Internship Guidelines

Graduate students enrolled in a research paper or coursework stream in their home unit degree program are also required to do an internship as part of the Environmental Studies Collaborative Specialization and must fill out and submit the Internship Placement Form. Masters students who do not have an internship component built-in their home unit master’s degree program must register on ROSI or ACORN using the School’s designated code ENV4444H/Y (internship) at the beginning of the academic year or term in which they plan to take the internship. The School of the Environment offers ENV4444H (0.5 FCE) in both the Fall and Winter sessions and ENV4444Y (1.0 FCE) in the summer session. Consult the Collaborative Specialization requirements for your home program to determine whether you should enroll in the H or Y section of this course. 

The purpose of the internship is to provide students with professional work experience involving environmental issues related to their program of study and research. The experience may be either paid or on a voluntary basis. ENV4444H is approximately 20 hours per week and ENV4444Y is approximately 40 hours per week. Off-campus internships are strongly recommended for students to gain practical experience. 

The internship is a significant component of the Environmental Studies Collaborative Specialization and is designed to offer master's degree students from various academic backgrounds an opportunity to expand their interdisciplinary experience at the practical level and turn their theoretical knowledge into practical skills. The approval of the internship placement is done in consultation with the student’s home unit supervisor, Graduate Chair or Director, and the School of the Environment’s Graduate Associate Director prior to commencing the internship activity. Students who complete an internship within their home program must ensure their internship contains an environmental component in order for it to count towards their collaborative specialization requirements. 

Upon completion of the internship, a written assessment of the student’s performance by the Internship supervisor is required for the student to receive credit. This should be one page or less in length and should be written on the organization’s/company’s letterhead and addressed to the Graduate Administrator at the School of the Environment. Internships are evaluated based on credit/non-credit. 

Please contact the School’s Graduate Administrator with any questions about the internship and to submit the completed form.

A co-op work permit is required for international students who enrol in ENV4444H/Y, regardless of whether the internship is paid or unpaid. Please contact the School's Graduate Administrator for more information. 

If you plan to complete the internship during the summer term, you must be a registered student for the summer term. Check the SGS Calendar for registration datails/deadlines.

Internship Exemption

Students with relevant environmental work experience gained prior to starting the Environmental Studies Collaborative Specialization may be exempted from their internship requirement with approval from the School of the Environment’s Graduate Associate Director, and the home department’s Graduate Chair.

At the time of admission to the home department, fill out and submit the Internship Exemption Form, the SGS Course Exemption Form, a letter to the School of the Environment’s Graduate Associate Director outlining relevant work experience, and supporting documentation from the organization. If the exemption request is approved, this may reduce a student’s length of specialization or coursework load.

Types of Internships

The following internship models have been successfully applied in past years:

  1. Practical Internship: the student finds work in an organization/company undertaking environmental work. The staff of the interning office have the student conduct research and/or perform other duties related to topics that would be acceptable for the research component of their degree. This is the most popular choice of internship.
  2. School of the Environment Internship or Campus-based Internship: the student undertakes a research project supervised preferably by a faculty member(s) associated with the School of the Environment.

Resources for Finding an Internship