
    After enrolling in your class, allow 48 hours for your course to appear in the database.

Additional Resources

*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 Interim Director of the Career Center, Andres Favela immediately.

Have more questions?

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