Internships can be full or part-tme,  paid or unpaid, for academic credit or no credit and can be during the academic semester or summer.  While internships can be part of your first or second year experience at UVA, some industries and employers typically prefer students in their third year for greater depth in coursework. 

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Preparing to Search

Internships can be paid or unpaid, for academic credit or no credit and can take place during the semester or summer. Summer internships are most commonly pursued by students with the ability to intern full-time in between semesters, or part-time in combination with summer classes or part-time employment.  While internships can be secured during your first or second year, many industries trend toward hiring third year students due more depth of coursework in a major and experience. 

A great first step toward an internship is to gain experience on Grounds.  Consider student organizations, class projects, and other experiential learning opportunities to build transferable skills that employers will find beneficial to their organizations and provide direction for your search.  Externships, job shadowing, and volunteer service learning are additional ways to increase your industry exposure and career focus giving you an edge as an intern candidate.

Internships help you assess what you like as much as what you do not, so be comfortable exploring.  You may be surprised to find your initial career interests to be less of a fit than you thought.  Or, you may discover a new career path that is more exciting than you imagined. Both experiences are invaluable to finding your future career direction.  Learning about functional roles, organizational cultures, and industries will benefit you in developing transferable skills, direction, and a professional network to help you reach your future goals.

Internship Guidelines

The UVA Career Center supports the NACE standards on internships that state internships need to meet specific criteria to ensure compliance with the US Department of Labor and Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA).   

  • The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
  • The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings. 
  • The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
  • There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework.
  • There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
  • There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.
  • There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.

Global Internship University Travel Registry

UVA Policy requires that “All students traveling abroad for University-related purposes must register their international travel in the University Travel Registry before the expected departure date and, if possible, should update the travel registry as additional information becomes available or changes occur throughout the duration of the trip, including additional countries added during travel. This policy applies to all students traveling outside of the national borders of the United States for University-related purposes, which may include but are not limited to study, research, internships, service, conferences, presentations, teaching, performances, recruiting, or athletic competitions. University-related purposes include any travel that is for academic credit and/or utilizes University resources.”


TIP: It is best to identify potential organizations of interest in the fall semester to determine where the deadlines might fall and proceed accordingly.

Internship application deadlines vary across, and even within, career fields of interest. The time frames below offer traditional ranges in which to expect internship postings and application deadlines.

For NGOs and several government organizations, many deadlines vary from late in the fall semester to early in the spring semester. Some organizations may not post their summer internship deadlines until the end of the fall semester, as they accept applications further into the spring semester.

Many business-related internships with large companies will have deadlines late in the fall semester or into January and February. A number of employers choose to post such opportunities in Handshake.

Deadlines for internships in other fields vary. For "official internship programs," the deadlines may take place late in the fall semester or into the spring. Other opportunities that are called "internships" are more flexible and students may find opportunities well into the spring semester.

Where to Search

The websites below are intended to serve as potential secondary resources in your internship search. The listing of these resources does not imply endorsement of the site by the UVA Career Center. Use these resources to:

  • Find internship postings of interest
  • Explore the skills and qualifications employers are looking for before you intern and find ways to develop the skills you may be missing (perhaps through a class, club, or organization at UVA)
  • Serve as a springboard for conducting your own search for similar sites and organizations online


Review internship listings posted by employers and alumni who are interested in UVA students.

UVA Students have exclusive paid access to these resources through Handshake. Access through: Handshake> Resources > Online Job/Internship Resources

Career Insider by Vault Includes an internship database (search results may include international opportunities) and guides to industries that frequently recruit college students and recent graduates. 
CareerShift Complete database of employers and jobs/internships for students and recent grads. Includes a comprehensive resume builder. 
CEI Internships Covers various fields, including international affairs, women‘s rights, media, sports, environment, seasonal state parks, law and policy, resorts, congressional, human rights, and history.
Current Jobs for Graduates Internships and jobs for Liberal Arts Graduates and entry level positions in Writing, Editing, Communications, Management, Business, Education, and Performing Arts. 
Going Global Provides guides to various countries and a database of internships and jobs. Keep in mind that visa and work regulations vary by country, and you may not be eligible to work in most countries without obtaining governmental authorization. Hub for nonprofit, government, and non-governmental opportunities both in the U.S. and abroad (includes internships) The world‘s largest internship marketplace. Students can make an individual account using their email address.
Opportunities in Public Affairs Job and internship listings and resources for careers in politics, policy, PR, fundraising, writing, and research
Policy Jobs The latest research and policy-making jobs and internships from around the world.
Political Jobs The latest jobs in politics; in political parties, public affairs, parliaments and senates worldwide.

UVA Resources

Global Internships Office The Office of Global Internships aims to enable UVA students' participation in meaningful internships in international and/or "global" settings
International Studies Office (ISO) The International Studies Office (ISO) contributes to UVA's global mission through activities, programs and services designed to support the development of a globally aware, culturally diverse education and research environment. 
University Internship Program A four credit academic internship program offered through the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service in collaboration with the College of Arts & Sciences, Departments of Sociology and Psychology. The UIP offers several internship options to UVA undergraduate students.


Career Communities 

Career Communities are a great way to learn more about opportunities in the fields of your choice!

Diversity Resources

Programs for students of color, underrepresented populations, and special populations.

Consider Additional Ways to Gain Experience