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Internships are vital to obtaining work experience for your career! Before applying to internships, make sure to have your application materials ready. It is highly recommended that students attend CSTEM career workshops and other events before applying for internships.

Program Objectives

  • To provide students with meaningful experiential learning in order to gain valuable skills needed for the workforce during a summer or semester internship.
  • To provide a variety of internships for students in the STEM fields where they could obtain 3 months or more of paid, full-time or part-time work experience to build their resumes.
  • For students to understand where their career paths can lead to after graduation by obtaining work experience while they are completing their studies.
  • To create a culture of career development for students at the university in partnership with employers or community partners in order to create a pipeline for STEM employers.
  • Summer internships provide the needed break from theory while gaining experience in their field. This allows them to go into their first full-time job with increased awareness of the positions and how they match up with their strengths. This gives the company a chance to see them in action.

A quality internship:

  • Consists of a part-time or full-time work schedule that includes no more than 20% clerical or administrative duties.
  • Provides a clear job/project description for the work experience.
  • Orients the student to the organization, its culture, and proposed work assignment(s).
  • Helps the student develop and achieve learning outcomes.
  • Offers regular feedback to the student intern.

Benefits of completing an internship for students:

  • Gain professional experience and transferable skills
  • Develop new skills and refine others
  • Explore a prospective career path
  • Network with professionals in their field, for references, and future job opportunities
  • Gain a competitive edge on the job market or for post-baccalaureate studies


Paid (not for credit) internships

Information for students

Looking to gain experience in your field? Our campus uses Handshake to post paid, not for credit internships. As a current student, you automatically have an account!  Just use your Cougar username and Password to login to Handshake.

Make sure to also check SD Squared for some local internship opportunities. More opportunities available on the CSTEM Career Readiness and Exploration Teams Channel!

If you're a CSTEM student looking for a paid (not for credit) internship opportunity, contact Breanna Caso at

Information for employers

Want to post non-credit paid internships with your company and  connect with CSUSM students and Alumni? Our campus utilizes Handshake to post these opportunities. You will need to create an employer account and confirm your email before posting the position. Please follow the instructions listed here: Instructions for posting on Handshake.

If you have further questions, contact Breanna Caso at

Academic internships (for credit)

Information for students

Interested in receiving course credit for an internship? Our campus uses CalStateS4 to post academic internships. These internships can be paid or unpaid. In order to utilize this option, you must complete all of the following the steps prior to the start of the internship:

1.) Obtain an internship.

2.) Receive faculty approval from the internship course instructor as well as department approval to utilize the internship and the internship course. Consult with your internship course instructor or department to discuss if the internship is appropriate and meets the objectives related to the internship course. 

3.) Enroll in the internship course.

4.) Complete the academic internship process through CalStateS4 including student placement. For further information about this process, please visit Credit Internships | Career Center | CSUSM.

If you're a CSTEM student and have questions about this process, contact Breanna Caso at

Current STEM Internship Courses
Department Internship Course Course Description
Biology BIOL 495: Internship in Biology BIOL 495
BIOT 497: Internship in Biotechnology BIOT 497
Other departments UNIV 495: University-Wide Internships UNIV 495

UNIV 495 information:

  • Units earned are applied toward the university’s upper-division unit requirement.
  • Every baccalaureate degree (i.e., Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science) requires completion of a minimum of 120 semester units. Some choices of majors will require more than 120 semester units; the descriptions of each major specify how many units are required. Regardless of the major requirements, a student must complete at least forty (40) units of upper-division coursework to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.
  • Inquire with your department chair or faculty advisor about whether these units can be approved to count toward your major.

For more information, please visit the UNIV 495 website.

Information for employers

Interested in offering experiential learning opportunities as paid and/or unpaid internships for academic credit? Our campus utilizes CalStateS4 to post academic internships. Please refer to Internships for Employers & Community Partners | Career Center | CSUSM for more information.

If you have further questions, contact Breanna Caso at

Know of a great internship opportunity for CSTEM students (academic or not for credit)? Contact us at


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