Internships are just one of the many opportunities for students to engage in High Impact Practices (HIPs) in the Student Affairs Administration program. Internships allow students to integrate academic learning and theoretical concepts from the classroom with “real-world” practical experience for their given career path.

They also help students build a professional network that is often an essential component of any job search.  As they work with experienced student-affairs practitioners, students gain a better sense of their areas of interest within student affairs and can develop the skills they will need to be successful in the field.

Interns establish objectives based on their application of academic theories and concepts and how they relate to their work experience, and then evaluate their success in achieving them.

Ready to begin your internship experience? Here is everything you need to know:


  • All students are required to participate in at least one 3-credit hour internship of 156 hours while enrolled in the SAA program. Students can complete their internship in the fall, spring or summer semesters.
  • The student is responsible for identifying their own internship placement, preparing for and defining its objectives in conjunction with the internship site supervisor. The student is also responsible for submitting the resulting memorandum of understanding (MOU) to the internship director for approval. Begin preparing the MOU early, months in advance of the registration period for the semester you’re planning to perform your internship.
  • Students who already have professional experience in the field of student affairs (3+ years of service) may be exempt from the internship requirement. They will be required to request an internship waiver, and take an additional 3 credit elective course as a replacement. 


To qualify for an internship, each of the following criteria must be met:

  • The student must be matriculated in CCPA, must have completed SAA 510, 511, 512, 513 and 514, and must have obtained a grade-point average of B or better.
  • The internship must be related to the student’s career goals and the student should have sufficient background to undertake the internship and learn from the experience. Students cannot do an internship in the same office where they are a Graduate Assistant (GA).
  • The internship must be performed in an established student affairs/services office in a two- or four-year institution of higher education.
  • This site must not be owned in whole or in part by any of the student’s parents or relatives.
  • Students must submit a completed Internship MOU (download .docx version at this link) with signatures indicating approval by the site supervisor where they intend to work and Margaret A. Gates, director of admissions and student services.

Policies and procedures

When the student has accepted an offer for an internship, several steps must be taken prior to beginning the internship experience:

  • Develop the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) (download .docx version at this link) with the site supervisor
  • When the MOU is complete, email it to the director of internship placement for approval before obtaining signatures
  • When departmental approval is given, request the site supervisor sign the MOU and the Internship Cover sheet
  • Submit completed and signed MOU and Internship Cover Sheet to the director of the internship placement.

Registration for internships must be completed in the Student Affairs Administration Program Office, and can be done only after the MOU has been approved by the site supervisor and Margaret A. Gates, director of admissions and student services.

  • Three-credit hour internship MOUs should be filed no later than the middle of the second week of classes. Check with the SAA program office for specific deadlines.
  • A copy of the student’s MOU will be placed in the student’s academic file.
  • Internships are graded on a pass/fail basis only.