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Eligibility

Interning for Credit

In order to earn academic credits for your internship, you must meet Parsons' eligibility requirements and complete the Experience Learning Agreement.

Internship Eligibility

Normally, you should be eligible to intern for credit beginning in the second or third year of a four- or five-year undergraduate program or the second semester of an AAS or graduate program. If in doubt, confirm your status with your academic advisor.

International Students Eligibility

Students attending Parsons on a student visa must obtain approval from the New School International Student Services (ISS) office for any paid internship, but they do not need ISS authorization for voluntary unpaid work. F-1 students are not eligible for paid internships in their first two semesters. For more information, see

Without exception, all international students (F-1 and J-1 visa holders) must earn academic credit for paid internships. Before filling out an Experience Learning Agreement, they should consult with International Student Services about visa regulations that might limit the number of hours they can work as interns.

The Experience Learning Agreement

The Experience Learning Agreement details every part of your proposed internship, ensuring that you, the employer, and Parsons are in agreement about the scope of your job and its relationship to your education, including start and end dates, hours of work, academic credit, and Learning Objectives (see below).

Note: You cannot begin an internship for academic credit (including a zero-credit internship) until you, your prospective employer, and Parsons have signed the Internship Work Contract.

Internship Guidelines

Read the internship guidelines below before filling out your Experience Learning Agreement.

Hours and Credits

In order to maintain a reasonable balance between coursework and intern work, students are not permitted to intern for more than 15 hours per week. The chart below relates internship credits to minimum and maximum hours of work allowed.

Number of Credits Minimum Hours Maximum Hours
0 60 No more than 15 hours per week through internship term dates
1 60 No more than 15 hours per week through internship term dates
2 120 No more than 15 hours per week through internship term dates

Note: For summer term zero-credit internships, hours exceeding 60 require special approval.

Internship Start and End Dates

Internships must be completed in the academic term in which you expect to receive credit for the internship. The internship must begin on or after the official start date of the term and end before or on the official last day of the term.

Note: You must work until the end date specified on your Experience Learning Agreement even if you occasionally agree to work more than your scheduled hours during busy times or at special events as part of your internship. Failure to work through the contractual end date could result in a failing grade (and would almost certainly be detrimental to any future relationship with that employer).

Zero-Credit Internship Option

With the approval of your academic advisor, you can register for an internship that is officially recognized by Parsons and recorded on your transcript without having the internship counted toward the credit maximum for your per-semester tuition or paying additional per-credit tuition for one or two credits. The registration process is exactly the same as for credit internship registration; you just fill in "0" in the Credits field on the Internship Work Contract.

Why Take a Zero-Credit Internship?

There are several reasons for taking this option, including

  • You are already registered for the maximum number of credits for the semester and do not wish to incur additional tuition charges.
  • You are interning during the summer and do not wish to pay per-credit tuition for internship credit. (Note, however, that there may be other fees associated with registering for zero credit in the summer term.)

Note: You may not be permitted to enroll for a zero-credit internship if you are in your final semester and need credit hours to graduate. Your academic advisor will determine whether you are eligible.

International Students and Zero-Credit Internships

International students, who must take all paid internships for credit, can register for zero-credit internships.

Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives are established, in consultation with your employer, in the Internship Work Contract to ensure that you acquire valuable skills during your internship. The following guidelines are intended to help you set reasonable, relevant goals in your Learning Objectives:

  • Professional skills: You should expect to acquire professional skills by participating in a professional work environment. You should gain an understanding of office hierarchies, recognize effective and efficient work practices, develop a mentoring relationship and a professional network, accomplish tasks or participate in projects that showcase your skills and build your résumé and portfolio, and observe professional etiquette, including dress code and proper methods of communication.
  • Industry awareness: You should expect to learn how a particular industry works and how various companies and consumer markets can differ within and among industries. Your internship should relate to your career goals and your classroom experience at Parsons. For example, you might apply information learned in a design course to create a tech pack for a fashion company, gain experience using InDesign or Photoshop by designing for publication, or acquire knowledge of photography studio practices in preparation for establishing a related business.
  • Communication Skills: You should expect to exercise written and verbal communication skills, become comfortable talking to clients and co-workers and confident expressing ideas, and practice accepting both criticism and positive feedback.

Internship Grades

Your employer is asked to evaluate your performance on the basis of the goals agreed on in the Internship Work Contract. Evaluations provide qualitative feedback on your general level of preparedness, contribution to the work environment, and skill set. Your employer can propose a grade, but it is your faculty of record who actually assigns your grade, taking into account your employer's recommendation and written Student Evaluation.

Mid-Point Check

In addition to mentoring you throughout your internship, your employer will conduct a Mid-Point Check on your performance in which he or she

  • Assesses your work
  • Reviews your Learning Objectives and your progress toward achieving them
  • Engages in an open dialogue with you about how the internship is progressing in general
  • Establishes corrective measures if necessary to enable you to achieve your goals

You will review the information from your Mid-Point Check with your faculty of record and Parsons Career Services, who may also offer advice to ensure a positive internship experience. Please note that a mid-point evaluation will not be sent out and it is expected that you and your employer will conduct your own feedback session.

Steps for Registering for an Internship

  • Step 1: Go to https://newschool-csm.symplicity.com/
  • Step 2: Click the Student/Alumni button
  • Step 3: Enter your Net ID and Password
  • Step 4: Select the Profile tab, Experience
  • Step 5: Click Add New

If you have any questions or problems completing the form please email: experience@newschool.edu or call 212.229.5600.


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