An internship is one of the most impactful experiences a student can undertake while in college. Internships provide the opportunity to test out an industry of interest, meet people in the field, and apply classroom learning in the real world. Schedule an appointment with the Career Center to update your resume, work on your cover letter, practice interviewing, and make sure you stand out as a candidate.

73%


Employers prefer to hire candidates with relevant work experience

65%


Interns rreceive full-time offers

63%


College grads have completed at least one internship
Two students sitting across from each other in highsmith student union

The Internship Program is here to make your search for a meaningful internship hassle and barrier-free. The program will match you with an employer internship opportunity in the local area. To participate in the Internship Program, you must have 60 completed college credit hours and still be a student at UNC Asheville (meaning not graduated) while working the internship. The Internship Program is offered each fall and spring semester as well as over the summer. All internships will be funded. If the site’s opportunity is unpaid, the Career Center will pay your wage through our Internship Assistance Fund.

Please contact Grace Champion, Internship Program Manager, at gchampi1@unca.edu with any questions.

Academic Credit & Internships

Business Consulting Practicum Course Spring 2023

Students can complete an internship with or without academic credit. For students who want to earn academic credit for their internship, there are two options: major-specific credit and elective credit. We can walk you through your options and understand the requirements to make the most out of your internship experience. Please note that academic credit, whether or not it is major-specific or an elective, must be earned during the period of the internship and cannot be awarded after an internship is complete.

It is up to each academic department to determine whether or not to award major-specific academic credit for an internship. If you are considering an internship, consult with your academic advisor or your department’s internship faculty coordinator to see how it fits within your course of study.

Internship Requirements

To formalize the internship arrangement between the student, employer, and university, it is critical to have all parties sign an internship agreement form. The UNC Asheville Internship Agreement includes the minimum standards required according to the UNC Asheville Internship Policy for Credit-Bearing Courses. Individual academic departments may choose to add additional requirements.

Internship Evaluations

An important component of the intern’s professional development is the opportunity to receive feedback directly from an employer. Host agency supervisors are asked to complete a midterm and final evaluation of the intern. At the end of the internship experience, student interns are asked to complete an evaluation of the host agency. This feedback will help the faculty supervisor evaluate and improve the internship experience.

Academic Learning

The student applies and tests knowledge learned in the classroom to the workplace.

Skill Development

The individual gains an understanding of the skills and knowledge required for success in the workplace.

a student working at an iMac computer at a desk

Career Development

The student advances knowledge of the qualifications and duties of a position and can explore their interest in a field.

Personal Development

The student develops decision-making and critical thinking skills, and increases confidence and self-esteem.

Learning objectives are statements of the specific and measurable knowledge, skills, attributes, and habits interns are expected to achieve and demonstrate as a result of their experience. When creating learning objectives, consider these career readiness competencies developed by NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers). A measurable learning objective includes the following:

  1. Completes this sentence: “Upon completion of this internship, I will be able to…”
  2. Begins with an action verb. Avoid words like “understand, learn, or know.”
  3. Precisely describes behavior that can be observed or evaluated.
  4. Lists specific assignments and projects that support the desired learning objective, including necessary resources.
  5. Sets a target date for completion and a method of evaluation.

The learning objectives are part of a learning contract that is signed by the intern, host agency supervisor, and faculty supervisor.

Internship Elective Courses Offered by the Career Center

Students of all majors are encouraged to enroll in our elective courses for academic credit. If you have any questions about these courses please reach out to us at career@unca.edu and be sure to connect with your academic advisor in the Academic Success Center.  

LA 271: Internship Search Elective

This 1 credit elective course is offered during Term 2 in the fall and for the entire semester in the spring. This course is designed to help students obtain an off-campus internship. Students will learn how to search and apply for internships, as well as how to network and explore internship opportunities. Students will actively prepare for and seek internships as a part of this course. Only students planning to complete an internship in future semesters should register for this course. 

As an added benefit of completing the Career Center’s 1 credit LA 271 course, applicants who take LA 271 will have fewer application requirements for the Internship Assistance Fund scholarship application process.

A student speaking in an english class

IST 325: Internship Experience Elective Course

This 3-credit elective course is offered every spring semester and summer session. The course is designed for students participating in exploratory internships to clarify and/or advance their career goals. It provides a structured and guided learning environment to help students make the most of their internship experience. Course components facilitate students’ professional development, focusing on the transition from the role of a student to the role of a professional.

Students must have an internship secured with a completed Internship Agreement. Within the course dates, students must document 105 hours at their internship site. Hours worked before the course starts or after the course finishes cannot count towards the 105 hours.

International Students and Curricular Practical Training

Students sitting in a Chinese class

International students have the option of completing Curricular Practical Training (CPT),  a type of work authorization that allows for off-campus work that directly relates to a student’s degree program and an academic credit-bearing course. If you need more information or have additional questions, please contact the Study Abroad Office.  

CPT may be authorized as part-time (maximum of 20 hours per week) during the Fall and Spring terms or as full-time (no maximum hours per week) during the summer term or during the fall/spring if the degree program has a mandatory requirement for students to complete more than 20 hours of work per week (for example, student teaching) Full-time training may also be offered after completion of regular coursework while enrolled in a graduate thesis or final project. In order to be eligible for CPT, you must be an active F-1 status for at least one academic year (one fall and one spring term or vice versa). CPT authorization will affect your Optional Practical Training (OPT) if you have worked full-time for one full year.

How to Apply

To apply for Curricular Practical Training, Submit the following documents to the Study Abroad Office:

  • CPT Application: This must be signed by you and by the department chair of your academic major or program.
  • Copy of Course Syllabi
  • Job Offer Letter: This must indicate the number of hours you will work, what your job duties will be, and the dates of employment.

Your CPT approval will appear on the third page of your Form I-20. The Study Abroad Office will contact you via email or phone to let you know when your new I-20 is ready for you to pick up.

CPT Academic Requirements

Curricular Practical Training may only be approved if you are getting academic credit for off-campus work. As reflected in its name, CPT is meant for students to gain practical training or experience in their field of study as related to their academic curriculum. CPT will be authorized for the duration of the term during which you are registered for the related course. Some UNC Asheville courses that may count for CPT are internship courses, practicums, field studies, or independent studies. Each of these courses must be approved by the department chair of your academic major or program. If the academic department chair is not willing to approve registration for a course, then CPT cannot be approved.

Internship Resources

a first-generation graduate receiving a green chord

The Walker Family Fund

The Walker Family Fund financially supports first-generation UNC Asheville students completing an unpaid internship off-campus in the United States during the summer. Applications for this fund for Summer 2024 have closed. To apply, students must meet the following criteria:

  • 30 completed credits by the end of the fall semester
  • Enrolled at least part-time for the semester of their internship
  • In good academic standing with a minimum GPA of 2.5
  • Be a first-generation college student (student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) did not complete a post-secondary degree)
  • Demonstrated financial need
  • Demonstrated commitment to supporting their career development through an internship

Internship FAQs

Criteria for an experience to be defined as an internship:

  • The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
  • The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
  • 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.
  • There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
  • There is routine feedback from the experienced supervisor.
  • There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.

Based on data from NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers

Finding the right internship for you requires research and reflection. Is there a particular field/industry you’d like to gain experience in? Are you hoping to learn and build on specific skills? How does an internship relate to your major/minor and future goals? The Career Center can help you answer these questions – just set up an appointment!

There are many ways to find internship opportunities. Internships are posted on sites such as Bulldog NetWORK, as well as featured at events such as the Internship Event and the Career & Internship Fair. Internships may also be found by utilizing your network: LinkedIn, personal contacts, faculty, advisors, and Career Center staff. Additionally, some employers may formally publicize and offer internships directly through your academic department.

Not all internships are posted to sites like Bulldog NetWORK. Some may post about internship opportunities on their individual websites, but sometimes nothing is posted. If there is a specific organization you’d like to intern with, go directly to their company website to look for potential internship offerings. If there isn’t anything posted, students may reach out directly to speak with someone at the organization about setting up an internship. The Career Center can help with how to approach potential internship sites.

Contact Us 

Schedule an appointment in Bulldog NetWORK. Drop-ins are welcome Monday-Friday from 12 to 3 p.m. during the fall and spring semesters when classes are in session.