Students interested in integrating their academic study with practical experience are encouraged to explore the feasibility of participating in an internship. An internship should be viewed as a three-way partnership that brings together an undergraduate student, an employer, and the University at Albany to provide supervised practical work experience that complements the student's academic program. An internship must include a learning component with clearly defined projects and learning goals that draw on knowledge and skills previously attained through the student's coursework. The work is supervised and evaluated by a designated individual in the agency, institution, or corporate body providing the internship. This supervisor provides an evaluation of the student’s work to the UAlbany faculty member who is responsible for the final evaluation of the student's attainment of the agreed-upon learning goals and assignment of the appropriate academic grade.
Through U UNI 290 (1-4 credits) and U UNI 390 (1–15 credits), students have obtained approval for full- or part-time internships in a very wide variety of areas. For these pursuits, it is assumed the student will secure the opportunity on his or her own, find appropriate faculty sponsorship, and then apply to the Interdisciplinary Studies Committee for approval of the desired credit. Further information and application forms for U UNI 290 and U UNI 390 may be obtained from the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, LC 30. Deadlines for proposals for each semester are very specific and are not flexible. All internships must be preapproved. Because of the academic component of U UNI 290 and U UNI 390 internships, under no circumstances will students be permitted to earn credit retroactively for a previous experience.
There is a wide range of possible internship opportunities. Some of the more common internships pursued by previous students through U UNI 290 and U UNI 390 involved work with such organizations as: the U.S. Congress, the federal judiciary and numerous federal executive agencies, various state agencies (Lt. Governor’s Office, Attorney General, Correctional Services, Division of Criminal Justice, etc.), the New York Public Interest Research Group, the Civil Liberties Union, the Environmental Planning Lobby, Albany Medical Center, stock brokerage firms, law firms, and media organizations including local and national television stations and corporations.
The University also offers a total of 15 credits for students participating in the following special, formalized internships: the Internship in or Seminar in Operational and Applied Communication Theory (A COM 392, 393), the Senate Sessions Assistant Program (U UNI 391), and the Assembly Sessions Intern Program (U UNI 392). These latter two established internships take advantage of Albany’s location in the state’s capital. In addition, Rockefeller College supports a full-time the Washington Semester program.
The Center for Experiential Education (CEE) seeks to enhance the academic curriculum through experiential learning. Experiential learning activities at UAlbany allow students to complement classroom knowledge and acquire relevant disciplinary and professional skills by participating in substantial, hands-on activities. The Center supports two applied learning internships, U UUNI 288 and U UNI 289, monitored and evaluated field experiences in an environment related to the student's field of study and/or career interests.
Some majors, such as social welfare, require fieldwork as part of their major requirements, and these opportunities are open only to students who have been admitted in the major program. Other majors offer opportunities for students to participate in internships that involve experiences related to the academic focus of the degree program. For example, there are opportunities in various aspects of the performing arts (e.g., A ARH 490, A ART 490), humanities (e.g., A CLA 490, A ENG 390, A JRL 495), natural sciences (e.g., A ATM 490) social sciences (e.g., A ANT 338, A ANT 490, COM 390, A SOC 490, A USP 490, A WSS 322, 492), political science (e.g., R POS 390), public policy (e.g., R PAD 498, 390) business (e.g., B BUS 497), informatics (e.g., I INF 468), education (e.g., E PSY 390), and emergency preparedness (e.g., C EHC 390).
In addition to the credit-bearing internships, there are also many opportunities for noncredit internships, mostly during the summer, some of which pay the participants a stipend. Information on many of these programs and their application process is available through the Office of Career and Professional Development.