Internship Requirements

ME, MNE, and CLSE students are required to complete an internship to graduate. Although it is not required, all other engineering students are also encouraged to participate in internship experiences. (Learn more about Co-op requirements).

Process for Industry-based Internship or Research Internship

If you will be completing an industry-based or research internship, carefully follow the process outlined below:

  1. Enroll in and complete ENGR 395 Professional Development 1-credit course. This is required for ME, MNE, & CLSE, other majors are encouraged to participate.

  2. Secure an industry-based internship or research internship. Ensure it will provide the following experiences:
    1. Application of engineering principles
    2. Team participation
    3. Problem-solving

  3. Calculate the number of hours you will spend at your industry-based internship or research internship. To fulfill the internship requirement for graduation, all students must have at least 300 hours of actual work experience (at 40 hours a week, this would be about 8 weeks of full-time work). The 300 hours can be cumulative across different experiences.

  4. During your industry-based internship or research internship enroll in ENGR 396. This online, zero credit course ensure that the industry internship or research internship is a learning experience, with oversight & support provided by VCU. Passing ENGR 396 or ENGR 398 is a requirement for graduation for ME, MNE, and CLSE majors.

  5. For industry internship or research internship, once you’ve completed ENGR 395, the internship, and ENGR 396, enroll in ENGR 496. This on-line, zero credit course validates that you’ve completed the requirements for internship. It is required for graduation for ME, MNE, and CLSE majors.

List of Classes related to internship (from VCU Bulletin)

ENGR 395. Professional Development. 1 Hour.
Required for CLSE students spring Freshman year; ME & MNE students fall Sophomore year. All engineering students encouraged to take this class.

ENGR 396. Internship Experience. 0 Hours.
If on Industry-Based Internship or Research Internship, take 396 concurrently with internship or research experience (class is on-line, zero credit). Required for ME, MNE, and CLSE majors. Recommended for all engineering majors.

ENGR 496. Internship Review. 0 Hours.
To be taken after an internship experience, to summarize, validate and complete the experience (class is online, zero credit). Required for ME, MNE, and CLSE majors. Recommended for all engineering majors.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What counts as a Research Internship?
A: Typically, a research experience that counts as an internship is initiated by the student and does not overlap with other research requirements (class required research, VIP experiences, etc.). Remember, it has to be 300 hours at a minimum. To find out if your specific situation would count, please email your department chair.

Q: When do I submit my internship experience to Handshake for approval by my department? Before or after the internship?
A: Please submit the internship information before you begin the experience so that you know for sure it is approved by your department.

Q: What if I go on my internship and the experience doesn’t exactly match what I had submitted for approval on Handshake? For instance, I predicted 350 hours, but only work 320 hours.
A: You may email Engineering Career Services and ask for help in adjusting your report on Handshake. Remember, the Honor Code applies to all information submitted on Handshake, so it is important to be accurate in your internship report.

Q: Do I have to be paid for my internship to count?
A: No.

Q: If I have an idea for an internship, but I’m not sure it would count, who can I talk to about that?
A: Only your department chair or associate chair can make the final approval. However, you can have a conversation with a career adviser in Engineering Career Services. If we think it is likely to be approved, we will direct you to contact your department chair or associate chair.