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Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of duties are appropriate for an intern?

As a general guideline, 50 to 80 percent of an intern's duties should be professional or pre-professional, directly related to the student's major. If your position is primarily clerical, we recommend that you contact the MSU Office of Career Services at (303) 556-3664 and post the position as a job rather than an internship.

Do interns have to be paid?
Paid internships are strongly recommended.  Even as learners, students can bring valuable skills and energy to your organization. However, unpaid internships are possible as long as the student is getting academic credit.
For-profit organizations who do not pay their internships should seek legal guidance to ensure that they are in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act.
How long do internships typically last?

Unpaid internships typically last one semester and must correspond basically with the semester dates; paid internships may continue as long as the employer and the student are satisfied with each other. Occasionally interns are hired for shorter periods to work on a specific project. Please discuss the duration of your position with the coordinator and with students that you interview.

How many hours per week can a student work?

Our students vary in the number of hours they have to devote to an internship. Most paid internships are part-time, 15-20 hours per week. However, some prefer full-time work, taking classes in the evening or on alternate semesters.

Students in unpaid internship positions usually work about 10 hours per week.

What are interns typically paid?

Wages for interns vary depending on the field. The coordinator can give you a range of pay that is competitive for interns in that field. 

Do students receive credit for their internship?

Most academic departments allow academic credit for approved internships; a few do not. Students working in unpaid internships are required to register for credit during the period they are working, in order to be covered for worker's compensation. Your internship coordinator can give you specifics for each major.

When are MSU Denver's semesters?

In general, spring semester begins the day after Martin Luther King Day and runs through the second week in May. Summer semester begins the day after Memorial Day and ends the first week in August. Fall semester begins the third week in August and runs through the second week in December.

Do I interview on campus for students interested in internships?

We recommend that you interview students at your place of employment so that students can get a feeling for your workplace environment. However, if you prefer to interview students on campus, we can make those arrangements.

Will I grade the student for their internship?

Students taking academic credit for their internship will receive a grade from their faculty supervisor. The faculty member will base the student's grade on a variety of factors that may include the site visit, the student's log, journal, or report of the internship, or other evidence of learning. You will be asked to do a performance evaluation of the student near the end of the semester that will also be part of the faculty member's review.

Will I have to complete a lot of paperwork?

Very little. If your student is taking credit for the internship, you will complete an Application for Academic Credit at the beginning of the semester. We will send you a brief performance evaluation at the end of each semester that your intern is enrolled at MSU Denver. If you are a new employer, you may also need to sign a form indicating that you are an Equal Opportunity Employer.

What happens if I am not satisfied with my intern's job performance?

Counseling with the student and his/her coordinator is the first step. If the student does not improve in time, the employer may wish to terminate the student's internship.

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