About the Program

Looking for an internship that will support your personal, professional and academic goals? Would you like your internship to be more than fetching coffee, mundane data entry and making hair cut appointments for your boss? Why not consider a semester long internship in the ILR field that offers professional work, career development, valuable skills, important networking opportunities, and the possibility of working anywhere in the country or the world?

Participants get all of this, plus a full semester of ILR elective credit. For more details, continue reading the information provided on this site or contact Brigid Beachler, Managing Director of the ILR Credit Internship Program.

The ILR Credit Internship Program has been in operation for nearly forty years, and is widely recognized in the United States as the most successful of its type. The program was created by the faculty of the ILR School to afford our advanced undergraduates, juniors and seniors, opportunities to enhance their understanding of the field of industrial and labor relations by working for a semester (approximately 14 weeks), in one of the professional careers it encompasses.

Each semester we routinely place dozens of eligible students with corporations, trade unions, labor and employment law firms, appropriate legislative bodies and other public agencies at every level of government, think tanks, public policy institutes and a wide array of advocacy organizations associated in one way or another with issues of work and workplace relations. For most of its history, our program operated almost exclusively within the United States. In the last decade, however, we have sought to expand its scope, and we now routinely place students at various locations internationally.

Students are approved to take part in the program only after meeting academic and other standards imposed by faculty legislation. They are eligible to apply only after completing the first two years of our four-year undergraduate curriculum, a requirement that assures every intern has taken most, if not all, of the courses that comprise the core of our instructional program.

We are also very careful in judging the suitability of the placements we arrange for our interns. We require that every sponsoring organization be involved with activities directly related to the field of industrial and labor relations, and that the work they propose to have an intern undertake is consistent with the character of work performed by members of their professional staff. Because our program is an adjunct of our instructional mission, it is essential that students who work as interns are discharging duties that enrich their understanding and thus enhance their education.

The ILR Credit Internship Program is a unique opportunity for undergraduate students. As a professional program, the ILR Credit Internship provides students the chance to work in an organization focused on the field of work and workplace relations. All of our internships are of professional quality and are closely monitored by our program, ensuring students not only professional but academically enriching experiences.

Students enrolled in the ILR Credit Internship Program will earn ILR general elective credits for the semester. If your student is interning in New York City, Washington, DC or Geneva, Switzerland, they will earn 16 credits. Students interning anywhere else in the country or the world will earn 12 credits. Interns receive the additional credits in NYC, Washington, DC and Geneva for a class they are required to take in that city. If your student needs more than 12 credits, accommodations can be made for the completion of an independent study with a faculty member here at the ILR School.

The ILR School strives to provide the knowledge, skills and tools necessary for students to successfully prepare and participate in the ILR Credit Internship Program. We require several pre-departure orientations, including an optional research meeting with ILR librarians, so your student will be able to access all research materials currently available at the Catherwood Library. We also provide referrals to relevant university offices including the Office of Financial Aid, the Bursar's Office, Disability Support Services, the Office of Student Services, International Students & Scholars, and the Office of Career Services, among many others.

Program Options

Currently there are four options for students who qualify to participate in the Credit Internship Program:

Washington, D.C. and New York City

You may undertake internships at approved sites in New York City or Washington, D.C. Eight ILR elective credits are awarded on an S/U basis for approximately 30 hours a week devoted to the internship assignment. An additional 4 hours of ILR elective credit will be awarded for a project completed under the direction of an ILR faculty member. The project, which is usually based on the internship assignment, will be graded on an A-F basis. Finally, you are required to take a 4-credit ILR seminar which is offered in both locations and meets once a week, bringing the semester's credit load to 16 hours. You will be considered a full-time student for financial aid purposes.

Other Locations Outside Ithaca

You may also undertake internships at approved sites outside of Ithaca, in locations other than New York City or Washington, D.C. As outlined above, eight credits will be awarded on an S/U basis for the internship assignment and 4 credits for the project completed under the guidance of the ILR faculty sponsor.

Some students register for a course at a nearby college or university and gain approval to transfer those credits. Students should discuss any transfer course with Ms. Jenn Weidner before leaving campus. All students are considered full-time for financial aid purposes at 12 credits, therefore, additional course work is not required. Student may also choose to complete an independent study for additional credit. Students must meet certain eligibility requirements and independent study proposals must be approved by the Office of Student Services.

International Locations

The ILR Credit Internship Program has expanded internship opportunities to numerous international locations. Internships are regularly available in various departments and offices at the International Labor Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and in field offices around the world, at various labor and employment organizations in London, England, at the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living & Working Conditions in Dublin, Ireland, and in a variety of corporate internships in India, among many others. We are also happy to work with individual students to arrange appropriate international placements of the student's choice. As outlined above, eight credits will be awarded on an S/U basis for the internship assignment and 4 credits for the project completed under the guidance of the ILR faculty sponsor. Students in Geneva will receive an additional 4 letter-graded credits for a distance learning class offered at that location. All students pursuing international internships will receive a minimum of 12 credits and will be considered full-time for financial aid purposes.

Ithaca Area

Finally, you may undertake internships under appropriate faculty supervision at approved sites in the Ithaca area, although only four credits of independent study can be earned through such an arrangement. Interns will devote no more than 12 hours a week to the internship assignment. Please note, if you elect to pursue a 4-credit internship, you will not be eligible to pursue a full-semester credit internship at a later date.