Expand your education through hands-on experience

ExperienceAcademic internships are credit-bearing experiential learning opportunities designed to bridge your studies and career goals. They combine practical hands-on experience, research, and reflection to help you:

  • Apply classroom learning in professional settings
  • Explore career interests
  • Build professional networks
  • Engage in research relevant to your potential career field
  • Develop the skills and experience needed to launch your career

AIP serves all majors, and students intern in a wide range of community and industry settings. Our staff will work with you to facilitate a successful application and internship experience.

Academic credit for internships

There are three ways to participate in AIP and earn credit for an internship:

  • Get help securing an academic internship: Use AIP’s InternLink database to access hundreds of pre-approved internships, and/or talk with the AIP counselor for your major for assistance in your search.
  • Request credit for an internship you found on your own. You have the option to expand your search by using the following resources (*Please note that credit-bearing internships must meet AIP's Internship Guidelines. If you secure an internship outside of InternLink, an AIP counselor will review your Learning Agreement to determine whether the internship meets these guidelines and notify you via email):
  • Participate in one of AIP’s partner programs: Some academic departments and colleges have specially established procedures or requirements for AIP. See Earning Credit for details related to your area of study.

We encourage you plan ahead and talk with advisors from your major/minor department or college to determine how to best apply AIP toward your degree requirements.

Work with faculty

Academic internships provide the opportunity to work closely with faculty to develop a research paper or project relevant to your internship and field of interest.  The final paper/project allows you to integrate what you have learned at the internship with scholarly work in your discipline.

Unit options

Most students participating in the Academic Internship Program enroll in our AIP course. Students intern for a designated number of hours each week, and work with a UCSD faculty advisor to develop a research paper or project related to the internship.

  • 2 units: 5 hours/week (50 total) + 5 page paper
  • 4 units: 10 hours/week (100 total) + 10 page paper
  • 6 units: 15 hours/week (150 total) + 15 page paper
  • 8 units: 20 hours/week (200 total) + 20 page paper
  • 10 units: 25 hours/week (250 total) + 25 page paper
  • 12 units: 30 hours/week (300 total) + 30 page paper

Typical internships are for 4 units, and AIP is a Pass/No Pass course.

Please note: *Options for AIP 97 (Lower Division) are 2 or 4 units only.

Eligibility requirements

AIP participants will enroll in our special studies course, AIP 97 or AIP 197. You must meet the following miminum eligibility requirements in order to enroll in AIP:

  • AIP 97 (Lower Division): 30 Units Completed; 3.0 UC GPA
  • AIP 197 (Upper Division): 90 Units Completed; 2.5 UC GPA
  • Completed at least one full-time quarter at a UC

International students

Eligible international students may participate in academic internships. In some cases, international students need to complete special paperwork such as Academic Training (J-1) or Curricular Practical Training (F-1) to obtain work authorization. Check with the International Students & Programs Office to ensure you follow the proper procedures. Remember that processing can take weeks, and begin your AIP application process early to allow for timely completion.

EAP Reciprocity exchange students can participate in AIP, but will not initially be able to access the InternLink database. Contact the AIP office to request access.

Get started

Visit our Apply to AIP page for details on how to participate in the Academic Internship Program.