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Registering an Internship for Credit

Important Updates for COVID-19

Important updates for COVID-19: 

  • Given the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, you may be asked to submit additional paperwork should your internship be hybrid or remote. If this is the case, Career Exploration will contact you for this documentation at the time of your internship registration. 

Updated 4/07/22

Please review the How to Register an Internship for Academic Credit Quick Start Guide for deadlines.

1. Find a Faculty Sponsor

To earn credit, your internship must actively involve a faculty person who oversees the academic component and assigns a grade. Factors to consider in finding a sponsor:

  • Identify a faculty person with a perspective or background that will help you learn as much as possible in this internship.
  • A sponsor does not have to be your academic advisor, although students using the internship for career exploration often seek this person’s support.
  • Credit earned will be in the department of the faculty sponsor.
  • Some departments will sponsor only students who have previously taken coursework in that academic area.
  • While faculty are generally quite supportive of internships, they are not required to serve in this capacity. Respectfully ask for their support; do not demand it.

2. Meet with your Faculty Sponsor

  • Use the Developing the Learning Contract Quick Start Guide to help you develop your learning objectives, tasks/strategies, and evaluation and learning outcomes. Create a draft and share these with your faculty sponsor for their input.
  • Discuss with your faculty sponsor how many hours you will complete and how many credits. 
  • Create a communication plan to share your progress throughout the semester.

3. Complete Your Learning Contract in Handshake

  • Review the Step-by-Step Guide for assistance
  • Log in to Handshake using your Macalester username and password.
  • Click “Career Center” along the top, then “Experiences”, then “Request an Experience.” Complete the form with your internship details. International students – use your legal (passport) name in the Learning Contract.
    • All fields are required. Be sure to include:
      • Employer street address
      • Internship Title (descriptive)
      • Start/end dates (these must fall within the semester start/end dates)
      • Position Description (upload to Handshake)

Once all required information is provided, we will start the approval process. Your faculty sponsor and site supervisor will get an email from Handshake (not Macalester) asking them to approve an “Experience.” You can check the status of approvals in Handshake. You will receive a registration email from our office with instructions and forms when both parties have approved the Experience.

4. Register Your Internship for Credit

  • Once your learning contract in Handshake is approved, you will receive a registration email which will include:
    • A copy of your learning contract
    • Student Agreement form
      • You must read this and agree before Career Exploration will approve your registration.
    • Registration form
      • Once you submit the registration form, it will go through an approval process:
      • Career Exploration
      • Registrar’s Office

International Students

International students here on student visas must register their internships for credit, whether it is paid or not.

In order to qualify for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) employment, your internship position has to relate to your declared or intended major (not minor or concentration). Additionally, you cannot start any work until CPT is approved by International Student Programs (ISP). Be sure the start date on your Learning Contract allows time for approval in Handshake and time for ISP to process your CPT.

Once your internship paperwork has been approved, you will receive a copy of your Learning Contract through email. ISP will process your CPT and will send an electronic I-20 to you with the CPT work authorization after the Learning Contract is approved.