Internships & Co-ops

Internships & Co-ops

The Georgia Southern University Experiential Learning Program provides undergraduate and graduate students academically enhancing career-related opportunities in a variety of industries and sectors through co-op, internship, and job shadowing opportunities. The Experiential Learning Program encourages relevant quality work experiences for all students who desire to enrich their academic program of study with planned, progressive, and monitored work experiences. These employment opportunities build upon strong instructional programs to ensure that students receive an outstanding education that prepares them intellectually, technically, culturally, ethically, and socially for the demands and opportunities of an increasingly changing world.


Types of Experiential Learning Facilitated by the OCPD

Co-op, short for cooperative education, is an experiential learning program that balances classroom theory with multiple periods of practical, hands-on experience prior to graduation. Co-ops allow students to alternate semesters of academic study with semesters of full-time, paid employment positions related to their academic and career interests. Co-ops are common for, but are not limited to, majors in business, chemistry, computer science, engineering, information systems, and information technology. Qualities of a co-op include:

  • Ongoing work experiences
  • Builds progressively upon responsibilities each work term
  • Always paid
  • Typically for non-academic credit, but academic credit may be available in certain situations for one work term

Goals and Benefits of Internships

By participating in a co-op through the Georgia Southern University Experiential Learning Program, students will:

  • Gain practical work experience related to your chosen major
  • Further, clarify your academic focus and career goals
  • Integrate practical knowledge into classroom learning
  • Gain an understanding of professional cultures and expectations

Students who participate in co-ops are able to work on longer, more important projects and are able to take on increasingly responsible and diverse roles in their work sessions. Students also earn a significant and competitive salary while working. While not guaranteed, many co-op students are offered interviews or full-time positions with their host employer upon graduation.

Miranda RogersC.H. Robinson

Co-op Registration

Prior to starting your co-op, it is critical that you contact the Office of Career and Professional Development to register for the appropriate tuition-free, audit-credit co-op course in order to remain enrolled full-time at Georgia Southern while you are working. This course will allow the co-op to be officially recognized by the University on the student’s transcript and prevents gaps in enrollment (for insurance purposes, housing, student fees, student loans, etc.) The number of audit credits depends upon the number of hours worked per week.

Internships are hands-on experiential learning opportunities where students can apply academic knowledge in professional settings to further adapt skills for the “real world.” Internships can be:

  • Full or part-time
  • Paid or unpaid
  • For academic or non-academic credit
  • During any academic semester (fall, spring, or summer)

Goals and Benefits of Internships

Participating in an internship will offer students a myriad of opportunities that will be beneficial while still a student at Georgia Southern University and in the future. These goals & benefits include:

  • Gaining relevant work experience prior to graduation
  • Increasing understanding of classroom theory through practical experience
  • Exploring career goals and options
  • Enhancing marketability to employers upon graduation
  • Sharpening communication and interpersonal skills
  • Gaining an understanding of professional cultures and expectations

Daniel MarinBell Helicopter

Academic Credit Internships

Academic credit internships are provided and approved by your major’s department by a supporting faculty member. When completing an internship for academic credit, you will earn hours toward your degree, pay tuition, and receive a grade for the course. Depending on your major, you may also have other course requirements such as evaluations, projects, and reflections. The requirements and documentation needed to receive academic credit vary by department, so it is best to check with your advisor or the department’s website for more information.

Megan LebenJoe Gibbs Racing

The Office of Career and Professional Development staff can also assist you in determining where to begin. When in doubt if your internship will count for academic credit, or if you are unsure of your department’s process, please follow the “Internship Registration” steps below!

Non-Academic Credit Internships

Students who are not seeking academic credit for their internship or are unable to receive academic credit may complete an internship for non-academic credit. Non-academic credit internships are free and have no required coursework, however, they do not add to your degree progression and you do not receive a grade for the course. Because non-academic credit internships have no tuition or fees associated, you will not have access to your financial aid for that semester unless you take at least 6 hours of academic credit coursework in addition to your internship.

Internship Registration

Prior to starting your internship, it is critical that you contact the Office of Career and Professional Development to register for the appropriate tuition-free, audit-credit internship course in order to remain enrolled full-time at Georgia Southern while you are working. This course will allow the internship to be officially recognized by the University on the student’s transcript and prevents gaps in enrollment (for insurance purposes, housing, student fees, student loans, etc.) The number of audit credits depends upon the number of hours worked per week.

Job shadowing allows you to:

  • Connect or “shadow” with a business professional (job shadowing mentor) who has specific knowledge about an occupation or career in which you are interested
  • Observe responsibilities and tasks associated with the mentor’s career and have the opportunity to ask questions about the knowledge, skills, talents, and level of education required for the job
  • Job shadowing is not a paid experience

Academic Internship Programs

Additional Experiential Learning Opportunities

While the Office of Career and Professional Development can discuss how other types of experiential learning could benefit a student’s career development, there are other campus resources available to assist students interested in those opportunities. Follow any of the links below for more information.

According to Vanderbilt University, service learning is defined as: “A form of experiential education where learning occurs through a cycle of action and reflection as students seek to achieve real objectives for the community and deeper understanding and skills for themselves.”

Service Learning involves almost any helping activity. We generally refer to direct service to individuals, indirect service to people, and advocacy work.

  • Direct service includes tutoring, serving meals, working with patients, helping a refugee family, walking foster dogs, or participating in events at a nursing home. Many psychology and education courses incorporate direct service.
  • Indirect service is doing something behind the scenes to help, such as organizing a fundraising event, working in a resale shop, stocking a food pantry, collecting donations or planting trees to help the environment. Fields such as environmental studies and sociology tend to offer more indirect service opportunities.
  • Advocacy can take the form of students writing letters to government officials, demonstrating in a picket line or educating others about possible policy changes. Political science and criminal justice classes often feature more advocacy work.

Service Learning opportunities are facilitated by The Office of Leadership and Community Engagement.

Georgia Southern University is an emerging research institution that not only depends on the expertise of faculty researchers but also the dynamic ideas and creativity of its students. At GS, undergraduate and graduate students pursue investigation, inquiry, and creative expression across the institution.

Students are able to take advantage of individual research projects in their area of interest, execute research projects as part of their class curriculum or support research efforts of faculty members.

Student research focuses on conducting experiments, analyzing data, interpreting a text or a work of art within a historical and cultural context, making connections, exploring meaning, or uncovering contradictions. Performing independent research allows students to develop their own original ideas and present them to a wider audience; they become producers, not just consumers, of knowledge. There are countless opportunities in each college and department to be involved in the innovative research happening at Georgia Southern University.

Student research opportunities are facilitated by the Office of Research.

Our study abroad programs provide a wide range of cultural opportunities, from English-speaking, faculty-led summer studies to language immersion programs, to 3rd-Party programs and more!

Study Abroad is facilitated by the Office of Global Engagement.

Career Resources

After the Internship

This handout will help you reflect on your experience and prepare for what is next!

Exploring Internships

This worksheet will help you plan and search for your first internship or co-op opportunity.

Fraudulent Jobs or Scam Job Postings

These security-related tips and resources will help you evaluate job and internship opportunities and avoid any potentially fraudulent postings.

Contact & Location

Phone
912-478-5197
Address

Savannah: Student Success Center
Statesboro: Williams Center, First Floor
PO Box 8069
Statesboro, GA 30460

Career Service Hours

Day of the week
Regular Hours Virtual Drop-in Hours
Monday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.  
Tuesday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 9-11 a.m.
Wednesday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 2-4 p.m.
Thursday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 9-11 a.m.
Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.  
GEORGIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY

Statesboro Campus
1332 Southern Drive Statesboro, GA 30458 912-478-4636

Armstrong Campus
11935 Abercorn Street Savannah, GA 31419 912-478-4636

Liberty Campus
175 West Memorial Drive Hinesville, GA 31313 912-877-1906