Chatham University

Internships and Experiential Learning

An internship, job shadow experience, or informational interview through Chatham University will provide you with the opportunity to learn from professionals in a real work environment and to develop your knowledge, skills, and professional competencies in your field of study. Ultimately, the more internships and experiential learning you complete, the more marketable you will be to employers!


+What is Experiential Learning?

Experiential learning is knowledge gained outside of the classroom through internships, job shadowing, employment, volunteering, informational interviewing, and other real world experience.

+What is an Internship?

"An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent." National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE)

+Are internships required?

Yes, all undergraduate students are required to earn at least 3 credits of internship and can earn as many as 17 over the course of their undergraduate education. Some majors require more than 3 internship credits.

+When can a student do an internship?

After completing their first term at Chatham, students who have at least a 2.0 GPA and the approval of their academic advisors can complete internships in any term. International students must obtain approval to pursue an internship from the Office of International Affairs.

+What kinds of internships do students complete?

Students do internships that are relevant to their majors and interests in businesses, government, and in for-profit and non-profit organizations in Pittsburgh and beyond. Examples from the 2014-2015 academic year include a Communications major with the Pittsburgh Pirates, a Business Marketing and Management major with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, a Criminology major at Shuman Juvenile Detention Center, a Political Science major with May Law Group, an Economics major with the U.S. Commercial Service, an Integrative Health Studies major at The UPMC Center for Integrative Medicine, a Psychology major with Renewal Incorporated, an Environmental Studies major with Clear Water Action, an Arts Management major with Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse, Biology majors at Animal Rescue League Wildlife Center and the Carnegie Science Center, and a Human Biology major at a midwifery clinic in Peru.

+How does Career Development assist students with internships?

Students receive guidance in each step of the internship process from a Career Consultant. Steps include: assistance with finding an internship site, application and interview preparation, completion and registration of the internship learning agreement, and guided reflection and evaluation. Career Development collaborates with faculty and site supervisors to ensure the best internship experience possible.

+Can my internship count as my Work Study/Student Employment position?

No, students must choose between receiving academic credit and being paid through the Federal Work Study/Student Employment Programs.

+How do students register an internship for academic credit?

Visit the Registering Your Internship page.

+How do students prepare for their internship experiences?

At the beginning and end of each semester the Career Development Office offers Internship Preparation Workshops to prepare students for their upcoming internship experiences. Students will learn best practices, networking skills, and how to leave a lasting impression through group discussion and shared best practices. The Internship Preparation Workshop is now a requirement for students to attend, prior to completing an internship for academic credit.

Making the Most of an Internship