English Graduate Program Internship Handbook

Acquiring an Internship

Mid -Term Interview

Final Project & Interview



Title IX/Clery Act

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

The English Graduate Program offers credit for internships at the Ph.D. and M.A. level. The M.A. level internship is ENGL 510 and the Ph.D. level is ENGL 610. Both courses are offered each semester for 3 credit hours, with 120 hours minimum spent at the internship location and 30 hours left to complete the academic components. 

To be eligible for an internship a graduate student must:

  • Successfully complete 12 credit hours within the English Graduate Program at the University of Louisville
  • Maintain a 3.0 G.P.A. in all graduate level work.

A graduate level internship should include 120 hours of time on the job, which works out to approximately 8 hours a week. Time on the job can include work outside of the office at the discretion of the onsite supervisor. This, plus time to complete assessments, equates to a total of 150 hours per semester for a 3 credit hour course.

At the end of the internship the student must also complete an internship exit survey and their onsite supervisor must complete an exit survey. All forms and surveys are available on the English Graduate Internships main page.

Please note: The internship may not be at your current place of work. (i.e. if you are currently a GTA at the writing center you may not do extra tutoring or count your time at the writing center towards an internship.)

Acquiring an Internship

Students may apply for internship opportunities advertised by the department, or they may work with companies/organizations to set up their own internships. All internships options must be approved by the DGS before course credit will be granted.

  1. At least 1 semester before you wish to take on an internship begin applying for internships of interest. Be sure to note on the application/letter, which semester you intend to take the internship.  (For help with your CV/Resume visit the career development center.)
  2. During advising for the semester during which you intend to take the internship, discuss the internship with the Director of Graduate Studies. Also discuss a back up option for the semester. 
  3. Schedule a meeting, or turn in the internship paperwork (Work Agreement & Liability and Release Forms) as soon as possible after you choose an approved internship.
  4. If, at any time, you or your supervisor decides that one or the other is not adhering to the work agreement, contact the DGS immediately, failure to do so and failure to complete the internship will result in a failing grade. This will be at the discretion of the DGS upon discussion with you and the onsite supervisor. 

Mid-Term Interview

Two weeks prior to regularly scheduled mid-terms, the student should contact the DGS to request a meeting. During this meeting the students should come prepared to present what they have accomplished so far at their internship (with examples where applicable). Students should also come ready to discuss how their actions have contributed to the humanities and how they have begun to work toward achieving their learning goals. This interview will last between 30 to 45 minutes and students should come prepared to present and answer questions. Students should also bring with them their signed timesheets up to the date of the interview.

Final Project & Interview

At least two weeks prior to finals students will need to schedule a meeting with the DGS. This meeting will be similar in format and content as the mid-term interview and should focus on the second half of the internship and the final project. Students should bring the final project to turn in at the time of their interview

Research Paper & Interview - Due on the last day of regularly scheduled classes. The topic of the research paper should be discussed with the DGS prior to choosing this option (no later than the mid-term interview). The research paper should consist of 15 to 20 pages with a bibliography attached (MLA citation format). The research paper can address many different areas of your experience.

Topic Examples: 

  • Choose a specific problem in the company that could be addressed using the knowledge or practices gained from your degree and experience. Research and discuss solutions to the problem. Be sure to include data and observations to back your ideas. This should be a research driven paper, not an opinion piece. 
  • Set your internship within in the context of the field and evaluate the value of the internship experience within the context of past course work and future career endeavors.

Reflection Paper & Interview - Due on the last day of regularly scheduled classes. The topic of the reflection paper should be discussed with the DGS prior to choosing this option (no later than the mid-term interview). The reflection paper should consist of 20 - 25 pages that includes the following:

  • Begin the paper with a description of the organization; include information about the organization's structure, a description of your duties/responsibilities, and those of your supervisor.
  • Provide a discussion of concepts and theories you have learned during your coursework that were relevant to your positions or your supervisor's position.
  • Discuss what specific skills and ideas you brought to the company with your experience in the M.A/Ph.D program. Discuss how that would differ from what other degree program graduates could/do offer the company.
  • Discuss how the internship fulfilled your learning outcomes and your personal career goals.
  • Discuss insights gained from this experience and any additions that could be made to the English M.A./Ph.D. program that would have facilitated you during this experience.

Portfolio & Interview - Due on the last day of regularly scheduled classes. The portfolio option can be chosen in consultation with the DGS and your site supervisor. The portfolio should reflect should work done at your internship during the full course of the semester. It should be 20 - 25 pages and include the following:

  • Activity log - A list of important job duties performed during the internship and a 1 -2 sentence description for each duty. 
  • Examples of work done during the internship (include examples of all types of projects or include the final version of a large project you were responsible for).
  • Updated resume' with internship experience included.
  • Narrative for a job letter describing your internship experience and what it would bring to a potential position. 
  • Evaluation of the internship's value analyzed through the lens of your learning outcomes objectives and current trends in employment for those with a M.A. or Ph.D. in English (6 - 10 pages).
Note: The DGS will consider other options for the final projects upon request. The final project should reflect the quality of work done for a final project in a 500 or 600 level course. 

Grading Policies

The English M.A./Ph.D. internship is available as both a letter grade course and a pass/fail course, to be decided in consultation with the DGS.

Students who take the course as a pass/fail will pass if they complete all the required work for the course by the deadlines indicated, to the satisfaction of the DGS. 

Students who choose a letter grade for the course will be graded as follows:

  • 40% - Mid-term Interview & Timesheets
  • 60%  - Final project, Final Interview, Timesheets & Evaluations

Though no credit is given for attendance, attendance and participation during your agreed upon scheduled hours at your place of internship is required, you must complete all 120 hours of your internship to receive credit for the course. Failure to complete your required hours will result in a failing grade. Attendance and participation in your internship will be verified via a timesheet signed by your supervisor. It is the student's responsibility to ensure they have worked the full 120 hours. 


In the event that there arises an issue between the intern and the onsite supervisor which cannot be remedied by either party on their own. The intern or supervisor should immediately contact the Director of Graduate Studies via email. An explanation of the grievance and the steps already taken to rectify the situation, should be included in the email as well as times and dates available for either meeting or a conference call.

Title IX/Clery Act

Sexual misconduct (including sexual harassment, sexual assault, and any other nonconsensual behavior of a sexual nature) and sex discrimination violate University policies. Students experiencing such behavior may obtain confidential support from the PEACC Program (852-2663), Counseling Center (852-6585), and Campus Health Services (852-6479). To report sexual misconduct or sex discrimination, contact the Dean of Students (852-5787) or University of Louisville Police (852-6111).

Disclosure to University faculty or instructors of sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, or sex discrimination occurring on campus, in a University-sponsored program, or involving a campus visitor or University student or employee (whether current or former) is not confidential under Title IX. Faculty and instructors must forward such reports, including names and circumstances, to the University's Title IX officer.

For more information, see the Sexual Misconduct Resource Guide.

Fair Labor Standards Act

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): The Department of Labor has determined that an unpaid internship is acceptable for public and governmental agencies, religious, charitable, or other nonprofit organizations so long as the intern doesn’t have any expectation of compensation.

Internships become more problematic for a for-profit employer if the intern’s work provides any immediate advantage to the employer. In such cases, the internship is covered under FLSA, meaning the intern should be paid minimum wage. If the internship offers a greater benefit to the intern than it does to the employer, the Department of Labor has six requirements, all of which must be met for unpaid internships. The one that is the most important is that the work must be done mainly to benefit the intern, not for the benefit of the employer.  The work should also not displace regular employees or take the place of their work. Please review the U.S. Department of Labor’s Fact Sheet #71 for more information. (https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.pdf) The company is solely responsible for determining whether the activities of the internship qualify for non-paid exemption under federal employment guidelines.