Frequently asked questions about internship courses

Find answers to frequently asked questions about internship courses, internship eligibility, and internship course registration.

General course questions

What internship course options are available to satisfy Tippie RISE?

Internship courses range from 0-3 semester hours and are offered either by the Tippie College of Business or the Pomerantz Career Center. Most students choose BUS:3100 (0 semester hours) or CCP:1201 (1-3 s.h.). We encourage you to learn the details of all of the internship course options before choosing one. 

Why do I have to take an internship course to satisfy Tippie RISE?

Tippie College of Business requires an internship course to ensure that students are engaging in meaningful professional experiences and that they are attaining the desired learning outcomes for Tippie RISE. Each internship course approved for Tippie RISE is designed to help interns get more out of their internship experience by doing complementary academic work. 

Why do I have to do an internship course to earn semester hours?

The Tippie College of Business can only award academic semester hours for academic work, not for work experience alone. Internship courses are actual academic courses; if the course is 1-3 semester hours, you are earning the hours for the academic work of the course, not for the time spent in the internship.

Why do I have to do homework for a zero semester hour internship class?

Just because a course is 0 semester hours doesn't mean there is no work associated with it. In order to meet the learning objectives of Tippie RISE, all approved internship courses require at least a few meaningful assignments. Because the class work for BUS:3100 should take no more than 3 hours total throughout the entire semester, it is not enough to earn a semester hour; for that reason, you are not required to pay any tuition either.

How do I find an internship?

Most students start by looking at the postings in Handshake and asking family, friends, and others in their network about internship opportunities. We also recommend that you use the variety of resources provided by the Pomerantz Career Center such as attending the job and internship fairs and meeting with career advisors.

Will you find an internship for me once I register for the course?

No, you will need to find an internship prior to registering for the internship course. We recommend that you look for internships online at Handshake and other online job posting sites and that you ask family, friends, and professional acquaintances for leads. 

Why are there multiple sections of BUS:3100?

One section (BUS:3100:0EXW) is for any student with a "typical" internship who would like to satisfy Tippie RISE with a zero semester hour option. The other section (BUS:3100:0EXV) is specifically for students participating in the IIB - African Business Innovation Internship and also satisfies Tippie RISE.

Internship eligibility questions

How do I know if my internship counts for Tippie RISE?

In order to satisfy the internship category of Tippie RISE, you need to complete an approved internship course during the same academic term. Criteria differ somewhat for each internship course, so it is important to first determine which course you would like to take; most students take BUS:3100, but CCP:1201 is also a common option. The requirements that the courses have in common are: internship lasts for the majority of the academic term, no less than 10 hours of work per week, supervision from a professional at the company, related to major or desired career, and job responsibilities are primarily professional in nature. Please visit our internship course options page to find out more about each course and the registration requirements.  

I am starting my own company. Does this count as an internship?

This could definitely be a valuable professional experience, but does not generally meet the criteria of an internship. In order to achieve the desired learning outcomes of Tippie RISE, internships must include supervision from an experienced professional at an established company or organization. For this reason, an exception will be made when the company is created or grown under active supervision of a professor or start-up coach as part of an approved University of Iowa course. 

Would an independent contractor position qualify as an internship for BUS:3100?

Independent contractors are self-employed individuals who provide a service to a client company. An independent contractor is not in an employer-employee relationship with the client company and as such, is not entitled to employee benefits or protections and is not under the control or guidance of the client company regarding what work is done and how. As a result, an independent contractor position would not meet the supervision requirement for the Tippie RISE internship course BUS:3100. 

Can my job or volunteer experience count as an internship for Tippie RISE?

Possibly, both jobs and volunteering can provide valuable experience, but many lack the professional development components in an internship (see side by side comparison in table below). If your job or volunteer position has some of the aspects of an internship, you may be able to work with your supervisor to add the missing components. For guidance on doing this, please contact the Pomerantz Career Center or Nicholas Kavanaugh. If you are able to make the necessary changes, then the next step is to register for an approved internship course to take concurrently with the job or volunteer position.

Internship Volunteering Short Term/student job
Job responsibilities are primarily professional in nature, much like an entry level staff member Position consists of many simple responsibilities Assigned work is task oriented based on employer demand
Relates to intern’s area of study May or may not relate to volunteer’s area of study May or may not relate to employee’s area of study
Intern sets learning goals for job Volunteer does not set learning goals for role In short term or student jobs, it is not common to set learning goals
Intern is supervised and mentored by professional at company Volunteer is given tasks by staff, but no direct supervisor Employee is assigned tasks by a supervisor
Intern receives training to develop job skills for current and future positions  Volunteer receives as needed training for specific job tasks Employee receives as needed training for specific job tasks
Intern receives regular feedback to improve performance and develop professionally Volunteer may receive occasional feedback on specific tasks Employee receives feedback in order to better meet job expectations

 

Course registration questions

Do I sign up for the course first or find an internship first?

You will need to secure an internship before you will be able to register for an internship course. However, we do recommend that you look at your internship course options ahead of time so you are aware of the differences.

Can I sign up for the fall/spring BUS:3100 internship class after the semester has started?

Ideally, you would begin the class and the internship at the start of the same semester; however, we understand that for a variety of reasons, you may not be ready to register before the semester starts. Therefore, as long as the internship meets the eligibility requirements, you will still be permitted to register during the first week of classes on your MyUI account and during the second week of classes with instructor approval. Please see the University academic calendar for all pertinent registration deadlines.

Can I sign up for the summer BUS:3100 internship class after the summer session has started?

Ideally, you would begin the class and the internship at the start of the same summer session; however, we understand that for a variety of reasons, you may not be ready to register before that particular session starts. Therefore, as long as the internship meets the eligibility requirements, you may be able to get permission from the instructor to register during the first week of the session. Please see the University academic calendar for all pertinent registration deadlines.

What are the criteria for registering for an internship course?

Criteria differ somewhat for each internship course, so it is important to first determine which course you would like to take. The requirements that the courses have in common are: internship lasts for the majority of the academic term, no less than 10 hours of work per week, supervision from a professional at the company, related to major or desired career, job responsibilities are primarily professional in nature. Please visit our internship course options page to find out more about each course and the registration requirements.  

I have an internship, now how do I register for an internship class?

You must follow the registration instructions provided in the course description on MyUI or the course website. See the internship course options page for more details.  

What is an official job offer letter?

This is a letter provided by an employer stating the details and conditions of a job offer. It generally includes your name, the title of the internship position, approximate start and end dates, work schedule, compensation, and instructions for any steps you need to take prior to the start of the internship. Some small businesses or companies with new internship programs may offer an internship verbally or through email; in that case, we advise you to ask the employer for an official offer letter, so you can confirm the offer matches your expectations of the position, and so you have a record of the offer in case clarification is needed later. When requesting to enroll in BUS:3100, the offer letter must be uploaded as a PDF document on company letterhead and have a signature from a representative of the employer.   

Why do I need to do the internship and internship course during the same semester?

Internship courses are designed to complement the experiences you have during the internship and therefore the two must be completed simultaneously. The course assignments are designed to help you get more out of your internship experience. To accomplish this, the assignments must be completed at specific key points during the internship and would not provide the intended benefit if they were completed after the semester.

Why can’t I register for the course after the internship is over?

Tippie College of Business and the Pomerantz Career Center require that internships occur in the same semester as the internship course. Also, just like other academic courses, they cannot be added retroactively.