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General Information

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an internship?

An internship is an onsite work experience that is either directly or indirectly related to your major field of study or your career interest.  It can be paid or unpaid, and held during the summer or throughout the academic year. This is a great opportunity to see if your interests and expectations align with your prospective career field.

What are the benefits of internships?

An internship gives you the opportunity to:

  • Gain valuable work experience before you graduate;
  • Develop new skills and refine others;
  • Apply knowledge gained from coursework to on-the-job situations;
  • Reality-test tentative career choices;
  • Meet and work with professionals, establishing contacts for letters of reference and networking;
  • Experience new work environments;
  • Earn money for tuition and expenses

Where do I find information about specific internships?

Start with a discusion about your internship interests with your faculty advisor, other faculty in your major department or a career counselor. You can visit the Mills College Career Connections & Community Engagement Office webpages to review online internship lists. If you are interested in a particular organization, visit their website directly, and/or you may want to see if a Mills alumna is affiliated with the organization and conduct an information interview with her.

Can I use an internship to fulfill the Community Engagement core curriculum requirement?

Yes!  You can use an internship in a community-based organization (usually a non-profit, educational or government organization) to fulfill the Community Engagement requirement, which includes a reflection module to support the learning from the experience.  See the Internship for Academic Credit Guidelines for details.

What type of internships might I consider?

  • Community Engaged Learning Internships:  An internship in a community-based organization (usually a non-profit, educational or government organization) to fulfill the Community Engagement requirement, which includes a reflection module to support the learning from the experience. Any Sophomore, Junior, or Senior may fulfill this for credit.  (Transfer students must have completed at least one semester at Mills.)
  • Internships for Academic Credit:  May be with public, non-profit, and for-profit organizations, and you must be a junior or senior.
  • Internships for Experience: Are not for credit; however it’s great experience for your resume!

Are there distinctions between internships besides major field?

There are different types of internships ranging from paid to unpaid as well as summer internships.

Can International Students experience internships?

International students should see the international student advisor for curricular practical training requirements.

Mills Requirements for Credit Internships

NOTE: Please see the Internship Guidelines for Academic Credit for complete list.

Internship for Course Credit

Internship for CEL Requirement

Juniors and Seniors are eligible.

Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors are eligible.

Students must have a cumulative Mills GPA of 2.0 or higher.

No GPA requirement

Transfer students must have completed one semester at Mills.


Internships are graded pass/no pass only and must be contracted for 3 semester units.  Students must work a minimum of 10 hours per week for 14 to 16 weeks.  NOTE: summer interns must work a minimum total of 160 hours.

Internships are graded pass/no pass only.  Students can elect to receive 2 - 3 semester units of academic credit. Students will engage 1 hour per week in the Reflection Module and a minimum of 5-9* hours per week at their internship site.  *Exact number of internship hours to be negotiated between student and internship supervisor.  NOTE: summer interns must work a minimum total of 80-144 hours.

Each student may receive credit for two internships. It is permissible to receive credits in the same organization IF:

  • The duties and responsibilities performed in the internship are substantially different.
  • A different person in the organization supervises each internship.

Students only need to complete the CEL requirement once.

Academic year interns must attend required internship meetings at the Career Connections & Community Engagement Office. All interns will complete a final evaluation of their internship experience.
OPTIONAL: 2 professional skills-building workshops and on-line reflection module

IN ADDITION: Students must attend two orientation and professional skills-building workshops (held in the beginning of each semester) AND participate in an online reflection module through Blackboard. CRN: COLL 197

If you are engaged in a credit internship, you may not take an overloaded schedule.  THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS.  See information on course overloads.


No student may enroll in two credit internships concurrently.


The CONTENT of an academic internship must:

  • Be a professional experience; that is, work one would assign to an entry-level college graduate.  Clerical duties are NOT considered professional and may never comprise the majority of a student's internship assignment.
  • Provide students with a substantial body of specific information and/or identifiable technical or professional skills.

IN ADDITION:  Internship must be with a community-based organization.  Typically this means either a non-profit organization, educational institution or government office. 

The Career Services Office maintains partnerships with a wide variety of community-based internship sites, listed on our website.  We are also happy to help you identify others that are aligned with your goals and interests.

A faculty internship supervisor must provide on-going monitoring of the internship.  Faculty may select assignments that provide the best academic complement to the internship experience.  This could include: reading assignments, a written description and critical assessment of the internship, keeping a journal, regular meetings, etc.

Same.  Assignments will be submitted through the online reflection module in Blackboard.

Students are required to submit a written paper to their faculty internship advisor no later than the last day of instruction.  Summer interns must submit a summary report by the 1st day of instruction the following fall.  The summary report should be a minimum of five pages.

Same.  Paper will be submitted through the online reflection module.

It is the student's responsibility to keep faculty internship supervisor advised of progress.


Students must have their credit internship petitions approved before doing the internship.  Retroactive credit approval is not granted.


Internships must be contracted with organizations outside of Mills College.

With some exceptions, internships must be completed off campus.  See the Career Services Office for exceptions.

Internship Deadlines For Academic Credit

To ensure that you meet all required deadlines to receive academic credit for your internship, begin by downloading and reviewing our Internship Guidelines for Academic Credit document.

Schedule appointments with the Career Connections & Community Engagement Office and with your academic advisor to discuss your internship well ahead of time, preferably during the semester preceding your internship. 

Complete the Internship Learning Contract and the Petition for Academic Internship Credit form and obtain all required signatures.

Submit the completed internship contract and petition forms directly to the M Center. Both forms must be submitted no later than the day before the last day to add classes for that semester.  For summer internships, forms must be submitted before the last Academic Standing Committee meeting of the spring semester.  See the Career Connections & Community Engagement Office webpage for specific dates.

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Recommended Internship Planning Steps

  1. Think about your career goals. An internship is a chance to try out a prospective career, and gain professional work experience. If you are undecided about your future career direction, discuss this with a Mills career counselor and your faculty advisor.
  2. Research internship opportunities by taking advantages of the resources offered in the Career Connections & Community Engagement Office, located in Sage Hall, Room 118. Search for additional lisitings using the online resources listed on the Career Connections & Community Engagement Office's internship webpage. Make a list, by name of the organization, of all the internships that interest you.
  3. Make an individual appointment with a counselor in the Career Connections & Community Engagement Office, and bring your list with you. Develop a plan for contacting all prospective internship employers.
  4. Attend a resume workshop and take a look at the Career Planning webpage to craft your professional resume, cover letter, and references.
  5. Follow each employer's internship application procedures exactly as requested. Most of the time you will be asked to send a resume and cover letter, followed by a screening process and an interview.
  6. Prepare for your interviews. Attend an interviewing workshop with Career Connections & Community Engagement or make an appointment for a mock interview.
  7. Decide which internship best meets your needs. Download the Internship Learning Contract and the Petition for Academic Credit form if you are seeking academic credit for your internship.
  8. Complete the top portion of the Petition for Academic Credit. Make an appointment with your faculty advisor. Discuss your internship plans and obtain the necessary signatures.
  9. File your Internship Learning Contract and Petition for Academic Credit (completed and with all signatures) directly with the M Center by the deadline.

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Please note: Subject to change.

Last Updated: 2/24/17