Guidelines for Academic Credit Internships for Natural Resources Students


Internships can be used as a vehicle to allow students to engage in projects that take place outside the traditional classroom environment but that consist of relevant academic work. It is not intended as a means of getting academic credit for general “work experience,” and it cannot be part of an individual’s normal job.

Total credit for Internships may vary from 1 to 6 credit hours. Under most situations, the OSU-Cascades Program Lead will approve up to 4 credits to be applied to the specialty option. The amount of approved academic internship work needed to earn a credit is the same as for normal academic course work. For example, one hour of credit represents about 30 hours of focused work (3 hours per week for 10 weeks).

To receive credit for the internship, the selected intern must 1) have an approved academic internship plan, and 2) coordinate with the OSU-Cascades Natural Resources internship coordinator to enroll in NR 410 prior to the start of the internship. Enrollment in NR 410 to receive academic credit for the internship will NOT be approved after the start of the internship.

Written Proposal

The student must identify a project that is appropriate to her or his interests, knowledge, skills, educational objectives, and schedule. To have this project accepted, the student must submit a written proposal explaining the nature of the project. The proposal must include:

  1. Title of the project.
  2. The number of hours to be worked on the project (not just the regular work part of the internship).
  3. The objectives to be achieved (how completing the internship will benefit the student in the course of their career).
  4. The nature of the final product the student will be submitting as part of the grade (see below).
  5. Approval signature lines for the student, the project mentor, and the NR Internship Coordinator.

Final Written Report

A written report will be required for all projects. Depending on the nature of the work, the report can take one of three forms:

  1. An extensive, original literature review related to the internship project (e.g. for an outdoor educational internship the review could be about the role of outdoor exposure in emotional, social and developmental wellbeing of young people);
  2. A paper describing the student’s involvement in the project (e.g., details about the job, training involved, skills and knowledge learned, observations about the value of the project to the student and the organization, etc.);
  3. A copy of the written component of the project if this was done primarily by the student (e.g., a final report developed for use by the organization).

The final written report is due no later than the Friday prior to the beginning of Finals Week. It can be submitted through Canvas or emailed directly to the NR Internship Coordinator at OSU-Cascades.

In addition to the written report, the student’s project supervisor must submit a final evaluation of the student’s work. The evaluation should briefly summarize the tasks performed by the student, skills and knowledge gained by the student, and the performance level of the student. This report should be submitted no later than the Friday prior to the beginning of Finals Week. Please send evaluations to the NR Internship Coordinator at OSU-Cascades.

The written report from the student and the final evaluation from the project supervisor will be used to determine a final grade for internship credits. Grade will be determined based on the following:

Assignments: 10%

Final written report: 30%

Internship evaluation: 60%  

TOTAL: 100%

Assignments include the written proposal and monthly check-ins.

Academic Schedule for NR 410

Please check Canvas for a detailed schedule, including due dates and assignment instructions.

At least two weeks prior to the beginning of the term

Meet with the NR Internship Coordinator to discuss NR 410 requirements. You will not be able to enroll in NR 410 until you have met in person to discuss the academic requirements for your internship.

Friday of the first week of the term

Deadline to submit the written proposal for your internship. The proposal must be signed by you and by your project mentor. Once your proposal has been approved and signed by the NR Internship Coordinator, copies of the proposal will be sent to you and to your project mentor.

During the term

Email check-in once a month with a brief update about how your internship is going. If you have questions about your written report or about anything else, this is the time to ask!

Friday prior to the beginning of Finals Week

Deadline to submit your written report.