Internship Information and Resources


Students who choose the internship option for the field requirement work for an organization (public, private, or governmental) in a field related to their research interests and career goals. 

The thesis for these students will be based on data that does not require direct field collection, such as from secondary sources. Ideally, the internship will directly relate to the thesis topic and will offer opportunities to work on the thesis research.  However, internships may also provide professionally relevant practical research experience that is unrelated to the thesis topic.

This option is chosen most often (although not exclusively) by students focusing on macroeconomic/international phenomena.

Students choosing this option must work at least 160 hours for the organization.

All internships must have a faculty supervisor who will approve the proposed internship and confirm when it has been satisfactorily completed.


Students who might wish to choose the internship option should start preparing to apply in November of their first year. Many internship applications are due in December, so if you wait you may miss out on very desirable opportunities. Applying for internships does not rule out switching to a summer field research project later.

International Students

For international students on an F-1 visa that want to do an internship in U.S., a Curricular Practical Training (CPT) authorization is required. CPT regulations require that you complete one full year of coursework prior to engaging in an internship. This means you must wait until the summer after your second semester or in the fall during your third semester. Once you have secured an internship in the U.S., please contact the Program Manager and Academic Director, as well as ISSS. There are several steps you need to take for CPT approval, so make sure you start this process well in advance to your internship start date.

For more information, please contact International Students and Scholar Services at or (415) 422-2654. 


An internship does not have to be unpaid. You can make as little or as much money as possible, as long as the internship reflects the objectives and values of the program.

Interning Abroad

You may complete your internship abroad with department and university approval.

Once the internship is approved submit the required pre-departure forms. The process is overseen by the Center for Global Education.

Health Insurance

All USF students are required to have health insurance in order to participate in university sponsored international activities. 

Travel Warning

Students are expected to comply with all travel restrictions or sanctions imposed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. If students propose research or internship travel to a country for which the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs has issued a Travel Warning, travel may be approved at the discretion of the Provost and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings »

Graduation Requirements

While internships are required for graduation they do not carry graduate level credit. To meet the program graduation requirements an internship analysis and faculty evaluation must be completed. Students complete an internship analysis paper assessing:

  • how the internship built on coursework and furthered the students’ research for their thesis or applied project
  • self-evaluation of work undertaken
  • the development of skills and professional goals
  • the learning experience as a whole
  • organization supervisor then completes an evaluation of the student and their internship experience
  • both are completed and returned to the faculty member supervising the internship

Additional useful internship resources

USF Masters of International Studies Resources

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)

Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL)