Academic Credit for Research and Internships

Many students request some sort of formal university recognition for their internship experiences. Whether or not academic credit can be awarded depends primarily on the content of the internship. In order for an off-campus experience to qualify for academic credit, it must have a strong academic component that our faculty have the expertise to evaluate. Research internships typically qualify for academic credit, while other types often do not.

Credit for faculty-mentored research

  • Academic credit for research activity (e.g., CHEM 399, BSCI 379, BSCI 389, BSCI 399) is determined by the departmental affiliation of the faculty mentor.  In most cases, students can apply up to 3 research credits toward the upper-level requirements for their degree. For more information, contact the Coordinating Advisor in the department to which your faculty mentor belongs. Your academic advisor can help you determine how research credits may apply toward your degree.
  • Upper-level lab credit: In some circumstances research in a UMD faculty lab can count toward the upper-level lab requirement for the Biological Sciences degree. With the approval of their faculty research mentor, students who are already enrolled in BSCI 379G, BSCI 389, or BSCI 399 can subsequently enroll in BSCI 379L, BSCI 389L, or BSCI 399L and apply the two semesters of research credit towards the upper level lab requirement for the BSCI degree. To do so, submit the permission form to the appropriate departmental office (it can be filled out electronically prior to printing).

Credit for off-campus research

  • BSCI 289: Pass/fail elective credit. To register, submit Contract Part I before the end of the add/drop period. The Contract Part II is due at the end of the semester. Contracts are available online and from the CMNS Office of Undergraduate Research and Internship Programs, 1313 Symons Hall.
  • BSCI 348R: Graded credit that may apply toward upper-level requirements (check with your advisor). This is specifically for microbiology majors or microbiology internships. Sponsored by the Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics. Check the schedule of classes for the current faculty sponsor.

Credit for non-research internships (e.g., clinical internships)

  • BSOS 288I and 386: The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences offers off campus internship credit to students of all majors. Academic credit can be earned for para- or pre-professional work with well-established organizations and regular and frequent supervision from experienced professionals. Contact Kathryn Hopps ( or visit the BSOS internship website for more details.
  • UNIV 099: Non-credit course. Provides transcript verification of your internship without a tuition charge (although a modest fee is required to enroll). This is frequently used for summer internships or when the internship provider requires the student be enrolled for credit during the internship period. Sponsored by the University Career Center (call 301-314-7225 for more information).

In addition, some campus programs, such as College Park Scholars, offer credit for internships that are completed as part of the program. See your program director for details.

Whether or not you are awarded academic credit for your internship, don't discount the value of the practical experience and professional connections you have gained. You should list internships on your curriculum vitae or resume as evidence of your experience in the field. Furthermore, internship supervisors can attest to your intellectual skills, problem-solving abilities, work ethic and ability to work as part of a team for letters of recommendation for graduate or professional school.