The Academic Internship Program

The academic internship is a full credit, one-semester course, comprised of both an analytical component (an internship seminar, such as Ethical Issues in Professional Life, Social Justice, or Legal Issues) and an experiential component (fieldwork at an internship site in Worcester or the greater Boston area). 

The internship course provides students with a unique opportunity for learning about particular fields through a combination of direct hands-on experience and formal study and is designed to complement the more traditional curriculum. While the main intent of the program is to provide students with an experiential learning opportunity in their chosen fields, it also provides an opportunity for career exploration.

If a seminar topic is not appropriate to the internship, tutorial work with an individual faculty sponsor may be arranged. Each student is expected to spend eight hours per week on the job and another three or four hours on the academic component. Admission is open to third- and fourth-year students by application; nearly a quarter of all Holy Cross students participate in the program.

Students find that the internship component provides them with an opportunity to learn directly from professionals working in the field, gain valuable hands-on experience, and to apply the theoretical training, analytical capabilities and research and writing skills that they have developed at the College.


Each student is required to spend eight hours per week at a selected internship site. The College has established an extensive and varied list of internship placements, and is constantly cultivating new opportunities. Through consistent oversight and evaluation of all of our internship sites we have been able to ensure that students are offered a substantive learning experience at their chosen placements. Since our program is designed to serve the needs of all disciplines at the College our placement opportunities cover a wide range of public, private and independent sector organizations concerned with health care, law, business, education, social service, government, and communications.


Academic Internship Program students must register for a designated internship seminar as the analytical complement to their fieldwork. Internship seminar offerings vary from semester to semester depending upon need and interest but generally cover such areas as: legal issues, management/leadership, ethical issues in professional life, health care management, gerontology, and social justice.

Each seminar meets for two and a half hours per week and provides, through selected readings and student presentations, an opportunity to critically analyze their fieldwork and issues facing their agencies. Students whose internship falls outside of the purview of the offered seminars may apply to work individually in a directed study with a faculty sponsor. This generally entails weekly meetings to discuss a series of selected readings related to the student's fieldwork and a major research project critically analyzing that work.

College-Agency Relationships

Students are encouraged to take the initiative in securing an internship, but the Academic Internship Program provides assistance by maintaining relationships with nearly 300 internship sites in the Worcester, Providence and Boston areas. These sites are regularly reviewed and evaluated. The J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts in the World collects and houses agency descriptions and student evaluations of available internships. Whenever a student interns at an agency, the center maintains contact with the agency throughout the semester informing them of the College's expectations, securing evaluations of the student’s work and interceding if any problems arise.


Juniors and seniors who are looking to take a course through the Academic Internship Program, can apply through myHC. Application for Spring 2023 is now open with the following deadlines:

  • November 1, 2022
  • November 14, 2022
  • January 9, 2023

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.

Please note that applications for the Academic Internship Program require that students upload a resume that has been approved by the Center for Career Development (CCD) to ensure students have a resume ready to send to potential internship sites. Make an appointment with the CCD by logging into Handshake. Once you log in, navigate to Career Center / Appointments. You can also email or call 508-793-3880 for more information. Your application will not be reviewed without a CCD-approved resume.

Commonly Asked Questions

Who can participate?

Admission is by application and is open to all third and fourth-year students.

How does the seminar relate to the internship?

The seminar’s academic approach is essential to the character of Holy Cross’ Academic Internship Program. Students are expected to excel academically; as such, 70 percent of the final AIP grade is based on the academic work completed for the seminar.

Who teaches the seminar?

AIP seminar faculty members are unique at the College, bringing a distinctive real-world approach to the classroom.

How do I find an internship?

The first place to start looking for a possible internship is Handshake, the College’s online career and internship portal. Students put together a list of prospective sites and call the agencies directly. The AIP office provides guidance and information to help students make the best choice possible.

For additional tips, check out the Conducting an Effective Internship & Job Search presentation created by the Center for Career Development. 

What is the difference between an internship, work-study and volunteer work?

Work-study is paid employment with job experience. Volunteer work is job experience, but usually not substantive, without compensation. An internship is not only work experience but also has a mentoring component where you are taught the work of the agency. In addition, the academic component provides you with an opportunity for critical analysis of this work.

How many internships can I do at Holy Cross?

Students are allowed to do two internships through the Academic Internship Program.

How do I work out my schedule with classes and an internship?

Agencies realize that your primary responsibility is to your class work and they are generally flexible in arranging a work schedule.

The Academic Internship Provides

  • an opportunity to work and learn in a stimulating professional environment assessing one's strengths and weaknesses
  • professional experience in your chosen field
  • a unique opportunity to integrate the experiential and analytical
  • the chance to explore career options
  • the chance to apply what you have learned at Holy Cross 

Examples of Recent Academic Internship Placements

  • Abby's House
  • Donahue, Rauscher, McGrail & Tupper Law Offices
  • Reliant Medical Group
  • Law Office of Tom Millotte
  • Massachusetts Housing Alliance
  • St. John's High School
  • St. Vincent Hospital Worcester
  • The Catholic Worker
  • WCVB - Channel 5 Boston
  • Worcester Art Museum
  • Worcester Chamber of Commerce
  • Worcester EcoTarium
  • Worcester Magazine

Requesting an AIP Experience on Handshake

Once you are accepted to the Academic Internship Program and have secured an internship, you must Request an Experience on Handshake. Please follow the instructions attached below. If you have any questions, please email Fatima Oseida at or visit us in Smith 334. 


For more information, download the Fall 2022 Academic Internship Program Handbook (PDF)