Internships are a great way for students to gain career experience while also earning academic credit towards their degree. Students with internships related to their major can work with a faculty member on a research project or report connected with their internship and earn credit hours towards their degree.

In order to earn credit for your internship, be sure to follow these steps before you start your internship.

Finding an Internship

The College of ACES and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have great resources for students looking for internships. To find an internship, we recommend utilizing the following:

  • Attend as many career fairs as possible. This includes the ACES + LAS Career Fair and the Illini Career & Internship Fair as well as the Gies Business Fair, Research Park Career Fair, Engineering Career Fair, and more!
  • Conduct a thorough search using your Handshake@Illinois account. The more information you add to Handshake, the better your odds of finding and landing an internship.
  • Utilize reliable outside search engines as recommended by The Career Center.
  • Visit The Career Center and/or ACES Career Services for help exploring your interests and connecting with employers.
  • Have your resume and cover letter reviewed. The Career Center even offers an online option!
  • Consider applying to employers that have hired recent ACE graduates.
  • Take ACE 341: Contemporary Issues and Careers in Applied Economics. In this course, students will gain exposure to recent graduates, recruiters, and industry professionals who can help guide them in their job and internship search.

What kinds of internships do ACE students get? Watch this video of some ACE students discussing their summer 2020 internships.

ACE students interested in policy and leadership also have the opportunity to apply for scholarships that cover costs related to their internship. For more information and to see what internships previous students have held, read our intern profiles for students who had internships in the policy realm.

Policy Intern Profiles

    Earning Academic Credit for an Internship


    Academic credit for an internship is earned for the academic work done over and above the actual internship. Such work must include a research project inspired by the internship or some other form of report(s) related to the internship experience. Credit for the internship may range from 1 to 4 hours; the number of hours is negotiated with the supervising faculty member. The credit earned should be commensurate with the student's academic work, not merely the length of time spent working at the internship. It is eligible for S/U credit only. May be repeated up to a maximum of 10 hours.

    To earn credit for an internship, a student must do the following prior to the beginning of the internship (note: internship credit will not be retroactively granted):

    1. Secure an internship with a business, organization, university, or government agency. Some assistance for this may be found through the ACES Career Center. The ACES Career Center can be found in 115 ACES Library. (This Internship Credit Guidance document (pdf) also provides some guidance on locating an internship.)
    2. Find a faculty member willing to supervise the extra project work proposed in addition to the internship itself.
    3. Identify the nature and scope of the project to be completed. This is to be done through conference with the supervising faculty member.
    4. Complete the Internship Agreement for Academic Credit with your Faculty Supervisor.
    5. Submit Form. Once the Agreement for Academic Credit has been satisfactorily completed, you will then be sent the CRN to register for the internship course. This will allow you to register for either ACE 293 (if you have an off-campus internship), OR ACE 294 (if you have an on-campus internship).