Internships Frequently Asked Questions

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A Cal U sign reading Building Careers hangs in front of Noss Hall.A Cal U sign reading Building Careers hangs in front of Noss Hall.

Internships Frequently Asked Questions

A businessman explaining a concept to a potential intern.

Employers' Frequently Asked Questions About Internships

What is an internship?

An internship is a formal arrangement designed to provide opportunities for students to study and experience professional career interests outside the University but under the supervision of California University of Pennsylvania.

How does my company benefit from hiring an intern?

  • You will become a partner in education with California University of Pennsylvania.
  • You will have an outstanding source of motivated pre-professionals.
  • Your organization will receive new perspectives from trained, enthusiastic students.
  • Your organization will have increased visibility and an enhanced image for your organization on campus and in the community.
  • You will have access to quality students for temporary positions and projects.
  • You will have a cost-effective method of recruitment of potential employees.

Do we need a formal document defining the relationship between our organization and California University of Pennsylvania?

An internship agreement establishing the relationship between your organization and California University will be completed before students intern with your company. You can print a copy of the internship agreement by downloading the Internship Agreement.

When do students do internships? How many hours of work are expected of an intern?

Internships generally run concurrently with California University academic semesters:

  • Fall (September-December)
  • Spring (January-May)
  • Summer (May-August)

Internships generally are a minimum of 12-15 weeks in length and total anywhere from 10-40 hours per week. The student is expected to work 40 hours per one credit. Therefore, if a student will receive 3 credits for an internship, for example, he/she is expected to work 120 hours over the semester.

Are internships paid or do students receive academic credit or both?

Students earn academic credit for internship arrangements and are expected to complete academic assignments concurrent with the work experience. Internships can be paid or unpaid. Compensation is not regulated by California University; however, with the financial demands placed on today's students, many are looking for some form of remuneration.

For further help in establishing your internship program, see the Internship Program: A Guide for Employers

What if a problem arises?

At the beginning of each semester, students, faculty supervisors and employer supervisors should agree on the guidelines and expectations for all those involved.  Although every internship placement is unique, guidelines might include issues such as learning objectives, academic requirements, schedules, policies on absenteeism, attitude, appropriate dress and more. Clear expectations and open communication will ensure that the internship experience is a positive one.

Occasionally a problem may arise.  If this should happen, the individuals are encouraged to discuss the situation, negotiate on their own and work toward an agreement. Discussing these issues early in the semester can usually lead to a solution that is acceptable to all involved.

Employers should consult the faculty supervisor if problems arise.  If faculty intervention is needed, the faculty supervisor will gather information from the employer site supervisor and the student concerning the nature of the problem.  A site visit and/or a meeting among the three individuals may be advisable, with the faculty supervisor as convener and mediator.

How do I obtain a Cal U intern?

Contact the Internship Center by phone at 724-938-1578 or e-mail  You will work closely with the center and the student's faculty supervisor. At the beginning and throughout the semester of the internship, the faculty supervisor will initiate contact with you to define the student's expectations and performance during the internship.

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