“Internships integrate knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting.” –National Association of Colleges & Employers


Internships are powerful "beyond the classroom" learning experiences. They enable you to learn and grow your knowledge and skills under the supervision of a professor or a professional in your field of interest. They come in all shapes, sizes, and settings:

  • Full-time or part-time
  • Short-term or long-term
  • Paid or volunteer
  • For credit or not for credit
  • On campus or off campus
  • Completed all-at-once or spread out
  • In a faculty research lab or field setting or
  • In a public, private, or nonprofit organization

Here are our 5 top reasons to do one (or more!):

  1. Continue to explore and/or confirm your career path
  2. Refine your professional and technical skills and learn new ones
  3. Apply the knowledge and theory you’ve learned in the classroom to real-world settings
  4. Make professional connections and networks for future opportunities and references
  5. Earn academic credit to fulfill major experiential learning requirements

Connecting and engaging with faculty members in your area of interest early is key. Here are our top tips to get you started:

  1. Engage in your classes, consult with professors in office hours
  2. Attend the Research Ready and Getting the Most From Undergraduate Research Workshops in fall and winter terms
  3. Consult with the Office of Undergraduate Research and the Arts (URSA)
  4. Attend Faculty Research Mixers in fall terms - these are fun events where faculty present their research in lightning talks with a focus on student opportunities. View the PowerPoint slides from fall 2019 and fall 2018 terms!
  5. Volunteer, work, or intern with faculty members in labs, on field sites, or on projects. See Winter 2020 Research Opportunities.
  6. Browse the CEOAS faculty directory or other colleges’ faculty directories to access faculty webpages and learn more about faculty research and areas of expertise
  7. Check out the CEOAS research pages, then drill down by research subjects areas to identify areas of focus and affiliated faculty within the college
  8. Check out ongoing annual research opportunities on our curated spreadsheet Internship/Research Programs
  9. Explore Summer Research Opportunities through the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates

Internships are educational and professional stepping stones.Therefore, the best have the following 5 qualities:

  1. Align with your major and career interests
  2. Fit with your skills and schedule
  3. Fulfill a specific set of learning goals and objectives
  4. Have a clear on-boarding process and ongoing supervision, direction, and guidance
  5. Include opportunities to reflect and get feedback on your learning and growth

There are two primary ways of finding and setting up an internship experience – either through established advertisements and announcements or by developing and proposing a project that you feel would benefit a campus or community organization. In either case, think about where and from whom you would learn the most given your educational and career goals. Here are some ideas to get you started.

  1. Use Search Engines
    1. Handshake (OSU’s university-wide job board with on- and off-campus jobs and internships)
    2. OSU Branch Experiment Stations Internship Program (Research Internships across Oregon)
    3. OSU’s Marine Studies Internships (Paid, focused on coastal and ocean issues)
    4. National Science Foundation REU’s (Research Experiences for Undergraduates)
    5. NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates, CEOAS REU
    6. Center for Civic Engagement (Service/unpaid community volunteer opportunities)
    7. IE3 International Internships
    8. Oregon Sea Grant Summer Scholars Program
    9. Corvallis Environmental Center (Internships)
    10. Pathways to Science (Search nationwide REUs)
    11. Student Conservation Association (Short-term programs working in national parks, marine sanctuaries, cultural landmarks, etc. across the U.S.)
    12. Environmental Sciences Internships (Information on Internships in this field)
    13. Federal Government Agencies - Pathways for Students
    14. Internship/Research Programs
  2. Explore CEOAS Resources
    1. CEOAS Student Opportunities Newsletter. In your Inbox every week! Full of timely volunteer, internship, and job opportunities. Not a current student but want to get the Newsletter? No problem, sign up here.
    2. CEOAS Research, Disciplines, and Links
    3. CEOAS On the Horizon - Weekly Newsletter
  3. Network with helpful humans
    1. Mary Chuinard, Director of Undergraduate Student Services and Head Advisor
    2. CEOAS Faculty, Graduate Students, and major program heads
    3. People in organizations outside of OSU that do what you want to do
    4. Oregon State University Alumni

A Research Internship is a work or volunteer experience in a field or lab setting where you assist graduate students and/or faculty members with their research (data collection, data preparation, data analysis, etc.). This is in contrast to Undergraduate Research which involves doing your own research under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Advanced approval is required and will not be awarded for internships completed previously. 

To be approved you must demonstrate (via an approval form) that the internship is good fit with your educational and professional purpose and goals, has clear learning objectives, appropriate site supervision, and includes real work assignments, duties, and projects.

There are two paths:

You can choose either academic credit or non-credit, depending whether you need credit to graduate, for financial aid enrollment level, or other reason.

Academic Credit Non-Credit
  • Tuition bearing
  • Counts toward:
    • Institutional/total credits
    • Experiential learning in major
    • Upper division credits
    • Enrollment for financial aid
  • Graded P/N
  • Does NOT Impact GPA
  • Transcript visible
  • May be spread over multiple terms
  • ≥ 3 hours/week x 10 weeks for each 1 credit
  • Academic Credit Internship Approval Form
  • Non-tuition bearing
  • Does NOT count toward:
    • Institutional/total credits
    • Experiential learning in major
    • Upper division credits
    • Enrollment for financial aid
  • Graded “SC” or “NSC”*
  • Does NOT impact GPA
  • Transcript visible
  • May be repeated multiple terms
  • ≥ 3 hours/week x 10 weeks to earn SC*
  • Can request TA and LA for multiple terms
  • Non-credit Internship Approval Form

*"Successful Completion" or "Non-successful Completion"

Approval Process

NOTE: International students must also complete a Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Questions? Ask Mary.

Mary Chuinard
Director of Undergraduate Student Services and Head Advisor