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FAQs

Enrollment and Course Requirements

  • I have a question regarding course enrollment?

    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.
  • 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 longer than a semester.

Finding an Internship

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

    If you are planning on taking an internship visit the Office of Internships website and log on to the Internships database to view over 1,000 CSUSM approved internship sites. 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 adviser or a CSUSM academic adviser 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?

    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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.

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. 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: internships@csusm.edu.
  • 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?

    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: internships@csusm.edu
  • 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 Director of Internships at jlitsche@csusm.edu immediately.

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