As a general rule, the University of Pennsylvania does not grant academic credit for internships. You may, however, find that some employers require unpaid interns to receive academic credit due to fair employment labor regulations. Please see the information below for your particular school concerning this situation. (Some students have also found enrolling in an internship course at a local community college can be a viable option.)
College of Arts and Sciences
The College prefers that its students be paid for their work, but when this is not an option and companies insist that the students receive credit as a condition of their internship, the student should see a College Office advisor during drop-in advising or email the College Contact.
The College Office can write to the sponsoring company/organization granting the student permission to work as an intern, while making it clear that the University will not indemnify the company or organization or insure the student during the internship. To request this letter, please complete this form.
School of Engineering and Applied Science
Students should discuss with their academic advisor the possibility of arranging an independent study around the internship if credit is desired/required.
For students in need of a letter for their internship – of support, confirmation of enrollment, etc. – such requests must be submitted through the “Request for a Letter” link through the Research & Academic Services Office in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Please note letters, depending on their requirements, complexity and/or the length of the request queue, will take a MINIMUM of two business days to generate. Questions regarding letters should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please contact Sharon Fleshman with questions.
The following courses are for international students who are interested in applying for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) in conjunction with a summer and business internship (paid or unpaid), or U.S. citizens/permanent residents who will pursue an unpaid summer internship for academic credit toward degree.
MGMT 3910, Leadership in the 21st Century, will focus on how to create a workplace where your employees will thrive and how to develop an organizational culture that will be successful in the new world of work. This class will provide practical tips as well as thought-provoking questions to consider as you complete your internship. This course is for rising Wharton juniors or seniors, will be graded on a pass/fail basis, and can only be taken once.
MGMT 3980, Managing and Motivating Talent introduces the key elements of managing talent and motivating people. This course provides practical tips as well as thought-provoking questions to consider as you complete your internship. This course is for rising Wharton seniors who have already taken MGMT 3910, will be graded on a pass/fail basis, and can only be taken once.
Students must have declared a concentration to apply for either course (contact your assigned Wharton advisor to declare your concentration if you haven’t done so already).
Independent Study Option
Students may be eligible to apply to complete an independent study related to the internship. Note, however, that students are graded on the academic outcome of the independent study such as an academic paper or a project, not the internship experience itself. To arrange an independent study, students need to develop an academic plan for the internship, find a faculty member to supervise them, pay normal tuition for the credit, and have the independent study approved by the Petitions Committee.
You can find out more about arranging an independent study from the Wharton Undergraduate Advising Office and by clicking here.