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
Although The College does not provide academic credit for internships, students can have an internship notation placed on their transcript. Details can be found here.
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 email@example.com.
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 391, Leadership in the 21st Century, taught by professors Nancy Rothbard, Adam Grant, Katherine Klein, and Sigal Barsade, 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 398, 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 391, 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).
Please email David Ross in the Career Services office once you have registered if you need a written letter confirming your enrollment in the course for your internship employer.
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. Career Services staff can write a letter explaining the policy to employers for you – please contact David Ross for details.