Undergraduate Students

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Internship Guidelines for Students at Rutgers University- Newark (RU-N)

For students enrolled at RU-N and seeking to pursue an internship opportunity. Below are guidelines for internships, information on signing agreements, national standards for internships, and how academic departments can collaborate with the Office of Career Resources & Exploration (CRE) to review internships for credit.

The CRE values experiential opportunities that provide our students access to learning that complements their course of study. An internship is one form of experiential education. Internships come in many forms. The key to internships and other experiential opportunities is that the student must be learning. Here are some guidelines regarding internships:

  • An internship can be paid or unpaid.
  • Internships that offer a salary should meet the minimum wage for the state in which it is located.
  • Internships may also offer credit. Credit is not a form of compensation.
  • To obtain credits for an internship, the student must consult with an academic department.
  • Internships can also offer both credits and compensation.
  • The employer determines compensation, and each academic department determines credit.

The Office of Career Resources & Exploration offers the following resources to students to secure an internship:

  • Workshops to prepare your materials – resume, cover letter, and looking for opportunities
  • Identify positions and employers- https://rutgers-newark.joinhandshake.com/
  • 1:1 appointments with our Career Coaches

We may also partner with academic departments and employers to ensure the details of an internship align with national standards for what is defined as an internship.

Below you will find information about hold harmless agreements, the NACE criteria for an experience to be defined as an internship, and the process for an internship to be reviewed by the Office of Career Resources & Exploration at Rutgers University-Newark.

Hold Harmless Agreements:
For relationship(s) between Rutgers and the outside facility, hold harmless agreements must be reviewed by Rutgers. Students cannot sign the hold harmless agreement as they do not have the authority to sign such agreements. The hold harmless agreement will need to be signed by a designee (faculty or staff) from the department that is allowing the student to do the internship and representative of the organization offering the internship.

Hold harmless agreements should be reviewed if they are presented to a student. In that scenario, there are two options:

  1. If the student is earning credit, a representative from Rutgers must review the agreement.
  2. If the student is seeking an internship independently without credit, the student can sign this agreement directly.

Criteria for an Experience to be Defined as an Internship from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)
Whether you choose to secure an internship independently (without credit) or in collaboration with an academic department (with credit), we recommend that you use these criteria to evaluate your internship opportunity.
The Office of Career Resources & Exploration and NACE recommend that an opportunity meet all seven criteria to be defined as an internship. Meeting the seven criteria is especially true for internships that do not offer compensation. Credits are not a form of compensation.

  1. The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
  2. The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
  3. The experience has a defined beginning and end and a job description with desired qualifications.
  4. There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework.
  5. There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
  6. There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.
  7. There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.

For more information on the seven-point criteria used above, visit:

Process for an Internship to be Reviewed in Collaboration Between Academic Departments and the Career Development Center
The Office of Career Resources & Exploration does not offer credits for internships. The Office of Career Resources & Exploration reviews internship opportunities to determine if they meet the criteria outlined by NACE. Whether or not an opportunity merits credit is the responsibility of an academic department. If the department where you choose to obtain credits requests that the Office of Career Resources & Exploration review internships, the process is as follows:

Office of Career Resources & Exploration Process for Reviewing Internships

  1. Step 1: Student secures internship and determines appropriate academic department/faculty advisor to issue credit.
  2. Step 2: Student completes a questionnaire with details about the opportunity, including supervising faculty, department, and internship supervisor. This link contains the questionnaire about the internship details: Rutgers University-Newark Student Internship Questionnaire.
  3. Step 3: Using the information the student provides, the CRE contacts the internship supervisor with a request to complete an Employer Questionnaire. The questionnaire requests information about key duties, learning outcomes, skills or knowledge gained, supervision, and equipment and training provided to the student during the internship.
  4. Step 4: CRE reviews both completed questionnaires to ensure consistency and alignment with NACE criteria and forwards findings to the supervising faculty/department of the internship. For an experience to be defined as an internship, it must meet all seven of the NACE criteria.
  5. Step 5: The supervising faculty/staff of the internship decides as to whether or not the internship merits credit and contacts the student.

If you require assistance with the information please contact us at careers@newark.rutgers.edu.

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