Academic Internships

Definition: For the purposes of this policy Academic Internship refers to undergraduate academic internships.

Academic Internships are one category of classes in which experience is the predominant teaching-learning mode and includes applied and practical experiences that are linked to students’ academic study and professional preparation.

This faculty-approved and -facilitated experience will normally be in organizations other than the academic departments offering the courses. These courses will include significant involvement of students and faculty in planning, processing and evaluating the learning resulting from these experiences. Normally, Academic Internship courses will be at the upper division-level.

For the purpose of hours and unit requirement related to this policy, Academic Internships will not include supervised student teaching, required work in credential pathways, or clinical experiences (the specific nomenclature of that is determined by the accrediting or licensing agency which regulates the profession). Programs excluded through this provision must comply with credit-hour standards, risk-management and audit policy.

Academic Internship Policy (Undergraduate)

Internship Forms

Internship Forms

Internship Learning Plan and Internship Waiver

Both the Internship Learning Plan and Internship Waiver should be completed by students. The learning plan is to be signed by the student intern, site supervisor, and faculty/course supervisor.  

Internship Agreement Request Form

This is an electronic form for faculty to complete to request Procurement to initiate an Internship/Service Learning Agreement.

Internship Site Self Assessment Form

This form is to be completed as soon as possible once the student has selected an internship assignment.

Internship Orientation Confirmation Form

This form is to be completed as soon as possible once the student has participated in an internship orientation.

Purchasing & Contracts List of Approved Internship Agreements

Open the Internship dropdown list and select "Completed" to view a list of approved organizations.

Establishing a New Internship Site

Faculty can complete the Request to Initiate an Internship Agreement form to start the process of establishing a new internship site. 

Managing Risk in Internships

Academic Internships not using the S4 Database

CSUN encourages students to participate in meaningful internships in the community that are directly related to their course of study. While these student placements come with associated risks, campus departments can help ensure students enjoy safe and rewarding off-campus learning experiences by following certain risk management procedures.

An effective internship plan is designed to enhance the student’s fieldwork experience and provide best practices that minimize risk and liability. To achieve such a plan, departments should:

  • Ensure that faculty and students understand their roles and responsibilities.
  • Select and contract with the best fieldwork sites available.
  • Understand and apply risk reduction techniques. Credit bearing internships taking place at approved sites allow for Student Professional Liability Insurance to be included in the package.

CSU S4 Database

CSU S4 Database

California State University, Northridge has adopted the CSU S4 Database for managing off-campus activities for Biology and Geology Field Trips, English 494 Internships, and Service Learning courses. S4 manages students' off-campus placements, processes the approval of community organization, and collects students risk management forms and evaluations.

Currently, English 494 faculty and students are successfully using the S4 Database. Faculty interested in using the S4 Database for their academic internship courses can contact Nicole Linton at in Undergraduate Studies for more information. Early adopters of the database will have the opportunity to offer vital feedback on the pros and cons that will have direct impact on improvements in version three of the S4 Database, set to be implemented in 2021.