Academic Internship Policy

An academic internship at Houghton College is an experience-based course designed to apply academic learning to the world of work including ministry or industry.

Purpose of an Academic Internship

  • to apply academic knowledge to a real-world work setting
  • to explore career interests and build your professional network
  • to develop skills and increase your marketability for post-graduation plans
  •  to make a positive contribution to the organization/agency and clients of your field setting 

Preferred Deadlines

 To ensure registration of your Internship for academic credit, please turn in the Academic Internship Agreement with required signatures to your Department Internship Coordinator.

  •  July 1 for Fall semester internships
  • November 1 for Spring semester internships
  • March 15 for Mayterm or Summer internships


In order to be eligible to enroll in an Academic Internship, you must:

  • Be approved by the academic department(s) with regard to their academic preparation and overall readiness for the internship;
  • Have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA at the time of application or approval of the Department; and
  • Attend a mandatory orientation at which internship standards and expectations have been clearly conveyed. The orientation may be delivered by your department, by the Office of Vocation and Calling, or both.

Credit hours awarded, Learning Objectives, Assessment and Grades:

  • The decision to grant academic credit for participating in an internship is determined by the appropriate academic department, usually in your major or minor area of academic concentration.
  • Internships may carry credit hours ranging from zero to a maximum of six.
  • Each academic department will determine the required number of clock hours per credit.
  • The Academic Internship Agreement must clearly enumerate the specific learning objectives, how they relate to the academic discipline, and what evidence of learning will be submitted for assessment.
  • Internships that carry credit may be taken for a letter grade or pass/fail. If taken pass/fail, a “pass” must constitute the minimum equivalent of a grade of C minus.
  • Internships for zero credit may only be taken pass/fail. 

Nature of the Internship:

  • The internship must be a new learning experience. If you are interning at an organization in which you have previously worked you must show evidence that your responsibilities will be substantially different.
  • Your on-site supervisor must be a professional with expertise in his/her field and willing to orient, train and provide regular guidance.
  • You must have work responsibilities that are relevant to the profession and not primarily clerical.
  • You must have opportunities to observe overarching organizational functions, such as attending staff meetings.
  • You must have opportunities to develop new skills and apply academic knowledge to the work assigned.
  • You must have opportunities to conduct informational interviews with employees of the organization.
  • Your on-site supervisor must submit a written evaluation at the culmination of the internship.
  • The internship must contribute to a broader understanding of career fields available after graduation. 

Additional Expectations and Responsibilities:

  • Acknowledge and abide by the Houghton College Student Guide and work-site behavioral standards and assume the risks and responsibilities of participation as enumerated in the Internship Risk Liability Form (signed copy required as part of the internship application for an off-campusinternship).
  • Meet the minimum expectations for attendance and completion of assignments as enumerated in the Academic Internship Agreement.
  • Communicate with your faculty supervisor (via email, telephone or face to face) during the internship period.