department menu


Enrollment and Course Requirements

Finding an Internship

Using the Internship Database

Additional Resources


I have a question regarding the following: course enrollment, credits, grading, or other internship course requirements. How do I get more information?

The Office of Internships 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 Office of Internships Website.

How soon can I begin completing my internship course hours?

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.

I’m planning on taking an internship, where do I start?

Internships take advanced preparation. Consider the following questions: What are your specific career interest? What do you want to gain from the internship? What type of organization are you interested in? Refer to the CSUSM Intern Handbook for more information. Consulting with your major adviser or a CSUSM career adviser is strongly recommended to assist with additional planning. For additional information about securing an internship, see the credit and non-credit internship sections on our website.

Where can I find an internship?

Visit the Office of Internships website and log on to the Internships Database to view over 700 approved internship sites. In addition to the database, seek out additional resources:
  • Consult with your professors or academic adviser
  • Use your social and professional networks
  • Attend the CSUSM Internship and Career Fairs
  • Research companies and organizations in your field of interest

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 internship hours at my current workplace?

The Office of Internships will allow internship hours to be completed at a student’s current workplace under the following circumstances: Students must obtain approval from the course instructor, the nature of the internship will be distinct from the paid work, AND the internship hours must be over and above work hours. Students completing their hours at their current workplace must submit an electronic timesheet to the Office of Internships at the end of the semester via the internship database.

How much time should I commit?

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 longer than a semester.

Are there any international internship opportunities?

At the moment, all internship opportunities are located in the USA. For study abroad opportunities, contact the Office of Global Education.

Can I get credit for a past internship I’ve completed?

The university does not provide retroactive credit for past internships. Students wishing to receive credit for an internship must be simultaneously enrolled in an internship course during the completion of the internship.  If your major does not provide an internship course, contact your major adviser to request more information. 

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. For additional assistance, refer to the database instruction and placement presentation (PDF) on the CSUSM Office of Internships website.

Helpful Tips:

  • Work with an adviser 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 a site/opportunity in the database?

Once you have been offered the internship and have received faculty approval, create a placement in the database.  

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.

What happens if my site doesn’t get approved or doesn’t sign the University Community Partnership Agreement?

A University Community Partnership Agreement 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 may still proceed with your internship with the following steps:

  1. Ensure the internship site is approved by your faculty adviser.
  2. Make a placement in the database under the site, “Pending Approval from Office of Internships”.
  3. Know that by proceeding with this internship, you assume full responsibility and liability while interning at the unapproved site. It is important to review the University Liability Waiver during the placement process.

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 internship 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.

I am a veteran student*, what resources are available for me?

In addition to the database, visit Veterans Services to obtain more information about their Professional Development program for further support.

I am an international student*, what resources are available for me?

International students should check in with the Office of Global Education for work authorization information. International students have some special regulations that apply only to international students such as completing curricular practice training. For assistance, refer to the Office of Global Education International Students.

I am an AB540 student*, what resources are available for me?

AB540 students may participate in unpaid internship opportunities at non-profit organizations. Note some organizations will require a social security number for background checks. If applicable, this requirement will be noted under “additional requirements” on the organization’s information page in the database. In addition, consider taking an internship on campus. Many on-campus organizations will take on current students without a social security number.  For additional resources, see the Office of Inclusive Excellence.

I am an LGBTQA student*, what resources are available for me?

The Office of Internships works with a variety of organizations including but not limited to: Businesses, Non-profit Organizations, Government Agencies, Religious/Faith based organizations, and Political organizations.  LGBTQA students are strongly encouraged to research organization structure and inquire about company culture and accommodations to determine if it is a good fit. For additional resources, see the Office of Inclusive Excellence.

*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 Internships at immediately.

Have more questions?

Send us an email