Skip to content Skip to navigation

Information for Internship Providers

On this page:

Internship Program Overview

An internship can be a great way for managers to advance organizational goals while mentoring aspiring professionals, and can be mutually beneficial. Students inform and add value to your work while you inform and add value to their personal, academic, and professional pursuits. The internship program is for GSE students and designed to enrich their graduate studies by helping them:

  • Refine career goals
  • Connect academic learning with real-world experience
  • Enhance marketable skills and broaden skill set
  • Open doors to potential future employment

We have found that mutually beneficial internships involve meaningful tasks that build a student’s professional skills and are “mission critical” to your organization. 

Depending upon the student’s degree program, an internship may be required, recommended or optional. We encourage students to select internships that tie into their professional goals and significantly complement their graduate education here at Stanford. Some students choose to begin internship experiences right away in their first quarter while others may prefer to wait. The decision is made by the student, with guidance from their faculty advisor, in conversation with the internship manager, and in compliance with the degree program requirements.

If you are considering offering an internship opportunity to a GSE student, we strongly encourage you to identify whether your internship opportunity falls within the guidelines outlined by the U.S. Department of Labor, specifically that the internship “complements, rather than displaces, the work of paid employees while providing significant educational benefits to the intern”.

For the full guidelines regarding unpaid internships, please visit the U.S. Department of Labor website.

Back to the top

Finding Students for Internship Opportunities

There are two main ways that students find internship opportunities. 

The first (our favorite!) is when an organization posts an internship opportunity in our EdCareers Portal by following these steps:

  1. Register as an employer in the EdCareers Portal.
  2. Post an internship using the “EdCareers Internship” Position Type

Sample Internship Descriptions

The second is when the student and organization connect with each other and formulate an internship that meets the goals of both parties. In this case, we do not require that the organization formally post the internship in the EdCareers Portal. We do, however, still encourage all organizations to post any other positions for which they are hiring in our EdCareers Portal.

Back to the top

Securing an Intern & Providing Feedback

Once you have identified a student as a good fit for your internship opportunity, you should work with that student to negotiate the terms of the internship (goals, responsibilities, time and deliverables, etc). Note that internships occur over the course of a 10-week quarter. They can be 3-10 hours of work per week or 30-100 hours per quarter (flex hours are permitted).

Students can elect to take an internship for academic credit or no credit. They receive their credits through Stanford and not the internship organization. A student who has elected to take an internship for credit may not receive pay for the same hours for which they receive credit.

Students are required to fill out the Quarterly Internship Agreement each quarter that outlines their goals for the internship as well as tasks they plan to complete in order to accomplish those goals, and internship managers are required to sign off on this agreement. Throughout the quarter, we strongly encourage internship managers and students to meet on a weekly basis to discuss progress as well as possible obstacles towards goals.

Toward the end of the quarter, students will fill out a self-evaluation, and internship managers will provide feedback about the student’s performance through this same mechanism; EdCareers will never share internship manager feedback with students – rather, we strongly encourage internship managers to discuss their feedback directly with the student, and at regular intervals throughout the quarter.

Because the nature of an internship is to help the student explore potential careers and gain exposure to different aspects of the education industry, internship managers cannot require an intern to commit to an internship for more than one quarter at a time. If, near the end of the quarter, the student and manager both wish to continue the internship into another quarter, a new Quarterly Internship Agreement must be submitted and approved.

Back to the top

Best Practices

In order to set up your intern for success, we recommend an approach where the internship manager’s role is two-fold: MENTOR and MANAGER. Correspondingly, this makes the student’s role two-fold: MENTEE and INTERN.

We’ve found that a successful MENTOR:

  • Confirms the student’s skills, abilities, areas of growth, and what s/he wants to learn from the experience.
  • Orients the student to the organization (reviews the mission, history, principles of practice; introduces him/her to the staff and relevant community partners).
  • Describes short-term and long-term goals for both his/her organization and the student’s role within it (e.g., set historical context for the project; explain how the student’s contribution fits into the larger project).
  • Sets achievable, measurable goals and reviews and revises them at the beginning of each quarter to facilitate professional growth.
  • Includes the student in the organization’s activities when possible to give him/her a sense of belonging and broader understanding.

Likewise, a successful INTERNSHIP MANAGER:

  • Meets regularly with their intern to give positive and constructive feedback.
  • Provides training, if needed.
  • Submits a brief online intern evaluation near the end of EACH quarter via the Feedback Survey.
  • Conducts an exit interview with the intern at the end of the internship.

Job Assignments That Work Best

As you think about which assignments to offer as internships, we have found that assigning meaningful tasks that build professional skills and are “mission critical” to your organization are the best way to engage students and develop them professionally. These positions will have a higher probability of being filled (especially if they are unpaid) since the student will see the work connected to the organization’s strategic goals.

Back to the top

International Students

We encourage all GSE students to pursue an internship in order to build skills, make connections, and gain exposure to organizations in the education industry. International students must always consult with Bechtel International Center to ensure that an internship opportunity (paid or unpaid) does not violate any rules related to visas and employment authorizations.

For further information and resources, please see Stanford’s Bechtel International Center’s website.

Back to the top

Important Dates

  • September 14, 2020
    Autumn quarter begins
  • October 2, 2020
    Autumn quarter Internship Agreement Deadline
  • November 6, 2020
    Autumn quarter Week 8 Feedback due
  • January 11, 2021
    Winter quarter begins
  • January 29, 2021
    Winter quarter Internship Agreement Deadline
  • March 5, 2021
    Winter quarter Week 8 Feedback due
  • March 29, 2021
    Spring quarter begins
  • April 16, 2021
    Spring quarter Internship Agreement Deadline
  • May 21, 2021
    Spring quarter Week 8 Feedback due
  • June 21, 2021
    Summer quarter begins
  • July 9, 2021
    Summer quarter Internship Agreement Deadline
  • August 13, 2021
    Summer quarter Week 8 Feedback due

Back to the top


If you have any questions after reviewing the information on this page, or if anything for the internship has changed after the Internship Agreement has been submitted, please contact the EdCareers team at

Back to the top

Back to the Top