Undergraduate Internship Guidelines

The undergraduate internship courses are designed as a culminating learning experience for students nearing graduation. It affords students an opportunity to seek out practical work experience related to their chosen major of human resource development. An essential part is the opportunity to use knowledge acquired in the classroom in practical applications in the workplace. Problem solving and creative thinking in the workplace improves the retention of information gained in the classroom. Students can carry out this work in industry, for-profit or non-profit organizations, or government.

The internship is not "credit for work." Students must be engaged in specific assignments related to the discipline of human resource development. The student and the supervisor will be asked to sign a contract stipulating to that assignment which must be approved by the course instructor.

HRD Internship Proposal Form

If you have secured a position for your HRD Internship, you can fill out the following form to request permission. This form takes approximately 15-20 minutes to complete and requires you to input your HRD Internship site and supervisor information, as well as information on your expected responsibilities. You are also required to submit a document of proof that you have secured a position (offer letter, letter from supervisor, etc.).

OLPD 4696: Internship


Prerequisites needed to be eligible to register for this course:

  • Be accepted to the B.S. in human resource development program at the University of Minnesota.
  • Completed at least three of the following: OLPD 3601, OLPD 3621, OLPD 3202, and OLPD 3641.
  • Must have completed OLPD 3609, a career development course specifically designed to help you develop strategies and skills to find an appropriate HRD internship.
  • Students must provide documentation to the Undergraduate OLPD Advising Office proving that an eligible work experience has been acquired before registering. Please contact the department at ugolpd@umn.edu for more information on receiving consent.

Learning objectives

By the end of this course it is expected that students will be able to:

  • Learn and grow personally and professionally from an internship experience.
  • Integrate HRD theory and professional practice.
  • Express gained competencies and skills through evidence and critical reflection.
  • Receive, evaluate and apply constructive performance feedback and evaluation, as assessed by the internship supervisor.
  • Understand one’s self in a professional context.

Class structure

We do not meet together in a traditional classroom, with a group of students and an instructor. Instead, the work for this course is conducted individually and through consultation with your course instructor.

Hours and tasks

To be successful, the internship should focus on a specific project or task that lends itself to analysis and resolution over a short period. A semester credit hour is earned by completing 40 hours on the job. Experience shows that 4 semester credits, amounting to 160 hours of work, is a manageable semester load. Students can take anywhere from 1 to 4 credits total.

Student tasks

  1. Read and study the content of these guidelines. Students are responsible for all details including deadlines. See fact sheet for site supervisors.
  2. Register for the course (OLPD 4696) for the semester during which they will be carrying out the hours.
  3. Obtain a position.
  4. Complete and submit a draft contract (in MS Word format) to the course instructor via email. All contracts must be received and approved within the first 2 weeks of employment. Failure to meet this requirement will results in lost work hours that cannot be counted towards the total required hours.
  5. Once the contract has been approved by the course instructor, obtain all necessary signatures and submit a final hard copy.
  6. Begin working at the position.
  7. Submit a portfolio to the course Moodle site with all required items. It is recommended that you keep a separate copy of the portfolio for your own purposes.

Course requirements

To earn a satisfactory grade, students must receive a minimum of 70% on all graded materials and work the requisite number of hours for enrolled credits. All assignments must be submitted through Canvas. Details of assignments are provided in the course syllabus located in the course Canvas site.


Please note that the course instructor is available to both the student and the work supervisor for consultation and problem-solving during the applied experience. If a student runs into any challenges, it is best to contact the course instructor as soon as possible.


Students are generally expected to complete an internship or applied experience during a single semester. Incompletes will only be granted in extremely rare circumstances. The student must contact the course instructor as soon as possible, and will need to provide documentation of the emergency situation. If the student fails to contact the course instructor by the last day of instruction, that student will receive an "N"; or "not satisfactory" grade for the course.