Academic Credit Information

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The LA 495 internship course (sections 0011/0013/6011/6013) accommodates a broad range of career fields and internship sites. Liberal Arts students interested in earning credit for an internship that does not relate directly to their major, those who are exploring majors and wish to intern in a field in which they have not yet declared a major, and students who do not meet the requirements for their departmental internship course may request enrollment in the college's non-departmental section of LA 495. 

The course is designed to enhance your internship experience by integrating an academic component with the practical experience gained at your internship site. Students enrolled in LA 495 are evaluated on performance at the internship site as well as on the written academic assignments. Course assignments vary, depending on the number of credits a student is earning for the course, but include regular journal entries or blog posts and mid-term and final reflective papers. In addition, a mid-term and final evaluation of the student's performance is provided by their internship site supervisor. The course grade is derived from an equally weighted combination of performance at the internship site (50 percent) and performance on the course’s academic assignments (50 percent).  Complete course details can be found on the course syllabus which will be provided by the course instructor via CANVAS.

Please note: Students interested in earning internship credit for a position closely related to their academic major should check their department web site for information on departmental sections of LA 495 and their specific requirements.

Step 1: Secure an internship

Liberal Arts students may find opportunities through Nittany Lion Careers or through their own networking and job search efforts. To be eligible to enroll in LA 495, you must be a currently enrolled Liberal Arts major who is in good academic standing (i.e., cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above). If you are interested in earning academic credit for your internship, then the internship should be at least eight weeks long and a minimum commitment of 10 hours per week. Registration must be requested no later than the regular drop/add period during the fall and spring semesters; summer semester registration is more flexible but you should request registration for your internship at least one to two weeks prior to your start date.

Step 2: Discuss your internship with your academic adviser

Students may request to register for LA 495 for 1 credit or 3 credits. Consult with your academic adviser to be sure you understand how your LA 495 credits can be applied to meet specific degree requirements and to determine the number of credits you would like to earn for the course. For each credit earned, you must complete a minimum of 45 on-site hours at your internship. You may work more hours than required for your academic credit, and you should discuss that with your internship site supervisor. For example, you may want to earn only one credit of LA 495, but you will be working for 10 hours per week for 15 weeks (i.e., 150 hours). Students should also make sure to consider the cost of applying for academic credit. Please note that if you are registering for internship credit during the summer, you will be required to pay per credit, like you would for any other summer course. Penn State's tuition rates vary by campus, program, student level, and residency. Penn State's student tuition calculator is a helpful resource to determine your tuition rate for a particular semester.

Step 3: Request approval of your internship

Students cannot enroll themselves for LA 495; all course registrations are processed through the Career Enrichment Network.  To have your internship approved for academic credit, you must:

This confirmation letter should include: a description of your duties, your start and end dates, number of hours you will be working each week, and the name, title, and complete contact information for your internship site supervisor. This letter should be sent directly from your site to course instructor Peter Miraldi at or via fax at 814-863-3965. 

Within a few days of submitting all of your materials, the course instructor will be in touch with you to let you know if your internship is approved for academic credit. If you have questions or would like to check on the status of your application, you may call 814-865-1070. If your assignment is approved, the Career Enrichment Network staff will register you for the course for the number of credits requested.

**Please note your site cannot be reviewed for approval if we do not have both of the above items.  Any delays in receiving this information may mean you will not be able to be registered for the course. All course registrations should be completed no later than the end of the drop/add period for the semester.

For purposes of verifying full-time enrollment only, students enrolled in LA 495 for even one credit are considered to be full-time students, which may be important for some students to continue loan payment deferment. Students will not be considered as full-time students for financial aid purposes (i.e., to receive aid) and should direct questions about how a reduced credit load will affect their financial aid package to the Office of Student Aid.

Step 4: Access Nittany Lion Careers

We hope you found your internship site through Nittany Lion Careers. However, if you did not and have not accessed your account, please log in, upload a draft of your resume and record your internship in your account.

Step 5: Check your Canvas account

Once you are registered for LA 495, it will appear in your CANVAS account. There you can find the course syllabus and communicate with the course instructor regarding any questions you have throughout the course of your assignment. Remember that your course grade is based on both your work performance as evaluated by your site supervisor and by the quality of the written assignments for the course. Written assignments for the course include regular blog posts and mid-term and final papers. Assignments may vary depending on the number of credits you are earning for the course.

Per university guidelines, students taking an internship for academic credit must be registered for the course during the semester in which the course requirements are completed and the grade must be assigned at the end of that semester. See policy here.

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