Internships & Experiential Education

Internships, co-ops and experiential education are all types of pre-professional experience that students need prior to graduation. We are here to help you find experience in your field and build the skills necessary for your future career. Meet with our staff to explore opportunities and learn how you can earn credit or a transcript notation!

Internship Registration*

Step 1: Locate and secure a position

Step 2: Complete the Internship Registration

  • Login to the Job Board
  • Select Career Center
  • Click "Experiences"
  • Request an Experience

Once the form is submitted, it will be workflowed through Career Services, your faculty advisor, department head and employer for internship approval. Once the experience is fully approved, Career Services will add the course to your schedule. If you have questions, contact

* International student experiences must relate to the their field of study for CPT authorization. In addition to completing the paperwork with Career Services, international students will need to meet with the Office of International Engagement for final authorization.  Prior start of the employment student must receive CPT authorization for a specific employer and for specific dates. The DSO must update SEVIS with this information prior to the start date of employment.  The student cannot begin CPT until the CPT Employment Start Date, which is recorded in SEVIS. The DSO must also print out an updated Form I-20 reflecting the CPT authorization. It is the student's responsibility to gather all necessary documents and maintain the student's status.

Department Requirements

Each Department has established requirements to register for cooperative education (internships). In addition to meeting the guidelines, students will be given a homework assignment by the faculty supervisor. 

Transcript Notation 

  • Career Services Approved
  • 50+ work hours
  • 2.5 minimum GPA 
  • Must be pre-professional in nature

Employer Expectations

80% of all UNI students graduate with experience in their field. This ranges from cooperative education to field experiences. In all these experiences, the core difference between a part-time job and an internship/co-op is the experience aligns with the students' professional goals and has a learning component. The following are expectations of host organizations:

  • Provide adequate training & instruction
  • Complete an end-of-term evaluation
  • If unpaid, meet federal guidelines
    (View FAQ #7 for Funding Options)
  • Position can not be an independent contract position - also known as a 1099. (View FAQ 9 for details)
  • Agree to Co-op Registration [Grad Student]
  • Note that the University of Northern Iowa does not provide liability insurance and cannot sign waivers of liability. 

Career Services can coach employers on building a robust internship program. Questions can be directed to Laura Wilson, director of internships.