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Internship Information for Employers

Internships are defined by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) as: “a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent” While students benefit from the internship experience, organizations benefit as well.

Opportunities that are mostly clerical in nature, unsupervised or don’t offer a learning experience should not be considered an internship.

Two Approaches to Internships

Boise State provides multiple options for internship programs. Here, we’ll briefly cover the differences between a traditional internship and the Work U program.


  • Usually specific to major(s)
  • Undergraduate & grad students
  • Employers hire students
  • Employers decide hours/week and duration
  • Academic credit optional 
  • Paid internships optimal
  • Available spring, summer, fall semesters 

Work U

  • Open to all majors
  • Undergraduates only
  • Boise State places students
  • 10 hours/week for 13 weeks
  • 3 credits
  • Students aren’t paid – may be eligible for stipends
  • Available spring and fall semesters
  • 75-minute weekly class

Learn more about Work U here, or continue down the page to learn more about internships and and hiring an intern.

We are available to assist you in determining which approach to internships is the best fit for you. Contact our Experiential Learning Employer Relations Representative, Hank Ebert, at or (208) 426-5415.

What You Need to Know

Value of Internships

  • Having an internship program is a cost effective way to evaluate an intern’s potential as a future employee of your organization
  • Access to enthusiastic, talented and innovative students who can contribute their skills and knowledge to your organization
  • Increase productivity within your organization by meeting seasonal or short-term needs without a long term hiring commitment
  • Build and promote your organization’s visibility to Boise State students
  • Take part in influencing the next generation of professionals in your field

Best Practices for a Successful Internship Program

  • Provide a meaningful, challenging “real world” work experience
  • Supervision of intern by a “professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience”
  • Provide orientation to your organization

Here are some great resources:

Compensation of Internships

  • Internships can be paid or unpaid.  Although compensation is not required to post your internship opportunity; if your organization is a for profit business it is generally expected that you will be providing compensation.
  • If an intern is an “employee” being paid wages, then the employer must pay at least minimum wage according to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
  • If you are a for-profit organization and you will not be providing compensation we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the FLSA rules on unpaid internships.
  • Academic credit is not considered an alternative to compensation

Academic Credit for an Internship

  • Employers do not have the ability to grant academic credit for an internship; that is determined by the student’s department internship coordinator in their Major.
  • Students are responsible for contacting their academic department prior to the start of their internship if they want to register for academic credit for their internship opportunity.
  • Department internship coordinators in the student’s major will determine if a potential internship can be done for academic credit
  • Students must register (and pay) for academic credit just like any other academic course
  • Typically an internship for academic credit is completed in one semester timeframe but the program is flexible
  • Department requirements may differ but an internship for academic credit requires a qualified supervisor  for each intern who will also serve as a liaison with the Boise State department internship coordinator evaluating this internship
  •  If a student is seeking to do an internship for academic credit; you will be asked to complete some documentation which will be sent via email from Boise State

Duration and Amount of Hours Worked

  • Time frames for an internship should be flexible and determined by your organizational needs
  • Boise State runs on a semester calendar (fall, spring and summer)
  • During the fall and spring semesters, students generally work from 15 to 20 hours per week
  • Interns sometimes work full-time during summer as well as semester breaks
  • Often, the intern and the organization agree to continue the employment relationship even after the internship for academic credit is complete.

Hiring an Intern

  • Post your internship opportunity on Handshake, our web-based job posting system where all Boise State students search for part-time jobs; full-time career opportunities and internships. Go to Handshake.
  • Let us know if you are targeting specific demographics of students  (GPA, major, class level, etc) as we can send targeted emails through Handshake promoting your opportunity
  • Participate in On-Campus Recruiting
  • Attend our Career Fairs

Contact Us

For further information about the internship program, contact:

Hank Ebert, Experiential Learning Employer Relations Representative
Boise State University Career Services
Boise ID  83725-1310
Telephone: (208) 426-5415