Ready to hire an intern? 

Please review the following guidelines for internships at OSU as well as the optional evaluation guidelines.

Internship Guidelines

  • Verify that the position and duties meet the university criteria and accurately represent the position description 
  • Assign an experienced professional who has expertise in the content area of the internship to supervise the intern throughout the internship
  • Assist the intern in developing and achieving personal learning objectives
  • Provide the intern with an orientation to organized policies, procedures, utilization of resources, and position-specific training
  • Provide a safe working environment
  • Provide a positive supervisory experience that encourages the professional, academic, and personal growth of the intern
  • Complete a final evaluation of the intern's performance
  • Hire personnel dedicated to a specific assignment, freeing you up to focus on the big picture with your business
  • Utilize a cost-effective, high quality short-term workforce option
  • Create a pipeline of future employees and cut recruitment costs
  • Employ an excellent tool for recruiting and screening potential full-time hires
  • Benefit from the academic expertise and enthusiasm of OSU students
  • Promote a positive image for your organization
  • Students interested in specific industries can "try it out" with an internship
  • Opportunity to earn money for school while preparing for a career
  • Develop skills, including the ability to work in a professional environment
  • Become more marketable upon graduation with real-world experience
  • Build a professional network


  • Remote/virtual internships will be considered and must comply with Department of Labor regulations and NACE’s criteria. This includes both paid and unpaid positions.
  • Employers recruiting interns must follow the criteria for an experience defined as an internship by the National Association of Colleges and Employers Position Statement on US Internships.  
  • For-profit companies must pay their interns at least minimum wage.  If a for-profit company is offering an unpaid internship, it must meet the Department of Labor's Fair Labor and Standards Act seven-factor test
  • The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom.  Learning objectives must be clearly stated.  It must have a defined beginning and end.
  • The employer must be a legitimate established business or organization and if hosting an in-person experience, must be located in a commercial space. 
  • An experienced professional with expertise in the content area of the internship (i.e., the "Site Supervisor") must be assigned to supervise the intern.  
  • Interns must be given an orientation to the organization, safety procedures, training, ongoing supervision, and evaluation.   
  • The employer covers the costs of all training, certificates, background checks, etc. There are no requirements for the intern to pay the employer in any form for any part of the experience.  The employer expects no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern.  
  • Interns should not be considered "consultants" or be expected to provide a function that your professional staff does not have the skills to perform. 
  • All resources, equipment, and facilities needed to support the stated learning objectives/goals of the internship must be provided by the employer. 


  • Commission-based positions.
  • Internships located in home-based businesses.
  • Positions in which the intern displaces a regular employee.
  • Positions that require door-to-door canvassing, cold-calling, or petition gathering.
  • "Independent contractor" relationships that require the intern to set up their own business for the purpose of selling products, services, and/or recruiting other individuals to set up their own business.
  • Positions in which the intern would be supervised by a family member.
  • Telemarketing positions.
  • Home-based businesses and multi-level marketing positions
  • Positions in which the intern is required to pay the employer for any part of the experience (fees for training, etc.).
  • International Internships will not be approved unless the employer has successfully applied to and been approved by the OSU IE3 Global Internship Program.

Internship Guide


Any disclosure of internship/intern information is prohibited without the intern’s express written consent. FERPA laws may be applicable.


All student interns must be covered by an Employer/Organization’s Workers’ Compensation insurance when the student intern is defined as a “subject worker” by Oregon Workers’ Compensation Law. A “subject worker” includes any worker for an Employer/Organization where an exchange of “remuneration for services” occurs.  Remuneration is not explicitly defined; however, it may include lodging, stipends, gifts, etc.  If student interns do not meet the definition of a “subject worker”, the Employer/Organization may be able to add the student intern to its Workers’ Compensation Insurance coverage by contacting their insurance agent or carrier.  Oregon State University (OSU) only provides Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage for student interns defined as OSU “subject workers” while performing duties for OSU.  OSU does not provide Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage for student interns performing duties to non-OSU Employers/Organizations.    


Internship Employers/Organizations must subscribe to EEOC guidelines established by Federal and Oregon state law. Employers/Organizations cannot unlawfully discriminate in the selection of student interns on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion or veteran status.


Employers/Organizations must adhere to all other employment related laws for student interns who perform employment related tasks including, but not limited to, acts of sexual harassment.


All Employers/Organizations shall maintain a safe working environment for student interns.  This includes complying with all OSHA rules and providing an initial safety orientation, any precautionary safety instructions, training, and ongoing supervision for assigned duties.  An experienced professional who has expertise in the content area of the internship shall be assigned to supervise the student intern throughout the internship and shall be available to the student intern in the event of any employment related accidents.


Because of the concern over liability during student internships, some Employers/Organizations may require Oregon State University and/or the student intern to sign a hold-harmless or indemnity agreement. Student interns are PROHIBITED from signing an Employer/Organization’s hold-harmless or indemnity agreement on behalf of Oregon State University.  If an Employer/Organization desires to enter into an on-going internship arrangement, all agreements between the Employer/Organization must be signed by one of the 16 authorized signators for Oregon State University through the Procurement and Contract Services Office. In some cases, Employers/Organizations have asked students to sign a release of liability as a condition to accepting an internship. Student interns are recommended to NOT sign personal hold-harmless or indemnity agreements that assume liability as a condition to accepting an internship.