What Is an Internship?

An internship consists of experiences through which students apply their academic knowledge in a work setting. It is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory students learned in the classroom with practical application and skill development in a professional environment.

Students can pursue internships as part of an English internship class and earn undergraduate or graduate credits. Or, they may simply engage in internships for experiences and skill development without enrolling in an internship class. Internships may be paid or unpaid. There are particular legal requirements set by the U.S. Department of Labor that employers need to follow if the internship they offer is unpaid. Internships typically run for a summer, semester, or year, as either part-time or full-time.