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Steps to Register an Internship for Credit

Registering an Internship for Credit

  • 1. Review the Registered Internship Policies and Requirements

    There are a lot of important policies, requirements, and procedures involved in completing an internship for credit! Read through the policies and requirements web page in its entirety at this link so that you know what to expect and to minimize any confusion within the registration process. Give yourself enough time to review the information and reach out to [email protected] with any questions. 

  • 2. Find a Faculty Sponsor

    To earn credit, your internship must actively involve a faculty member who oversees the academic component of the internship and assigns a grade. Keep the following notes in mind when selecting a faculty sponsor:

    • The faculty sponsor should come from a department that most closely aligns with the content and industry of the internship (ex: you should not choose a faculty member from the Biology department to sponsor your Theater/Dance internship). 
    • The faculty sponsor does not have to be your academic advisor, although students using the internship to explore career options 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.

  • 3. Meet with Your Faculty Sponsor

    • Use the Developing the Learning Contract Quick Start Guide to help you write 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 for how many credits you are registering the internship. 
    • Create a communication plan to share your progress throughout the semester.

  • 4. Submit Your Experience Request / Learning Contract in Handshake

    1. Log in to Handshake using your Macalester username and password.
    2. Click “Macalester College Career Center” along the top, then “Experiences”, then “Submit an Experience.” 
    3. Complete the form with your internship details. (International students: use your legal (passport) name in the Learning Contract.)

    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 an “Action Needed” email from our office with the following instructions and forms when both parties have approved the Experience.

    Consult this Experience Step-by-Step Guide if you need assistance.

  • 5. Register Your Internship for Credit

    Once your learning contract in Handshake is approved, you will receive a registration email which will include:

    1. A copy of your Learning Contract
    2. Essential Dates and Agreement form: You must submit this before Career Exploration will approve your registration.
    3. Registration form: Once you submit the registration form, it will be approved by Career Exploration (and Student Accounts in the summer term) before the Registrar will process your internship Registration. 
    4. CPT form (if you are an international student on a student visa, see below.)

  • 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). To prove this, you will fill out a CPT form that explains the relation between your internship and declared/intended major that ISP will review. They will then process your CPT and send you an electronic I-20 to you with the CPT work authorization. 

    You cannot start any work until you have the I-20 in hand. When choosing a start date for your internship (reflected on your Learning Contract), keep in mind that you need to have approvals from your Faculty Sponsor and Site Supervisor submitted, your own registration forms completed (Outlined in Step 4 above), and the CPT form submitted before beginning your internship. This process can take a few days at minimum, so be sure to choose a start date that allows for ample time to complete this paperwork!