Approximately 40 percent of internships available to students studying liberal arts disciplines are paid. Internships with non-profit organizations or in government are significantly less likely to be paid than internships in the private sector. In order for a for-profit organization to legally offer an internship, that internship must meet the guidelines of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Specifically, the experience must be educational and of significant benefit to the intern. If you are interested in a specific unpaid internship that you feel does not meet these standards, please come into our office for assistance evaluating the experience.
Davidson College will award summer internship grants to select students participating in unpaid or low-paying (less than the equivalent of $2,500) opportunities. Grants are meant to cover cost-of-living expenses and are not to be considered wage replacement. Students may be considered for one of four summer internship grants: 1) Career Development Summer Internship Grant; 2) Johnson Summer Internship Grant; 3) International Summer Internship Grant; and 4) Jolley Foundation Grant. Each grant has unique criteria and qualifications.
Occasionally, organizations mandate that students pursuing internships receive academic credit from their college. Davidson has a process that allows students to receive that credit for their summer internships. In order to qualify for this credit, which will be assigned as Explorer 099, the summer internship must be unpaid and require academic credit as a part of the organization's internship program. Learn more about Explorer 099 internship requirements.
Students who are not required to receive academic credit for their internship, but who are still interested in receiving credit, have the option of pursuing an independent study with a faculty member. These students must find a Davidson faculty member willing to serve as a supervisor for their independent study. The student and faculty member will discuss appropriate assignments. If the student pursues a summer internship, the credit will be assigned during the following fall semester.