University Internship Program

About the University Internship Program

The purpose of the new University Internship Program is to create a centralized location where all on-campus internships can be posted and tracked.

Benefits of the University Internship Program include: 

  • Internship development support and quick click re-posting for future terms 
  • Increased visibility for opportunities to broader ranges of students 
  • Additional marketing and outreach to internship seeking students and relevant academic departments 
  • University-wide data collection of internship experience

Types of On-Campus Internships 

Paid Internships

The internship must be a learning experience.  It must be posted in Handshake and the student hiring information must be processed through a payment processing procedure as outlined below. 

Unpaid Internships

Unpaid internships must be learning experiences. They must be posted in Handshake for tracking and recruitment purposes.

In order to meet all Department of Labor standards, any unpaid internship must benefit students, not displace regular employees,  consist of supervision by a faculty member, staff member, or designate, meet specific learning goals, provide no entitlement of a job after the experience has been completed, and provide no entitlement or expectation of wages.

Unpaid Internships can be posted in Handshake as such, but depending on the student selected, each internship will fall into one of these two categories:

Unpaid Internship With Academic Credit
The student would register for a course that provides at least one credit for successful completion. Approval for course credit is at the discretion of each academic department. Understand that credit-worthiness is determined on a case-by-case basis. Learn more about internships for credit here. Feel free to direct any questions about credit to the Career Center Internship Team. If approved for credit, then the student will supply you with an Internship Agreement form and review forms from the academic department awarding the credit.

Unpaid Educational Internship (Without Academic Credit) 
An Educational Internship is an approved and monitored educational experience to gain knowledge and skills related to an academic field of study. Each Internship should define the educational benefits to the student and the responsibilities/expectations of the student. An educational internship opportunity must include a documented Internship Plan including learning outcomes.

Posting and Recruitment

Step 1:  Write an Internship Description 

Follow this link for an Internship Description Template.

The Internship Plan should be part of the position description to clarify learning experience to students as well as provide optimal information to assist academic departments with approving opportunities for credit.

Step 2:  Post the Internship in Handshake 

All internships hosted on the University of Pittsburgh main campus should be posted in Handshake beginning July 1, 2017.  Handshake is the software used by the Career Center to manage employment and internship postings for Pitt students.  Putting all on-campus internships in this centralized database will improve visibility of opportunities to a broad range of students, and will also allow for more direct marketing opportunities to all relevant students.

Create a Handshake account by requesting access here.  Select the University of Pittsburgh as your employer. Your school/department will be identified within each internship description.  DO NOT create a separate account for your department.  These will not be approved in Handshake. 

Post the internship in Handshake.  Or, let us take care of the posting for you!  Feel free to email your Internship Description to and an Internship team member will be happy to fill out the online form and confirm the posting with you.

Note: In future semesters, the Internship Team will be able to contact you about a simple process of re-posting this position.  Re-posting takes only a few clicks on Handshake!

Step 3:  Recruit 

Conduct traditional recruitment methods which may include attendance at fairs, phone screens or interviews. 

If your division, school or department requires additional clearances or forms, please incorporate those into the process at the appropriate time, which may be before selection or prior to notification of the student.

Select a candidate. 

If paid, then complete this Paid Internship Appointment Form and email it to

Then, the student will be asked to complete an I-9 if needed, which is sent to Student Employment/Shared Services to be entered into PittWorx. 

As a student employee, this hire should meet all of the requirements outlined in the Student Employment Manual

If unpaid for academic credit, then please complete any forms provided by the candidate’s academic department in a timely manner. 

If unpaid educational internship, then create an Internship Plan for this appointment.  Please have it signed and dated by the student and the supervisor, and send a copy to or within two weeks of the start of the internship.

Step 4:  Onboard, Train and Evaluate 

Prepare a space for the intern in advance and make time for training, introductions, and setting expectations. 

Consider evaluating students in the middle and at the end of the internship to give them tangible feedback about their performance. 

Students earning academic credit are likely to have mid-point and end of term evaluation forms provided by and required by their academic departments.

Suggested Recruitment Timelines 





Post Position









By Mid-April

August/Early Sept.

December/Early Jan.

Deadline for Credit

Add/Drop Dates vary

September Add/Drop

January Add/Drop

Note: For Fall recruitment, if planning in advance, feel free to follow the suggested summer recruitment dates to take advantage of recruiting and interviewing students while on campus. 

Additional marketing opportunities for on-campus departments to promote internships include the Student Employment Fair (August), Internship Week (January), Summer Job and Internship Fair (March/April), networking events, career fairs and more.  Joining Handshake will give you access to information about these events in advance. 

Questions about the University Internship Program? 
Alyson Kavalukas, Internship Coordinator, 

Questions about Research Internships at Pitt? 
Click here for the Guidelines for Undergraduate Students Participating in Research