Skip to main content

Science Internship Program

Gain experience in your field while earning course credit.

Use your summer to get a head start on your career.

As a student at the Eberly College of Science, you have the option to receive course credit for your internships as you advance your scientific skills.


Internship Program Guidelines

  • You need to be progressing in your degree program and in good academic standing.
  • To receive credit, your internship must relate in some way to your academic plan and educational goals.
  • Internship credit is offered via SC 294 or SC 494, depending on the skills and responsibilities required by the position.
  • The course cannot be added retroactively after the start of the internship experience, so you’ll need to apply in advance.
  • Registration for SC 294 and SC 494 is limited to students with major and minors in the Eberly College of Science.


Apply to the Internship Program

Complete the following steps to apply to receive credit for your internship. Remember: You must complete this process before your internship starts.

  1. Obtain a copy of your offer letter on company stationery. Your offer letter must contain the following information:
    • date
    • job title
    • exact start and end dates
    • hours to be worked per week
    • specific address of where you will be working
    • brief description of duties (specifically what you will be doing and either how or why you are doing that activity)
    • employer signature and the signer’s name and title
    • Here is a copy of these Offer Letter Components that you can use to help with the preparation of this letter.
  2. Meet with your academic adviser to complete and sign the Science Internship - Adviser Approval Form.
  3. In LionPATH, please accept Financial Responsibility and make sure there are no holds on your account.  Our office cannot register you for classes until this is done.
  4. Apply through the online application and submit all required materials.

Complete the online application.

Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to common questions about internship experiences.

Summer internships can be very competitive, so it’s never too early to start looking for and thinking about the types of experiences that interest you.

The majority of application deadlines are in the spring, with some as early as February. So get your résumé ready in the fall and use the winter holiday break to network and to start looking for opportunities that interest you. In some cases, application deadlines are even earlier, in mid to late fall. For example, employers who participate in the Fall Career Days event at Penn State may be accepting applications for summer interns.

Summer internships are very competitive—every science student from every college and university is available in the summer, and many are interested in getting practical experience.

It’s important for you to have a well developed résumé and start searching for opportunities early. Network with your professors, family, and friends to identify possibilities. Keep track of your applications and be prepared for interviews.

No, you do not have to register for internship credits. Penn State Science does not require you to register for academic credit for an internship.

Please note, however, that some organizations may require their interns to register for academic credit. If so, be sure to complete the Internship Credit Form well in advance of the start of your assignment, to make sure that your department will approve the experience for academic credit before you commit to participating in the experience.

To begin this process, contact our office at 814-865-5000.

Yes, Penn State tuition and administrative fees apply on a per-credit basis. Summer tuition fees can be found on the Bursar’s website.

It depends on the employer. Many employers, especially in the private sector, pay science summer interns. However, in some fields like health care, forensics, government, and nonprofits, positions may be unpaid. Be sure to read the position information carefully so you know whether you will receive an hourly salary or a stipend when you complete the assignment, or if it’s an unpaid experience.

Both SC 294 and 494 require assignments, plus student and supervisor evaluations throughout the summer.

Yes, the process for applying for academic credit is the same, whether it’s for a position posted in our database, or one that you’re able to identify through your own network.  Please complete and submit the appropriate forms for review by your department.

Contact the Office of Science Engagement

If you have additional questions or need help starting the internship process, reach out to the Office of Science Engagement.

For professional development questions regarding finding and looking for Internship Opportunities:

Dustin Zettle, dmz5150 'at' or set up an appointment through Starfish


Explore more professional development opportunities.

The Office of Science Engagement is your resource for science experiences that go beyond the classroom. Find out what types of opportunities we can connect you to, or explore how Penn State’s career resources can support your efforts.

Learn about the co-op program

Visit Penn State’s Career Resource Center