Internships are professional work experiences that offer meaningful, practical work related to your field of study or career interest. Internships help you protoype or try on different career experiences to determine what you like and what you do not. They are defined as one-semester work experiences, however companies may offer an opportunity to return for a future semester.

Internships can take place during a fall or spring semester, but typically take place during the summer.  You are eligible to intern as early as the summer after your freshman year, although some employers may prefer students who have completed more depth in coursework.


Have you secured an internship for a future semester?


The CDCR supports the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) standards on internships. These standards state that internships need to meet specific criteria to ensure compliance with the United States Department of Labor and Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA).

  1. The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
  2. The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
  3. The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
  4. There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework. 
  5. There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
  6. There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.   
  7. There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals. 

Internship experiences provides a variety of tangible and intangible benefits, some of which include:

  • Gain exposure to real-world work settings which help you try out your career interests
  • Understand potential career paths before committing to a full-time position
  • Apply classroom concepts to solve problems in an industry environment
  • Meet and make connections with working professionals to develop your network
  • In recent years, starting salaries for Auburn Engineering students with co-op or internship experience were 8% higher than students with no professional experience.

Internship application deadlines vary, often depending on specific industry areas and organization types. It is best to identify potential organizations of interest early in the fall semester to determine where the deadline might fall and proceed accordingly.

This timeline shows typical ranges in which to expect internship postings and application deadlines within engineering industry areas. Also keep in mind:

  • NASA considers applicants on a first-come, first-serve basis during a small window of time early in the fall semester
  • Companies with government contracts and evolving project demands hire throughout the year depending on projected needs
Aug - Oct: Recruiting and INverviewing, Nov - Dec: Confirming decisions and making offfers, Jan - Feb: Recruiting, Mar - Apr: Confirming decisions and making offers, June: Start full-time or internship role, Typically Larger Companies Recruit in the fall while smaller companies recruit in the spring

This timeline outlines a typical on-campus recruiting schedule for each academic year.

Early September

Recruitment activity begins


Peak volume for on-campus recruiting events


High-volume on-campus recruiting activity continues


Reduced on-campus recruiting activity

  • Continue to apply for positions
  • Speak with an Engineering Career Coach regarding job offers, decisions, and deadline
  • Once you accept an internship offer, report your internships to the Engineering CDCR

No on-campus recruiting activities

January - February

High volume for on-campus recruiting events

March - April

On-campus recruiting continues, typically for "just-in-time" hiring


InternReady is an interactive Canvas course developed to guide you through the internship search process. It includes short, self-paced modules on topics including resumes, career fair preparation, internship search tools, and more. Each module is assigned to a deadline that will help you keep your internship search on track for the engineering industries recruiting timeline.

Open to all Engineering students.



Work with an Engineering Career Coach and other engineering students to clarify your search goals, simplify your online search efforts, and improve search results. Topics include effective H andshake job searches, leveraging LinkedIn for internship searches, utilizing CareerShift, and techniques to connect with engineering alumni.



Need more individualized support? Whether you are just beginning to learn about internships and consider the possibility or you are well on your way to seeking and securing an internship, you can meet with an Engineering Career Coach for guidance in the process.



Target your internship search by identifying criteria for your search. Consider focusing on a particular industry, position type, and/or location. This will help you effectively market yourself to the specific employers you're interested in. Focus on nore more than 10 - 15 organizations at one time.

Search Tools, Resources, and Events

Featured Jobs + Internships
Hint: Make sure you login to Handshake to view opportunities featured by CDCR!

Once you secure an internship, you should complete the following steps.

1. REPORT YOUR INTERNSHIPS TO THE ENGINEERING CDCR. Complete the form below, which will include providing a copy of your job offer letter.

2. ENROLL IN THE ENGINEERING INTERNSHIP COURSE, ENGR 3920 (undergraduate) or 7920 (graduate). Enroll for the semester in which you will be completing your internship - fall, spring, or summer. ENGR 3920 is a 0-credit hour, $0-fee course that documents your internship experience on your transcript. 

Benefits of ENGR 3920 and 7920

  • Maintain enrollment as a student and connection with the University while at work
  • Allows you to request placing your scholarships on hold
  • Allows you to request temporary removal of your dining plan if you are away from campus You are eligible to enroll 
  • Receive structured feedback on job performance and guidance to convey performance strengths on your resume using the SkillSurvey Career Readiness competencies
  • Access to ENGR 3920 Canvas course providing guidance for your internship experience

Topics Covered in ENGR 3920 and 7920

  • Job onboarding documents and materials
  • How to network, leverage your work experience, and make the most of your internship
  • Positive work habits
  • Resources for personal and career development
  • Strategies for the transition between work and school
  • How to respond to inappropriate interactions or experiences in a workplace setting

3. CELEBRATE AT SignENG DAY. Once you report your internship, we also hope you will celebrate with us at the upcoming SignENG Day event, which takes place during Engineering Spirit Week each semester. Make sure to see event details and register.



  1. Conduct an internship search | Check out the resources above for How to Search. Stay in communication with your Engineering Career Coach, Academic Advisor, and International Student Advisor to help you prepare for and engage in the search.
  2. Obtain a written internship offer letter from a company or organization.
  3. Report your internship to the Engineering CDCR
  4. Obtain Curricular Practical Training (CPT) application form at the Office of International Students and Scholars Services.
    1. Obtain signature approval from your department
    2. Register for ENGR 3920 (undergraduate) or 7920 (graduate) Engineering Internship Course (0-credit) during the semester you will engage in the internship
    3. Complete and submit your CPT application
    4. Confirm CPT work authorization approval - reviewed by the Office of International Students and Scholars Services.


The Office of International Students and Scholars Services cannot process your CPT application until after your enrollment in ENGR 3920. If ever in doubt about the timing of your internship offer acceptance, meet with an Engineering Career Coach to strategize your plan. In all circumstances, make sure you do not complete any hire paperwork or company orientation until after your CPT application is processed and approved.


Fall and Spring Semesters

  • Part-time internship | Enroll in ENGR 3920 or 7920 (0) and additional courses to remain a full-time student
  • Full-time internship | Enroll in ENGR 3920 or 7920 (0) + COOP 4920 (0) to remain enrolled as a full-time student

Summer Semester

  • Part-time and full-time internships | Enroll in ENGR 3920 or 7920 (0)
  • You are not required to enroll in additional coursework during the summer for internship reporting or work authorization purposes