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Internship Standards

The School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning uses specific criteria when evaluating internships. Students can refer to the following guidelines to assess whether an opportunity may be suitable, although the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning must ultimately approve all internships before a student will be cleared to register for credit.

  • The experience must correspond with an ASU session term such as spring (Jan – May), summer (May – July), fall (Aug – Dec).
  • Interns need to complete a minimum of working hours at the internship which equates to the credit amount they register for. Actual hours per week will depend on duration of internship and agreement with internship supervisor. Refer to our Earning Credit for an Internship page to know the amount of working hours that are required per academic credit.
  • The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom.
  • The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
  • There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework.
  • Regular access to a supervisor who can give the intern feedback, provide orientation and onboarding training, and who can dedicate time and resources to the intern.
  • Supervisor must possess expertise directly related to the intern’s responsibilities.
  • The experience will provide exposure to multiple aspects of a professional career field, internship organization, or industry. Interns should have a chance to get to know other professionals in related fields, either in the organization or through other structured opportunities.
  • A balanced, structured experience allowing students to engage in substantive long and short-term projects that require skills such as; research, analysis, summarizing data, writing, presenting information visually and orally, bench-marking, brainstorming, investigating, planning, organizing, implementing programs and services, problem solving, thinking critically, influencing and persuading, and decision making.
  • Minimal –less than 5% – of overall internship responsibilities related to sales, cold-calling, or generating business for the internship organization. Minimal routine administrative or clerical work (20% max).
  • Exposure to opportunities that build on academic learning, enhance communication and interpersonal skills, and meet key people (sitting in on meetings, site visits, conferences, etc).
  • The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
  • There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.
  • Internships can be completed in person, hybrid, or virtually. 100% virtual internships may require additional documentation.

In addition, all students are governed by Rules and Regulations of Arizona State University. These can be found on the ASU website at: