Internship Guidelines

Graduate students enrolled in a research paper or coursework stream in their home unit degree program are required to do an internship as part of the Environmental Studies Collaborative Specialization. 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 internship 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 experience may be either paid or on a voluntary basis and off-campus internships are strongly recommended for students to gain practical experience. 

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. Students who do not have an internship component built-in their home degree can register in ENV4444: 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.  ENV4444H is approximately 20 hours per week and ENV4444Y is approximately 40 hours per week. Consult the Collaborative Specialization requirements for your home program to determine whether you should enroll in the H or Y section of this course.

To enrol in ENV4444H/Y, send your internship role, location and description of duties to the School's Graduate Administrator and they will assist with adding the course to your record. The approval of the ENV4444 internship placement is done in consultation with 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 Graduate Administrator at the School of the Environment. Internships for ENV4444H/Y are evaluated based on credit/non-credit. 

Please contact the School’s Graduate Administrator with any questions about the internship.

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. 

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

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.

To make this request, fill out and submit the Internship Exemption Form and a letter to the School of the Environment’s Graduate Team outlining relevant work experience, and supporting documentation from the organization for reviewal.