What is an Internship?

An internship is relevant work experience related to your major or career interestsInternshipscan be full- or part-time, short- or long-term, paid or unpaid, for or not for credit, self-directed or led by a mentor, or any combination of the above. While there is no minimum or maximum length for an internship, it does ordinarily require a sustained commitment over a period of time such as a semester. This may occur during the fall, spring or summer sessions. At TSU, internships include traditional internships, cooperative education, practicum, clinical and student teaching experiences.

What are the Internship Criteria?

May be for credit or non-credit.

May be paid or unpaid.

Should be related to the student’s major or career interest.

Credit for internships is subject to the approval of the academic unit. Internship courses typically have prerequisites associated with degree requirements.

Procedures for Students

The following are procedures for currently enrolled students to apply for internships through the Career Development Center Services. Students may search employment opportunities online by searching Tiger TRACK which may be accessed on the TSU Career Development Center website.

Students who are interested in obtaining a referral for a job listing are required to follow these steps:

Complete an Intern Registration Form in the Career Development Center.

Have their resume critiqued by their career counselor in the Office of Career Services.

Review the open positions on the announcement listing.

Upon completion of the registration process and selection of a job opening, the student will receive instructions for employment application.

Once the student has obtained employment the student or the employer must complete Student Employment Information Form.

To log on to Tiger TRACK click here

Student Registration Policies:
By registering, you give permission to have your resume and other documents forwarded to employers and viewed by TSU Career Development Center staff members.

Reminder - In your job search, both on Tiger TRACK and off, remember that you should not disclose social security numbers, credit card numbers, or bank account numbers to unknown employers.  Also, never spend any of your own money to obtain a position unless you are certain it is for a legitimate reason. If you need guidance, you can always contact the Career Development Center for advice.

If an employer ever asks you for any of this information, or if you suspect an employer of running a scam, contact the Career Development Center at immediately and provide the employer name and job title of the posting in Tiger TRACK.


Compliance Message for Unpaid Internships

Tennessee State University is in compliance with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regarding unpaid internships. In order to protect themselves from any potential liability which could arise from the offering of an unpaid internship, the employer should make sure that the internship opportunity meets each of the six following guidelines developed by the WHD.

1. The training, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to what would be given in a vocational school or academic educational instruction;
2. The training is for the benefit of the trainees;
3. The trainees do not displace regular employees, but work under their close observation;
4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees, and on occasion the employer’s operations may actually be impeded;
5. The trainees are not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period; and
6. The employer and the trainees understand that the trainees are not entitled to wages of the time spent in training.

For more information go to the WHD’s website at:


If you have any questions, please contact:






1. What is an internship?

An internship is a supervised work experience that enhances a student’s academic and/or career skills. It gives you a chance to test out skills, abilities and interest in the “real world” of work and at the same time develop new skills and competencies. Ideally, an internship gives you practical experience in a potential career field.

2. Why is an internship important?

Internships offer you on-the-job experience—the number one factor employers consider when hiring employees. But equally important are the networking skills you’ll develop. Internships allow you to make professional contacts with people who may help you find a career position.

3. When do internships take place?

Internships are typically part-time during the school year and last one or two semesters. They can be arranged around your academic schedule. They may be full-time in the summer. Scheduling arrangements should be made between you, the internship organization and your faculty advisor or internship coordinator.

4. Do I get paid for my internship?

It varies depending on the industry and company some internships are unpaid; however, many pay regular hourly wages or offer a stipend. Some organizations require that unpaid interns seek academic credit. Questions regarding academic credit should be addressed directly to your academic department.

5. Do you have to be a junior or a senior to have an internship?

While many internships are advertised for juniors and seniors, opportunities exist for any student who has the desire and determination to take advantage of them.

6. What are the guidelines for an internship for academic credit?

You need to arrange credit with your department or intern­ship coordinator, or contact University Career Center staff for assistance.

7. When should I begin planning for an internship?

Now! It’s best to start your planning at least one semester in advance to allow time for researching career fields and intern­ship sites, preparing a resume and cover letter, and arranging credit.

8. What important steps should I take before seeking an internship?

Before developing an internship, be sure you don’t overlook some important steps that will lay the foundation for a positive experience. Have you considered what skills and strengths you have to offer an organization and what type of career field or internship is of interest to you?

9. How do I develop an internship opportunity?

TSU students generally find internships through one of several ways:

  • University Career Center

Register for Tiger Track to have access to internship listings and to take advantage of career fairs throughout the spring and fall semesters.


  • Faculty/Departmental Referral

Find out what opportunities are known in your department.


  • Self-developed

You can develop your own leads on internship opportuni­ties via networking, personal contacts, or direct application to organizations of interest. Research these organizations first on the Web or in the Career Development Center Lab.


10. How do I apply for an internship?

For most internships you will need to submit a cover letter, resume, and complete an application form. Also, be prepared for an internship interview! Interviews may be required and can often be your best chance to distinguish yourself from the masses of other applicants. Research! You can make your best impression by being prepared—know your strengths and weaknesses, know as much as possible about your prospec­tive employer, and know what you want. For more tips on resumes, cover letters, and interviewing, look through our online resources; visit us for personal Career Assistance.




Internship Programs:


Idealist Web Page:

Career-Related Web Links:

Federal Internships:

webpage contact:
Career Development Center