Internship/Work Experience Programs


Internships are educational programs that give students the opportunity to gain practical work experience and academic credit at the same time. These are supervised programs of work and study which allow students working in government, community service, or business settings to apply skills and knowledge obtained in the course of their studies. The typical intern works ten to twenty hours per week.

The School of Business and Economics consistently places 80 to 100 interns each year in the local business community.

We are committed to expanding and improving both the number of internships we jointly sponsor and the quality of our efforts. The School of Business and Economics (SBE) Career Center is responsible to systematically:

  1. Develop internship opportunities for our students;
  2. Develop close relationships with organizations sponsoring internships; and
  3. Track the outcome of internship experiences from the point of view of the intern and the sponsoring organization.

Internships require the prior approval of the Interim Internship Director, Dr. Kyuho Lee. This means all internships must be approved before their start date. Contact Dr. Kyuho Lee at or 707-664-2160. 

Link to: FAQ's

Link to: Internship Pay FAQ's

Link to: Employer Guide to Developing Internships

Internship: BUS 499

The typical intern works ten to twenty hours per week. Forty-five hours of work are required per unit of credit.

Internships may be used as one of the five classes required for any given concentration, except accounting. Accounting students, however, very frequently do an internship because of their inherent value. All internships are designed in a fashion that requires payment under state and federal wage and hour laws.

Internships may not be done where students have already been employed.

Internships are appropriate for advanced undergraduate or graduate students working in fields that relate directly to their career or academic interests. Students should have completed two courses in their concentration prior to seeking an internship. A waiver of this requirement requires extraordinary circumstances.

Criteria used in approving internships:

  • Internships must be paid.
  • There must be a clear and specified relationship to an academic program.
  • Placement must be at a professional level of responsibility appropriate for university credit. This does not imply that interns do not do routine work.
  • Internship credit is not appropriate in an organization where a student is already employed.
  • Internships involving potential conflict of interests are not appropriate. Working in a small family business would be an example of such a potential conflict.
  • Internships require prior approval of the Internship Director.

Four units maximum may be applied to the major in Business Administration. More than four units may be earned; however, units exceeding four are elective units and may apply toward the overall unit total needed for a degree. An internship paper is required. See guidelines below. See the Internship Director to Apply.

Download the Internship contract form here.


Corporate Sponsored Training: BUS 290

Some corporations offer opportunities that do not qualify for internship credit because the corporation declares that the student volunteer does not add value to the corporation.  Yet the corporation makes such opportunities contingent upon concurrent enrollment in a university course.  Students may find these experiences valuable and therefore we permit students to avail themselves of  these unpaid opportunities.  Corporate Sponsored Training does not fulfill a major requirement in the Business Administration Major, but may be used as elective credit. A work experience paper is required. See the guidelines below.  See the Internship Director to apply.

Download the CST contract here.


Work Experience

There are two work experience courses: Bus 399 and 295. Read below to understand the difference. Work Experience requires approval of the Internship Director.

Advanced Work Experience: BUS 399

Advanced work experience is designed for working students who currently hold a full-time position at an advanced placement level of an organization, have been employed by the organization for at least four years, are compensated commensurate with their advanced placement, and furthermore will not leave the position upon graduation. 

It is NOT designed for working students who simply desire not to change employers to earn internship credit. For these students, they should plan their internship for their last semester at the University, and attempt to land an internship which will lead to permanent employment upon graduation.

One criteria used in determining the appropriateness of BUS 399 is the level of compensation. Advanced Work Experience may be used as one of the five classes required for any given concentration, except accounting. 

A work experience paper is required. See guidelines below. See the Internship Director to apply.

Download the Advanced Work Experience contract here.

Work Experience: BUS 295

Work Experience of any kind is valuable for an individual starting their professional career. BUS 295 allows credit and documentation of such experiences. Credits count as non-business electives and have utility to students when they desire several units in addition to the academic course load they have for a given semester. There is no limit on the number of units that may be used for BUS 295.

Download the Work Experience contract here.

Guidelines for Writing Your Internship/Work Experience/Corporate Sponsored Training Paper

The required paper for the internship experience (BUS 499/BUS 399) is a 5 page paper. The required paper for work experience (Corporate Sponsored Training/BUS 295/BUS 290) is a 2-page paper.

Your paper should be a "reflection" paper which broadly describes your internship or work experience. The following components would be appropriate: (1) A brief description of the business, (2) a discussion of your duties and what you learned. What you learned would include your reflections on not only the skills you have acquired, but also reflections on management, either because of practices you found desirable, or practices you found not particularly desirable. Where possible, attempt to relate this to your classroom experience. Comment on whether your university education was in any way relevant to your work experience as an intern. Also, perhaps you will develop insights regarding political behavior within organizations. You need not cover the above list exhaustively. It is meant to be suggestive of things that might be covered in your paper.

Submit your paper per instructions on the course contract.


Access a list of available internships.

Contact SBE
Contact SSU
Sonoma State University School of Business and Economics. Reach.
1801 East Cotati Avenue, Rohnert Park, CA, 94928 • 707-664-2377