Procedures to Arrange and Complete a Credit-Bearing Internship


  1. Both paid and volunteer internships can be completed for credit.  Paid internships are usually readily available during the summer through a variety of summer jobs, while volunteer internships are often easily arranged during the fall and winter semesters.  Most agencies and organizations are happy to accept volunteer interns; think about what type of experience you would like to get, and approach those agencies or organizations that are closest to your interests.  Don’t hesitate to contact potential internship sponsors personally, as many opportunities are never formally advertised.  Part of the value of completing an internship is finding the ideal internship opportunity on your own! 

      Examples of BIO 490 Internship Sponsors


      Examples of NRM 490 Internship Sponsors



Your faculty advisor can help you arrange an internship.

  1. Contact your faculty advisor early in the process of planning an internship.  Faculty members often have suggestions or professional connections that will facilitate your efforts.  At this time, discuss the learning objectives and the academic component of the internship with your faculty advisor.  The academic component normally includes some type of report, self-evaluation, or formal presentation, and the assigned work may vary depending upon the nature, goals, and amount of credit of your internship.  To fulfill the academic component of an internship, undergraduate students in the Biology and Natural Resources Management Programs typically complete one or more of the following assignments:  

A written description of the internship suitable for inclusion in the student’s resume

A critical self-evaluation of the student’s performance during the internship

A journal of activities, accomplishments, and knowledge gained during the internship

A paper discussing the internship and its relationship to the student’s chosen profession

A notebook and/or written report based upon studies completed during the internship

An oral presentation on the internship in a relevant course or to a GVSU student group

A poster or oral presentation at Student Scholarship Day based upon internship activities

A presentation at a scientific meeting based upon internship activities


Graduate Internships completed as part of the Biology MS Degree have specific requirements that are arranged with and approved by the student’s graduate committee. 


Biology Internship Course Descriptions


Natural Resources Internship Course Descriptions



Many internships have a strong scientific component.


  1. Once you have completed arrangements with an external internship sponsor, submit a Permit to Register form to the Biology Office (212 Henry Hall).  Your faculty advisor will need to sign the Permit to Register form before it is submitted to the Biology Office.  Once this form is processed, you will be able to register for the internship credits online. 


  1. The online GVSU Internship Agreement form needs to be filled out completely by the student, including a written description of the internship responsibilities and learning objectives determined through consultation with the faculty advisor and external internship supervisor.  The Internship Agreement form will then be reviewed by the external internship supervisor online.  When the external internship supervisor has reviewed and approved the agreement, then the agreement form is reviewed by the Biology Department for approval.  Make sure to fill this form out completely, as Career Services uses this information to send links to online evaluation forms to the internship supervisor and student during the internship semester. Click here for further instructions. To fill out the form, click on the Career Services link and then follow the instructions.


 Have new experiences (some you never thought you would have!).


  1. Near the end of the internship semester, GVSU Career Services will contact the internship supervisor to fill out an evaluation form summarizing the student’s performance, and the student to fill out an evaluation form summarizing the student’s perception of the internship experience.  The student and internship supervisor will each receive a direct link to their individual evaluation about three weeks prior to the end of the semester.  Completed evaluations will be provided to the faculty advisor for use in assigning an internship grade.  To receive a final grade in the internship, the assigned work for the academic component also must be completed and submitted to the faculty advisor before the end of the internship semester. 


  1. Most students have found internships to be very valuable in gaining professional experience and developing contacts in the professional community.  Make every effort to perform at your highest level of capability during your internship.  You are not only representing yourself, but also the GVSU Biology Department and its degree programs.  Your performance will not only affect your own grade and career options, but also will affect how GVSU Biology and Natural Resources Management students are perceived by others in the professional community.  To gain the maximum benefit from your internship, it is essential that you develop a good working relationship with your supervisor, and seek constructive criticism from your supervisor about your performance early in the internship period.  If you have any questions or concerns about your internship at any time during the semester, contact your faculty advisor immediately. 


Represent Grand Valley State University to the professional community!


Related Links


GVSU Career Services Web Site: Internship postings, online internship evaluation forms, and other resources for students and employers interested in arranging an internship through GVSU. 


The Student Conservation Association (SCA) Web Site: Clearinghouse for a variety of quality conservation internships in over 50 disciplines throughout the United States. 


Selected Internship and Job Postings


Page last modified February 13, 2014