An internship provides practical work experience, and helps you connect your classroom learning to the world outside MSU. Most undergraduate research experiences are just internships under a different name. The important element that distinguishes an internship from a short-term job or community service is the intentional “learning plan” that you bring to the experience. You not only plan to learn, but you have a plan for evaluating what you learned and how.
Internships can take place in any work or service setting. They may be part of an educational program and evaluated for academic credit, or no credit may be granted
Students who have completed internships often find employment more quickly following graduation and were more likely to be employed within their fields of study. Employers actively seek students with career-related work experience since the practical career experience can help confirm a career choice or make a decision to choose a different path.
Start Looking for Internships
It’s never too early to gain hands-on experience. As soon as you identify what sort of career path you are interested in, start keeping an eye out for internships and research experiences.
It is important to plan ahead. Typically, for summer internships, the deadlines are in December and January. Some of the most popular internships have very strict rules – they will not accept late applications, and you must fill out certain forms properly.
Internships tend to be very competitive. It’s important that you apply early for consideration, particularly for corporate internships.
Get Credit For An Internship
Your academic department determines the requirements for receiving academic credit. Just because something is called an “internship” doesn’t mean you will get credit through MSU for the experience. You must consult with your department’s internship coordinator to clearly determine that you will learn from the experience—and create a plan to document that learning. Some internships will give you academic credit at other institutions. Some internships don’t count for credit at all—but will look wonderful on your resume and help you determine your future career path.
There is not one big list of internships
We wish we could provide one main list of internships, however, each organization has completely different deadlines, application proceedures, and locations. This makes “one stop shopping” difficult.
MySpartanCareer - MSU’s Resource for Finding Internships
- Search and apply for on-and off-campus jobs and internships
- View, apply, and sign up for on-campus interviews
- Connect with resources to help you manage your career search
- Get information on upcoming events, workshops, presentations, and event cram sessions
- Keep your resume updated and current
Science Internship Resources
Environmental and Conservation Internship Resources
- Student Conservation Association Internships
- Society for Conservation Biology
- The Orion Grassroots Network
- Association of Zoos & Aquariums
- Sea Grant Marine Internships
- RIT’s list of co-ops and internships in ecology, animal, and plant biology
- North American Association for Environmental Education
- US Geological Survey Student Jobs
- National Renewable Energy Lab
- Green Business Jobs and Internships
- Smithsonian Museum Research Opportunities
- National Council for Science and the Environment
Biotechnology, health, and pharmaceutical internships
- National Institute of Health (NIH) Training Programs
- Co-op/Internship Opportunities for Pre-Medical Studies Students
- Co-op/Internship Opportunities in Bioinformatics & Genomics
- Co-op/Internship Opportunities Related to Genetic Counseling
- Co-op/Internship Opportunities with Private Companies
- UNCF Internships
Physics internships and research experiences
- NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates
- Department of Energy Internships
- Summer Internship Programs at Fermilab
- Oak Ridge Labs
- Southwest Research Institute
- Physics Today/AIP Career Network
Zoo and Aquarium Science Internships (ZOL 496)
Students in the Zoo and Aquarium Science Program are required to complete an internship in Zoology (ZOL 496 or 498) for graduation. Students in the Zoology Bachelor’s degree program may also choose to complete an internship.
- ZOL 496 is for Zoology majors without a Zoo & Aquarium Science concentration
- ZOL 498 is for Zoology majors with a Zoo & Aquarium Science concentration
Only professional zoos or aquariums are eligible host institutions. Students must have approval of the Zoology Department.
The internship must be one semester long with 30-40 hours a week of hands-on experience. Most students choose to do their internship the summer before or after their senior year. If you have completed the suggested courses, the exact timing of the internship is up to you. You have the option of completing it any semester, but it will take 14 weeks.
- For a summer semester internship, see Dr. Snider by beginning of fall semester of the previous year
- For spring semester, see Dr. Snider by end of summer or early fall semester of previous year
- For fall semester see Dr. Snider by beginning to middle of spring semester of previous school year
Look at professional zoos or aquariums as eligible host institutions.
Employer Internship Guide - A comprehensive guide to the process for recruiting, interviewing, on-boarding, and managing student interns.