Student Internship Program
Our student internship program is designed to guide students through the process of finding, registering and evaluating each internship and to get them started on a path toward a career in their field.
Through internships, students learn to make professional connections and network with various companies, organizations or government offices based on their own developing specific areas of expertise.
Students interested in pursuing an internship should seek a position that is aligned with their own personal, educational and career goals. Students can find relevant programs by reaching out to specific organizations to seek new opportunities, by applying for advertised positions or by finding a volunteer program where they can gain experience.
Internships may be paid, non-paid, full-time or part-time and can occur during any academic quarter throughout the year (fall, winter, spring or summer). The number one goal of any internship is to gain valuable experience and build relationships that will help set a student's career in motion.
Finding an Internship
Students are expected to find their own internships, but several resources are available to assist in the search.
Career & Professional Development Office
Students seeking guidance with resumes and cover letters are encouraged to reach out to the office of Career & Professional Development to schedule an appointment.
Pioneer Careers Online
Pioneer Careers Online maintains a university-wide list of internships. This is a great place to find new job postings. You can also view department-specific postings on our internal list of recent opportunities.
Log into Pioneer Careers Online.
Internship Program Director
Students are always welcome to make an appointment with our department's internship program director, Professor Kristopher Kuzera, to discuss options and the first steps to get started on an internship experience.
Department List of Internships
Our internship program director keeps a running list of recent internship opportunities. This is a good place to start if you are curious about what kind of work you might find in your next position.
Registering for an Internship
Once you have been offered an internship position, complete the following steps in order to get the experience registered with University.
Contact the internship program director
First, students have to register their internship position. The program director can approve whether the position is appropriate to be registered as internship, and can provide guidelines on how to make the internship official. We require that all DU students register their internship with the department, whether for credit or not.
University College students are not required to register their internship if they choose not to pursue credit hours. Be prepared to include an offer letter (formal or informal) from your site supervisor so we can ensure this is an official position.
Determine the number of credits
Some students have the option to sign up "for credit" or "for zero-credit", depending on their needs.
Be advised, students pursuing a BA can register for a maximum of 60 credit hours in a single department. This means any course heading with GEOG, GEOL or ENVI will count toward 60 hours in the Department of Geography and the Environment. If you are close to the 60 hour maximum, it may affect your decision on whether to register your internship for credit or for zero-credit.
- For credit: The general rule of thumb for deciding how many credits to register for depends on the number of hours of work per week, over a 10-week period. Students can sign up for 1 credit hour for every 10 hours worked per week, 2 credits for 20 hours per week, 3 credits for 30 hours per week, and 4 credits for 40 hours per week, or full-time over the full internship experience. Please consult the Internship Director for credit hour approval given your particular internship situation.
- For zero-credit: DU students have the option to sign up for zero credit hours for their internship, if appropriate. This removes the cost of tuition (since tuition charges are calculated based on the number of credit hours) but still maintains an official registry of the student’s internship activities. The zero-credit option is not available to University of Denver University College students.
Log into Pioneer Careers Online
Prior to starting an internship, students must gain approval. To do so, log in to Pioneer Careers Online to document information about the position.
- On the left navigation bar, select “Internship Approval” then click the red “New Experience” button in the upper right corner.
- Select “College = College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics”
- Select “Experiential Learning Type = Geographic Internship – Bachelor’s and Master’s“
- Complete the form and use the red “Submit for Approval” button when you are ready to send the form to the Internship Director for review
If anything is left blank, you will not be allowed to save. In order to save your form, check to see if your supervisor is in the system. If they are not, you will need to "Create a New Contact" before you can enter your supervisor and save your form for approval.
In general, Dr. Kristopher Kuzera will be your faculty supervisor. The start date should be in the quarter for which you are interning. Discuss credit hours with the internship director prior to filling out the form.
Subject and course numbers will be based on the following:
- DU Undergraduate Students will sign up for GEOG 3999 (0-4 credit hours)
- DU Graduate Students will sign up for GEOG 4999 (0-4 credit hours)
- University College Students will sign up for GIS 4980 (1-4 credits)
Click "save" when complete.
Completion of this form will allow the faculty supervisor to approve your internship. Once approved, information will be sent to the registrar. The registrar's office will inform you when you can register for your internship.
During the internship, students are asked to document their experience and, ultimately, provide a detailed reflection upon completion of the position. The following will need to be completed if you have registered for credit (1-4 hours). If you have opted for zero credits, you will only be required to submit a brief summary on your experience to the internship director at the end of the quarter. Evaluation of a successful internship is based on completing the following on Canvas:
- An upload of document(s) verifying your official internship position (i.e. an offer letter, statement from the employer, etc)
- A weekly journal about your experiences and how they relate to your degree. Entries can be open ended, and reflect your thoughts or activities for that week. Each entry is expected to be about 250 words in length. If the internship does not continue for all 10 weeks, you will be expected to submit only for the necessary weeks. You will also need to complete a survey indicating how many hours you worked that week.
- A written overall assessment of your internship experience upon completion. Again, the content is open ended but should reflect on how this internship added to your academic degree. You may use the content from your journal entries to support your synopsis. The overall assessment is expected to be around 1000 words in length. If the internship continues past the end of the quarter, a summary submission is still needed at the end of week 10.
- A conversation between the internship director and your site supervisor, if necessary, to assess your final grade. This helps the director better evaluate the success of your experience as well as the benefits to both the student and the sponsoring organization.
All of these measures will be factored in when assessing a final grade. All journal entries, along with the final reflection paper are to be submitted on Canvas by the identified due dates. Weekly journal entries are due on Sunday at 11:59pm following that week’s activity, and the final paper is due on the last day of class.
Your Rights as an Intern
If you register an internship for DU credit, we expect you to be working in a safe and respectful learning environment with a supervisor who is committed to providing professional guidance and mentorship. If you end up in an internship situation where there is no supervision, mentorship or feedback, or where you are frequently asked to do menial tasks that are unrelated to the goals of the internship as laid out in your detailed job description, you are encouraged to immediately contact the internship program director who will work with you to develop strategies to address the problem, or who will directly contact the site supervisor if necessary.
You are allowed to receive credit for both paid and unpaid internships. If you do an unpaid internship, please note that the US Department of Labor has put together a set of guidelines to help for-profit organizations to know if their unpaid internship meet the rules laid out in the Fair Labor Standards Act, the most important of which is that "the internship experience is for the benefit of the intern."
While these specific guidelines do not apply to non-profit organizations, our expectation is that non-profit internship hosts will also provide supervision, mentorship and constructive feedback.