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Frequently Asked Questions


What is AIP?

The Academic Internship Program (AIP) is a credit-bearing special studies course open to undergraduate UC San Diego students in all academic disciplines. AIP provides the opportunity to earn academic credit for an internship related to your studies and professional/career goals and writing a research paper under the guidance of a UCSD Faculty Advisor.

What is the difference between AIP 97/197 and a 199?

AIP 97/197 is a fieldwork course in which students engage in an internship or fieldwork experience, which typically takes place off campus under the supervision of a professional at the host organization.  In conjunction with the internship, AIP 97/197 students work with a UCSD faculty advisor to complete a final research paper/project integrating the internship experience with scholarly work.  A 199 is an independent study course that gives you the opportunity to conduct independent research under the direct guidance of a UCSD faculty instructor. 199 credit is provided through your major department.  

Will I get paid?

Most students participating in AIP are not paid, but we do allow and encourage paid opportunities.  Unpaid internships can provide value in terms of professional development and contacts made, but must adhere to the Fair Labor Standards Act. Sometimes an organization will help pay for expenses incurred such as mileage or parking, but that is the prerogative of each individual organization.

How many times can I do AIP?

Students may do up to three AIP internships, but may not exceed a total of 16 units of AIP.

I am an international student, can I do AIP?

International students can participate in AIP as long as they meet the AIP eligibility requirements: At least 90 units and 2.5 GPA. For all paid internships and some unpaid internships, international students may be required to obtain Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or other authorization. Check with the International Students and Programs Office to ensure you have the proper work authorization based on your specific visa status. 

I am an EAP student, can I do AIP?

EAP students can participate in AIP as long as they have and maintain at least 2.5 UC GPA. We recommend you schedule an appointment with an AIP Counselor before applying. 

Send us a message via the Virtual Advising Center to request an appointment. Note: J-1 students participating in an internship, whether paid or unpaid, on-campus or off-campus, should contact the International Students and Programs Office regarding the Academic Training application needed for employment authorization. 

Can I get credit for an internship I completed previously?

AIP is not able to grant academic credit for retroactive or previously completed internships. Students need to apply for an AIP course or program before the quarter they are applying for credit.

Is AIP a placement program? Does AIP find internships for students?

AIP does not place students in internships or with faculty advisors, but we can help support students with how to secure one. Our student services include Application Preparation, including resume and cover letter feedback, interview preparation, appointments with peer advisors and internship counselors, support through our application processes, and reflection and career development.

AIP Application

What are the major steps/deadlines to enrolling in AIP?

Refer to the Apply to AIP section of our website for details on the enrollment process and deadlines.

I don’t meet the eligibility requirements for AIP, but I have already secured an internship. Can I apply to the program?

Contact the AIP office via the Virtual Advising Center and ask to discuss your specific situation with an AIP Counselor.

What is the difference between an internship supervisor and a faculty advisor?

An internship supervisor is a person who is supervising you at your internship site such as assigning tasks for you to complete, providing mentorship, and evaluating your performance. The internship supervisor listed on your learning agreement should be someone who is able to provide an accurate evaluation of your performance. 

A faculty advisor is a UC San Diego faculty member. They are listed on your academic transcript and will submit your grade for the course. 

Who can serve as my faculty advisor?

Your faculty advisor must have a current UCSD teaching appointment during the quarter of your internship. Professors, Assistant Professors, and Associate Professors generally have a continuous UCSD teaching appointment and can serve as faculty advisors. Faculty with Lecturer teaching appointments may need to complete additional steps to serve in this role, which can delay enrollment.

See our Finding a Faculty Advisor guide  for advice on approaching potential faculty advisors.

What should I do if I can’t find a faculty advisor?

If you are having difficulties finding a Faculty Advisor, you should contact us and schedule an appointment with your AIP Counselor. The AIP Counselor can provide suggestions, help you figure out your options and guide you through the process of how to successfully connect with a faculty advisor.

I already missed the deadline, but the internship I secured requires that I receive academic credit. Is it too late to apply?

Send us a message via the Virtual Advising Center regarding your situation. No exceptions will be made beyond the University add deadline (Week 2).

Can I use AIP 97/197 towards my major’s elective units?

Some students can count AIP197 towards the major, but this varies by department. Check with your department directly for a definitive answer.

During AIP

How do I report my internship hours?

Follow the instructions on our How to Enter Hours on InternLink document. If you are unable to submit your hours or have any questions, please contact AIP through the VAC or contact your assigned AIP Counselor directly. Please make sure to submit your hours by the quarter's deadline to have an accurate total sent to your internship supervisor. 

What if my job description changes after I begin the internship?

Please discuss the change with your Internship Supervisor/Mentor and ask him/her to email your AIP counselor with a revised description.  If you are uncomfortable with your revised job description, please contact your AIP counselor immediately to discuss how to address the situation.

How do I find information on AIP assignments and deadlines?

AIP will create a Canvas course to communicate with students about course requirements, assignments, deadlines, and more. You should be able to access the course by Week 2. If you do not have access to Canvas by that time, send a message to AIP via the Virtual Advising Center.

How do I change my paper/project topic?

Discuss the change with your faculty advisor and get his/her approval. Ask your faculty advisor to send an e-mail to your AIP counselor with a brief explanation of the change by Friday of 8th week.

What if I want to continue my internship next quarter?

Notify your AIP counselor as soon as you decide, and create a new Learning Agreement (do not overwrite the current one!). If you are going to be at the same internship site for more than a quarter, your role, responsibilities and/or project must qualitatively change each subsequent quarter, ensuring new learning and development of new skills and knowledge.  

Your revised role must be reflected on your new Learning Agreement. You cannot receive academic credit if you have been at the same internship site in any capacity for the equivalent of three or more quarters. 

What happens if I get hurt at the internship?

The University cannot and does not assume any liability for injuries, accidents, acts or omissions that occur at non-University locations.

Your internship counselor will be able to tell you whether your internship is at a non-University location. Before beginning your internship, you may also want to make sure you have health insurance either through your parents or through campus student health. 

Where do I turn in my AIP Paper/Project?

You will submit your research paper to both your Faculty Advisor and AIP.

• Submit one copy directly to your Faculty Advisor via his/her preferred method of receipt (via e-mail or hard copy).
• Submit another copy to AIP via Canvas at

After AIP

Why is my grade blank on my transcript?

If you have completed all AIP requirements on time (research paper/project, internship hours, evaluations), and have a blank grade on your transcript, we may be waiting on a completed grade report from your faculty advisor, or a final evaluation from your internship supervisor.

Contact us regarding your specific situation.

How will this course appear on my transcript?

Your transcript will read, “AIP 197: Academic Internship Program.”  When completing your final evaluation you have the opportunity to submit an additional description of a maximum of five words explaining your internship.

Simply fill out the Transcript Notation field at the time that you complete the Self Evaluation via InternLink.