Unpaid Internships and Course Credit

The Fisher College of Business does not give credit for internships (they are not a required part of our curriculum for graduation).

Employers who do not pay their interns should be conscious of unpaid Internships and the law.   The Fair Labor Standards Act states the criteria that must be met by an employer if the intern is to be unpaid:

1. The work performed is an extension of a trade studied by the student.
2. The work experience benefits the student.
3. The intern does not displace regular employees.
4. The employer gains no "immediate advantage" from the student’s work.
5. The employer holds out no promise of future employment.
6. The intern understands that he or she is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship or in training.

Click here for more information about the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Recommendations and Alternatives

  1. It is always best to pay an intern and minimum wage is all that is required by law. Paying an intern shows an investment in their learning and recognizes the contribution they will make to the company.
  2. If you do not pay an intern and require that they receive credit, it is important to note that the awarding of credit resides in the college and students must enroll in an internship course, Business Administration 2191, and complete a series of assignments related to their internship to be awarded 0.5 or 1 hour of credit. Please complete the following steps to assist a student in enrolling in BA 2191: 
    • Provide the student with an internship offer stating that they must receive credit. 
    • Meet with student to discuss, sign, and date theDocumentation of Unpaid Internships to ensure that the internship is educational by design and is not violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. This document must be returned to the Office of Career Management before a student will be given permission to enroll in BA 2191.  You can email or give the signed document to the student, or fax to our office at 614-292-1007, Attn: BA 2191 Coordinator.
    • Refer the student to schedule an appointment to enroll in BA 2191 by calling the Office of Career Management at 614-292-6024.

Students must take BA 2191 during the semester in which they are interning and they must enroll by the 5th week of the semester.

Feel free to contact the Office of Career Management at (614) 292-6024 if you have any questions.