Internship overview

Cooperative Education and Internship Program Overview for Employers

The UW-La Crosse Cooperative Education and Internship Program is one of the largest programs in the UW-System and features regional and national opportunities.

The popularity of the program is due to the flexibility for employers as well as students. Although some internships follow the timeline for academic semesters (fall, spring and summer), others are part-time, year round or for a specified time frame to complete a special project. Employers may request the timeline that best suits their needs and may specify their preference for certain majors. Employers who wish to discuss an idea for an internship may contact one of our Career Services staff members.


  • Identify potential new employees
  • Meet short term and special project needs
  • Support the university community and increase your company's visibility on campus
  • Reduce your recruitment and training costs through potential retention of interns


In order for an internship to be advertised to students, employers are required to post positions on our job/internship listing website. When posting internships in Handshake, they can select one of three ways to receive applications:

  1. Students can submit their resume through Handshake. This method gives employers the ability to view applicant resumes online or to receive the resumes of all applicants as a bundle that is emailed out following the expiration (deadline) date for the position. Employers can then review applicants and contact them directly to schedule interviews.
  2. Students can apply directly to the employer via the employer's own website, email, mail or other method specified by the employer. Employers can then contact applicants directly to schedule interviews.
  3. Employers can schedule on campus interviews and have students apply and schedule interviews through Handshake. Employers interested in on campus interviews should contact Rebecca Lee in Career Services at 608.785.8362 for additional information.

Students who accept an internship may have the option to receive academic credit for the experience. If a student chooses to receive credit for an internship. the employer will be required to complete an employer evaluation at the mid-term and at the end of the semester.


Internships can be posted at any time throughout the year. However, the largest pool of candidates will be available prior to the start each academic term (preferable 1 semester prior to start date). We encourage you to post your internship as early as possible.


The UWL Cooperative Education and Internship Program works with employers who offer both paid and unpaid internships. However, in some high demand fields, employers will find it necessary to offer paid positions in order to attract candidates. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division has re-examined the criteria for unpaid internships. Employers should consider the following criteria when considering unpaid internships.

Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division Criteria for an Unpaid Internship*.

*The National Association of Colleges and Employers recommends the following standard definition of "internship":

An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.