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Internship Guide

Information for all stages of the Internship process: before, during, and after

Internship FAQs

Please see below for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about internships in general and internships at Central Penn in particular.

HOWEVER--If you are in Medical Assisting, Occupational Therapy Assistant, or Physical Therapist Assistant, those programs each have their own fieldwork/internship requirements and guidelines.  Please talk to your program's fieldwork/internship coordinator, listed below.

Program Fieldwork Coordinator Contact Information
Medical Assisting Nikki Marhefka, 717-728-2216
Occupational Therapy Assistant Brooklyn Reiff, 717-728-2265
Physical Therapist Assistant - Summerdale Matthew O'Brien, 717-728-2307
Physical Therapist Assistant - Lancaster Stephen Campbell, 717-728-2457

If you have other questions, please see the other pages of this Guide, watch the Internship Information video, and/or contact Kristin Fike, Internship Coordinator, 717-728-2213,, or stop by the Career Resource Center in Bollinger Hall, Room 53 (Summerdale campus).


Q: What is an Internship?

A: An internship is an on-the-job educational experience, a hands-on opportunity for students to take the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom and apply them to the working environment.  Ideally, an internship will allow students to experience working in a job setting similar to what they will pursue as employment after graduation.

The College requires undergraduate students to complete a culminating learning experience in the form of an Internship or Capstone (see below for more about Capstone).


Q: Will I receive academic credit for my internship?

A: Yes, at the successful completion of Internship, 3 credits are awarded.


Q: When does my internship take place?

A: Internships range in hours from 180-640 hours.  Students are eligible for Internship upon completion of 75% of their coursework (45 credits for Associate or 90 credits for Bachelor) (except allied health programs as listed above).  Unless otherwise dictated by program (see specific program information for requirements), associate students will register for INT299 Associate Degree Internship and bachelor students for INT499 Bachelor Degree Internship.


Q: Must all Central Penn students do an Internship?  What about Capstone?

A: All students must complete either an Internship or Capstone.  Since internships give students an on-the-job experience, they are highly recommended for all Central Penn students. 

A: Students may also complete a Capstone in place of an internship in certain circumstances (students working in the field, fully online students or other).  This course requires an extensive research project related to the student's chosen career path.  Unless otherwise indicated by the program (see specific program pages for requirements), associate students will register for IDS299 CE Capstone Course for the Associate Degree and bachelor students will register for IDS499 CE Capstone Course for the Bachelor Degree.


Q. What requirements are there, aside from completing internship hours?

A: In addition to completing internship hours at the designated internship site, students are required to submit their internship assignments and paperwork in their internship course in Blackboard.  Each internship course will be administered by a Faculty Internship Coordinator.  An internship manual is included in the course that students follow to submit assignments such as weekly journals, performance evaluations, and a final report.


Q: Are internships paid?

A: Internships can be paid or unpaid.  However, students in the Medical Assisting, Physical Therapist Assistant, or Occupational Therapy Assistant programs cannot be paid for internships due to their accreditation requirements.


Q: Where can students do their internship?  Can an internship take place on campus?

A: There are many options for internship sites based on students' major and interests.  Internship experiences must be approved by the Internship Coordinator, and they must be clearly related to a student's field of study.  Internships are usually off-campus, but on-campus internships are sometimes possible and have been available through the Center for Teaching Excellence, the Education Foundation, the IT Department, the Athletics Department, the Marketing Department as well as a Sports Broadcasting internship through our Communications Department.  A remote internship can be considered provided it meets the educational experience requirements.  This is a virtual internship where the intern gains experience in a remote setting and is not physically present at a job location.  Please see Kristin Fike, Internship Coordinator, for more information.


Q: What is early internship?

A: A student may submit an early internship request if they receive a unique internship opportunity before they have completed 75% of their degree program (45 credits for Associate or 90 credits for Bachelor) and have a 3.0 GPA.  This is available to students completing INT299 or INT499.  The early internship request must be formally submitted to the program director for approval or denial before it will be processed by the Office of Records and Registration. Kristin Fike, Internship Coordinator, can assist the student in contacting the program director, reviewing the form and process, and gathering the required information. Contact Kristin to begin the early internship process. 


Q: When do I schedule my internship?

A: Students must meet with their advisor prior to scheduling internship.  Students cannot add the internship course to their schedule through open registration.  A recommendation from the student's advisor must be sent to the Office of Records and Registration for approval.


Q: How do I begin looking for an internship?

A: The Career Resource Center shares internship opportunities on the recruiting platform Handshake.    Students are encouraged to created a free student account and begin searching there first.  The site is available at The Career Resource Center hosts several events on and off campus throughout the year that provide opportunities for students to meet with employers in their field of study.  Students are encouraged to attend career-related events on campus as often as they can.


Q: Is it possible to fail an internship?

A: It is unlikely for a student to fail internship, but it is possible.  If for some reason you do not complete your internship, because either you do not complete all required hours and/or you do not turn in all of your required documents, that could cause you to fail the internship.  Depending on the timing of failing the internship, you may be required to reapply to the school.  This will include additional fees and may require you to complete additional courses before re-attempting the internship.  Please take your internship VERY seriously, stay in contact with your internship coordinator, and submit all required documents.