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.

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 and should consist of the equivalent of at least three months full-time employment. Many students do their internships in the summer term. 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. 

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 Program Assistant and Graduate Student Advisor at the School of the Environment. Internships are evaluated based on credit/non-credit. International Visa students will require a letter from the home department that indicates an internship is required as part of their academic programs.

Please contact the School’s Program Assistant and Graduate Student Advisor for information on current opportunities and to submit the completed 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 ENV4444Y (internship) at the beginning of the academic year or term in which they plan to take the internship.

If you plan to do the internship during the summer term, you must re-register on ACORN or ROSI for the summer term at the end of the winter/spring term before the registration deadline set by the School of Graduate Studies. Please check the SGS academic calendar for registration deadlines.

Internship Exemption

Students wih 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 for three or more months. 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.