Internship Approval Guidelines and Rubric

Internship Approval Guidelines and Rubric

Approval Guidelines

  • Internships cannot be cross-listed as multiple different Position Types (i.e. Internship, Volunteer, Student Employment, Full Time Non-Degreed, etc.) in Handshake.
  • Selecting the Internship position type will generate a posting form unique to internships. This form must be completed in its entirety before being submitted for approval. The fields of the form will provide an outline aligned with the University of Utah Career & Professional Development Center Internship Approval Rubric.
  • Once submitted, internship postings will be reviewed by Employer Engagement staff.  If there is a question about any component of the internship posting the employer will be contacted for clarification, posting updates, or position type reclassification.
  • For help developing an internship position and posting, review our Develop an Internship Resources and/or contact us at

Approval Rubric

When creating an internship posting, provide detailed descriptions of how the internship will meet each of the required internship components (outlined below). Guiding questions to help address each area are provided.

Employers must acknowledge review of FLSA guidelines, rules, and regulations as part of the internship posting. Employers are responsible for discussing the FLSA Guidelines, current cases, and interns they are looking to hire with their own Human Resources Department and legal counsel.

Required Internship Components

The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.

Guiding Questions to Consider

There are many ways to infuse learning into an internship.

  • Are there projects and educational opportunities separate from work tasks that can support or complement the learning objectives?
  • Are there opportunities to attend conferences or networking opportunities specific to your industry, present a proposal to the board or other groups that you work with, or industry texts or materials that your current employees are expected to read? These are just a few examples of ways to add learning experiences to the internship.
  • Making your internship an “extension of the classroom” does not mean the internship must be for academic credit. Students may decide to earn credit along with the completion of their internship or they may not, but providing a learning experience is more about giving students experiences that are unique to your setting.

The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.

We encourage you to think about what an intern will learn and experience while interning with your organization that will make them a stellar candidate for future full-time work with either your company or in a future position.

  • Consider what skills, knowledge, or experiences you would look for on the resume of a future employee.  How can you add these components to your intern’s experience?
  • Perhaps your organization looks for a specific work ethic, attitude, or way of explaining teamwork; if so, how do you cultivate those vital pieces in your interns?
  • If there are specific skills or knowledge that are considered foundational for your industry, make sure the intern is exposed to them.

The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.

Make sure to think through the logistics of your internship and how you are communicating your timeline to candidates and hires.

  • Identify start and end dates, work location, average hours expected per week, and compensation. All of these pieces must be specified in a job posting.
  • Are you looking to hire a student with a specific technical skill (i.e. a computer program they must already be familiar with to successfully complete the internship)?
  • Are you looking for applicants from a specific major or area of academic study?

There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework.

*A learning objective or goal is an outcome statement that captures specifically what knowledge, skills, attitudes interns should be able to exhibit following their experience.

Set learning outcomes before selecting an intern to help identify an intern that is the best fit for the experience. Learning outcomes should then be reviewed with the selected intern to make any edits and/or additions that might enhance the experience for the individual intern, supervisor, and organization.

  • Have projects and tasks been developed so the intern has legitimate work to do?
  • Are the opportunities for interns to contribute to a team, learn about the organizational structure, meet employees outside of the department where they work, or to create new initiatives?
  • Many employers find creating an intern syllabus (similar to what a student would receive in a class) a helpful way to organize the interns time and to force them to plan in advance for what the intern will do each week.

There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.

  • Is there a designated supervisor to provide guidance?
  • Is this person willing and qualified to facilitate meaningful learning conversations about the field, the intern’s work, and the organization?
  • Will the supervisor also serve as a mentor for the intern or will a different person be made available to the intern for mentorship?

There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor. 

Creating a feedback schedule and mechanism in advance of intern selection will inform the intern of expectations and how progress and learning will be measured.

  • When will formal feedback be provided? Midway through, at the conclusion, both, or more?
  • Will additional avenues for informal feedback be made available (i.e. weekly one-on-one meetings, project check-ins, etc.)?
  • Will there be an opportunity for the intern to provide feedback to the employer about their experience (i.e. a written evaluation, final intern program presentation to supervisor or other personnel, etc.)?

There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.

  • What resources are required for the position and which will be made available to the intern so they can be a successful part of the organization and complete their duties? Examples could include a computer, designated work space, a chair, parking pass, etc.