Employer Information

Internship FAQ

Thank you for your interest in partnering with the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus!

We are excited to send talent your way. Please review the FAQ below to learn more about internship programs, expectations and legalities. Feel free to contact Career Services with any additional questions at any time: Sar-Careers@usf.edu.

What is an internship?

An internship is an entry-level training experience related to the student’s major with defined start/end dates that will allow the student to apply academic knowledge and skills in a hands-on environment. This provides the student with the opportunity to learn, gain experience, and grow as a professional. Positions must be degree-related and skill-building, with less than 20% of the time devoted to performing general clerical duties.

An assigned mentor/supervisor is required to provide a meaningful and challenging work experience, culminating in a final evaluation of the student’s performance.

How many hours can interns work?

Students who are receiving academic credit for an internship will be required to meet a specific number of working hours, as determined by their program. Hospitality Management, for example, requires a capstone internship totaling 300 working hours; whereas Interdisciplinary Social Sciences students must complete 100 working hours. Also, for-credit internships typically coincide with a semester, which would begin either in January (Spring), May (Summer), or August (Fall). When in doubt, please ask the student or the Career Services team for clarification.

Students who are not receiving academic credit for an internship should work reasonable hours that do not interfere with their academic schedule.

Is compensation required?

Paid internships, statistically, lead to gainful employment for students after graduation. While compensation is not required for an internship, it will add legitimacy to the student’s experience and assist them in transitioning out of their other part-time jobs. If you cannot compensate an intern for their services, please ask the Career Services team how you could potentially find funding so you can create a paid internship.

While students recognize the value of internships, the applicant pool is small, and the number of hours per week they can work is limited. According to the Department of Labor, unpaid internships should be designed strictly for the benefit and education of the student and be similar to training in a vocational setting. It is the responsibility of the employer to adhere to the criteria defined by the Department of Labor. Further, USF requires this agreement for unpaid internships.

How can we get started?

Please advertise your internship on Handshake for maximum on-campus exposure.

If your intern is receiving academic credit, their faculty supervisor will ask you to complete contract paperwork specific to their program.

However, if your intern is not receiving academic credit, please obtain contract paperwork from the Career Services team at Sar-Careers@usf.edu.

We look forward to partnering with you!


Micro-Internships help organizations get immediate support while identifying and evaluating candidates for future hiring needs. Unlike traditional internships, these paid opportunities typically range from five to 40 hours of work, can be completed year-round, and help teams scale up seamlessly -- with no unnecessary expense.

Tips for managing successful internships during the coronavirus outbreak

COVID-19 has changed the landscape of work. What does that mean for internships? Read the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus' top five suggestions for intern projects in summer and fall 2020.