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Internships for Spring Admissions

As a Student admitted for the Spring semester, you may have the opportunity to receive course credit for an internship completed in the summer and/or fall before you come to NC State.

What is an internship?

An internship is a full-time or part-time work experience that is related to your area of study. For example if you will be a Poultry Science major, you might work for a poultry integrator company, learning how the business operates, and interacting with poultry growers to learn how to raise birds. If you will be a Horticultural Science major, you might work at a plant nursery operation where you learn how to care for plants and run a greenhouse or nursery. Internships can be paid or unpaid. However, agricultural internships are traditionally paid. It should be noted also that the federal government has tightened up standards for companies using students for unpaid labor. For more information on what standards a company must meet to offer an unpaid internship, check out the Department of Labor’s guidelines on internships under the Fair Labor and Standards Act.

Internships fall into two broad categories: career exploration and disciplinary. The first are typically for students with little background in their major yet. If the company internship has few or no requirements (i.e. years of experience, necessary skills, or certifications), then the internship likely is a career exploration internship. If the internship is typically for students within a year or two of graduation or requires specific skills or certifications, then it is likely a disciplinary internship. In these internships the student will gain the skills and experience for specific careers in their majors and be job-ready upon graduation.

How can I get course credit for my internship?

Here are the main things you need to do to ensure you receive credit for your internship:

  • You must intend to major in one of the 11 CALS majors that currently offer course credit for internships conducted before you start classes at NC State (see list below).
  • You must work at least 320 hours. This could be working 40 hours a week over approximately eight weeks, 30 hours a week over approximately eleven weeks, and so on. Of course, you’re welcome to work more than that if you wish. For planning purposes, 160 work hours generally results in one credit hour.
  • The internship experience may not take place in your family’s business or in a location you have worked previously. For example, if you’ve already worked for a couple summers on a local farm, you would need to find a different place for your internship so you can gain a greater variety of experiences.
  • Your internship must be related to your intended area of study.
  • You can complete the internship over the summer and/or fall before joining us here in CALS in the spring.
  • Fill out the proper paperwork with CALS before starting your internship, and receive approval that your internship meets our criteria.
  • Complete all necessary paperwork following your internship that is required for course credit. This usually includes a paper detailing your experience and what you learned in the internship. Some departments also require a brief presentation.

If you intend to major in one of the following CALS majors offering internships to incoming students, you must contact the individuals below, and complete the course forms provided to receive course credit.

How do I find an internship?

If you’re interested in working in your local area, approach local businesses directly to ask if they would be willing to support you for an internship. We can provide you with information to give the employer to help facilitate this conversation.

If you’re looking to complete an internship outside of your home community, contact the CALS Career Services office to discuss your interests and get help in targeting companies that may be a good fit for you.

Is there an NCDA or NC State research station near you? Click here to find out.
The research stations offer summer and/or fall jobs that can become internships in many facets of agriculture. Contact CALS Career Services at for more information.

I’ve found a company I may want to intern with. Do you have information I can give them when I approach them to ask for an internship?
Yes! Invite your contact at the company to explore our Employer Page.

Contact CALS Career Services at or 919-515-9705.