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Internships and Co-ops

SUNY Oswego Internships and Co-ops are planned, registered experiences that allow you to explore and confirm your career options, boost your resume, learn new skills, and apply the knowledge you have learned in your coursework.  You can find Internships and Co-ops that match your academic and career fields in a variety of local, national, and international sites.   A Faculty Sponsor will support your learning objectives as you develop a network of professional contacts and gain foundational knowledge and skills. 


Internship/Co-op Registration PhasesFaculty Sponsor Resources

                                                      Sites and Employers


Internship and Co-op Instructions

Below you will find an outline of the five phases you need to do in order to successfully plan, apply, verify, register, and complete an academic Internship or Co-op.  EXCEL staff are available to help you through each step and ensure that you are ready to go. 

Phase 1: Plan Ahead:  Review your eligibility and timeline with your Academic Advisor.

Phase 2: Search and apply to Internship or Co-op positions.

Phase 3: Formalize your Internship/Co-op position by having your Site Supervisor verify the position for EXCEL to review.

Phase 4: "Request an Experience" and fill out your learning agreement in Handshake to be registered for academic credit.

Phase 5: Complete all your required Internship or Co-op hours and submit your academic assignments to your Faculty Sponsor. 

VIDEO tutorials for the 5 PHASES

Phase 1 - Plan Ahead

Planning ahead is so important to ensure that you can complete an academic Internship or Co-op during the semester you would like to earn credit.  It takes time to secure the Internship/Co-op, complete the required submission process, and obtain all the necessary approvals needed to get registered.  You should complete the process the semester prior to the Internship/Co-op experience so that you can get registered during advanced registration and be ready to go on the first day of classes.

Before beginning your Internship/Co-op search, meet with your Academic Advisor to review the eligibility criteria and information below.

Internships vs. Co-ops

Which hands-on learning experience is right for you? Both experiences have similar benefits but do have distinct differences. Co-ops are more likely to lead to a job offer, while internships are more like trial runs to discover what you like and don't like about a job site or career field.

Internships Co-ops
Unpaid or Paid Paid, compensation set by employer
Spans full semester or term 12-26 weeks
Part-time or full-time, still take classes Full-time work at site
Credit-bearing (counts towards degree) Non-credit bearing (doesn't count towards degree or GPA)
1-12 credits in Fall/Spring/Summer, 1-3 credits Winter (40 site hours per credit)

Co-ops are "0" credit, a student maintains full-time status while on Co-op

Internships are graded H (Honors), S (Satisfactory) or U (Unsatisfactory) and are not calculated into a student’s cumulative GPA (some departments may have different grading modes) Co-ops are graded H (Honors), S (Satisfactory) or U (Unsatisfactory)
Part of tuition Fall and Spring, Cost per credit for Summer/Winter No tuition, some fees may be required
Eligibility and Criteria
  • Must be a junior, senior or graduate student (transfer and graduate students must complete one academic semester in major/program)
  • Must have at least a 2.5 GPA (some department standards are different)
  • Decide whether an Internship or Co-op is more appropriate depending on the position
  • Decide which course you should register for, and review any additional major/program prerequisites, requirements, and restrictions
  • International students should be aware that there are additional regulations (scroll down to International Student Services and click on Curricular Practical Training - CPT) if you're studying on an F-1 visa and you need to meet with your International Education Advisor before being registered for an internship/co-op.
  • Once started, the process to getting registered may take several weeks.
  • Review Internship/Co-op Standards and Facts, which will give an overview of important items you should know before you begin to apply for an internship/co-op and register for credit
  • Review Internship/Co-op timeline and deadlines.

Phase 2 - Search and Apply for an Internship/Co-op

Your own experience means your unique process! Utilize a variety of resources when seeking guidance to find an Internship or Co-op.

Consider making a virtual appointment with an EXCEL Staff member (like our Internship Coordinator) or a Career Coach in Career Services for guidance as you begin to search and apply. Faculty in your department are also great connections!

Using tools like Handshake (SUNY Oswego's Internship, and job platform) or CareerShift will help you get going! You can personalize your search criteria to match your major, location, and interests. 

Phase 3 - Formalize your Internship/Co-op position and begin the registration process

In order to register for an Internship or Co-op, you must complete Phase 1 and 2 above and follow the process below.

  • Have your Site Supervisor submit the Internship/Co-op Site Verification Form (position description) to be reviewed by EXCEL’s Internship Coordinator to ensure it meets all internship standards.  This form can be found on the “For Sites” page along with other information for your Site Supervisor.  It is your responsibility to make sure your Site Supervisor submits the Internship/Co-op site verification form to EXCEL. This is how EXCEL is first notified of your intent to complete an Internship/Co-op.   If your supervisor informed you that the site verification form was completed and you have not received the approved verification form after 5 business days, please email [email protected] to verify that it has been received.
  • Log into myOswego (you must be logged in prior to clicking the link) and complete the Prior Felony Questionniare.  More information can be found on the Prior Felony Convictions Policy webpage.   
  • You will need to find a faculty member from your major to serve as your Faculty Sponsor for your internship (if you are taking HDV 403, HSC 498 or PSY 498  the instructor listed in Banner will be your Faculty Sponsor, please reach out to them).  The Faculty Sponsor is responsible for evaluating the academic assignments for the internship and assigning the final grade.  Some academic departments have Internship Coordinators, please check with your department.

  • If you have a good idea of what your responsibilities will be, you can begin drafting your SMART Learning Objectives (see Phase 4, bullet 3 below).

  • Some organizations will require a credit eligibility letter to confirm that you meet the requirements to receive credit.  Receipt of this letter does not register you for credit. You must complete the entire process to be registered for credit.  Please contact EXCEL to request the letter.
  • All of Phase 3 must be completed and approved prior to moving on to Phase 4.  This could take time to complete depending on the student's circumstances. 

Phase 3 TutorialFOR SITESPrior Felony Conviction Questionnaire

Phase 4:  "Request an Experience" and fill out your learning agreement in Handshake to be registered for academic credit.

  • The Internship/Co-op Site Verification Form from Phase 3 will be reviewed by the EXCEL Internship Coordinator for academic and labor standards and reach out to the Site Supervisor if there are any concerns.  Once approved, a stamped pdf will be emailed to you from [email protected] along with instructions on how to "Request an Experience" and complete your learning agreement through Handshake. 
  • When you receive the approved site verification and instructions you will need to meet with your Faculty Sponsor to discuss your internship position to ensure that you are prepared to fill out the “Request an Experience” and learning agreement.  Your Faculty Sponsor will:

    • Assist you in developing realistic and relevant learning objectives using the SMART Learning Objectives worksheet.  They should be well thought out and reflect on what skills and knowledge you will be applying during your experience.  Ensuring your learning objectives are well written will ensure the approval process can be completed in a timely manner.  You will be writing papers and reflecting on these objectives throughout the experience.  

    • Discuss academic assignments that are appropriate for your major, your experience, and the academic credit you hope to earn. 

  • Once you “Request an Experience” it will begin the approval process. Your Academic Advisor, Faculty Sponsor, and Site Supervisor will all be sent your learning agreement to review and add the information necessary for you to complete the internship requirements.  Please note, that this approval process can take up to 2-4 weeks depending on the response time of approvers.

  • Once all approvals have been received, we will get you registered for your internship credits (or provide you with a course number to register through myOswego).

Phase 4 TutorialSMART Learning Objectives WorksheetFor Faculty Sponsors

Phase 5 - Complete all your required Internship or Co-op hours and submit your academic assignments to your Faculty Sponsor.

You will need to submit electronic Internship/Co-op Timesheets on a monthly basis that reflect the required amount of hours you need to complete for your registered credits.  Once you submit a timesheet your Site Supervisor will automatically receive an email to approve your hours (you will receive a copy of the email that is sent to your Site Supervisor).  You will also need to complete the academic assignments outlined by your Faculty Sponsor in your learning agreement in Handshake. You and your Site Supervisor will need to fill out an evaluation of your performance through the SkillSurvey: Career Readiness platform.  You will both receive an email with the link to the evaluation at the end of the semester.

student on Sheldon Hall stairs

One major benefit of experiential learning was it helped me shape my future and direct me in the correct path.  I learned so much. At Lambda Legal, the interns were provided mentorship by connecting them with industry leaders from the path that they wanted to choose.  My favorite moment during the experience  was working with people with a similar goal and commitment. 

student intern

My experience with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, gave me the opportunity to pioneer my own work and shed light on certain things with the office to provide more insight. I truly felt as if I was making an impact and a difference with the work I was trying to do alongside these higher education professionals.   Students, go for what you want! I cannot stress this enough.

Ceseley Mulligan in front of the Sustainability office

I had the incredible chance to combine my passion for the environment with my passion for graphic design, and that has given me so much confidence in finding a career path that will allow me to combine them as well.

Catherine Lavinski feeding lettuce to a camel

Working at the Utica Zoo has given me many interesting experiences. Helping and performing "Keeper Talks" has increased my verbal communication and presentation abilities. All the educational classes and vet procedures that I attended, benefited me because they were new things I was able to learn about zoo environments and animals.

Jake Martin

My advice to students doing an internship is to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Any opportunities to learn something new or step outside of your bubble should be taken advantage of. These experiences are supposed to show you if you would like your potential career choice so learning and doing as many of the job responsibilities and roles will help you determine if this is the right career path for you or if you need to change things.

Alexis Bowering holding a flag with Fort Ontario in the background

My advice to other interns is to pick something you have a passion for and could really see yourself doing in the future, it is like a test run so you can get a real-world feel for it. I learned what it takes to set up a big scale event and how to communicate with the press and important figures in the community. I learned that this is what I love to do. I am now on the Board of Directors for Friends of Fort Ontario because of my work with this internship.

Elizabeth Anderson in the CNY Central TV studio

Being the Sports Intern for CNY Central was such an amazing experience. I learned so many hands-on skills that aren’t always learned in the classroom. This experience helped me solidify the fact that I am pursuing a degree in a field that I love and am so passionate about.


Tina Cooper
Internship Coordinator
[email protected]

Sheila Cooley
Associate Director
[email protected]

EXCEL Office
145 Marano Campus Center
[email protected]