Winter Term Internships

Each Winter Term, more than 120 students participate in internships and apply for the opportunity to earn academic credit for their work in reflecting upon, and making meaning of, the internship experience. Winter Term internships involve significant, high-level exposure to the fundamental work of an organization, with ties to a student’s academic and/or professional interests. They challenge students to apply their liberal arts learning in a real-world setting and provide students with an opportunity to reflect meaningfully on the connections between their classroom learning and their outside-the-classroom experiences.

If you don’t need the credit, you may also consider undertaking an internship not-for-credit. In this case, you’ll still be gaining the experience and can list it on your resume, but you will not need to complete an assignment or other required paperwork. 

Whether you stay local and explore opportunities in and around Middlebury or Vermont, or whether you travel to an international location, we can help you navigate the process. Come see us in Adirondack House to talk about your plans.  Visit go/cci to make an appointment with the CCI adviser in your interest area.  

Deadlines for Securing your Internship:
Remember to check with your internship sponsor or on Handshake for application deadlines related to your internship! Some of these deadlines are due in September and early October and others may be later in the semester. It often takes longer than you think to secure an internship so we suggest starting in September.   

Deadlines for Applying for Winter Internship Credit

  • Oct. 21 – Early-Bird Deadline: Submit your internship-for-credit application by this deadline and, if approved, register directly for your internship during WT registration. 
  • Nov. 11 – First Regular Deadline: Required if you need on-campus housing. No exceptions. Requires that you register for a placeholder WT class during WT registration and use the drop/add process once your internship is approved.
  • Nov. 30 – Final Deadline: May use this deadline only if you do not require on-campus housing. Requires that you register for a placeholder WT class and use the drop/add process once your internship is approved. We strongly encourage you to secure your internship and submit your for-credit application in October or early November, as sometimes this whole process takes longer than you may think and there will be absolutely no applications for credit accepted after Nov. 30. 

Steps for Applying for Winter Term Internship Credit

1)     Secure your internship.

2)     Identify a Middlebury faculty member to act as your Academic Sponsor. 

3)     Talk with your academic sponsor to develop a plan for the academic work that will express your thoughtful reflection on the internship and its connections to your learning. 
The academic sponsor should help you identify at least three scholarly sources that you will list in your application for credit and use to provide an intellectual framework for your experience; these or other sources will provide relevant content for your final academic work. This final academic work (typically a paper or journal) ties the internship experience to a scholarly investigation of an issue or topic related to your field of interest and will be presented to the academic sponsor after the internship. This final work will be the basis upon which the academic sponsor determines whether the student earns credit for the internship. 

4)     Ensure that all application materials are submitted to the Center for Careers & Internships (CCI) as early in the Fall semester as possible and no later than the deadlines stated above (exceptions are the EMT internships: see FAQs below for more information). 

5)     After your internship, you will submit final academic work to your academic sponsor, and a self-reflection to CCI.  Your internship supervisor will also complete a supervisor evaluation.

The Approval Process

  • The Curriculum Committee oversees the application-for-credit process in partnership with individual faculty members and CCI.
  • By submitting an Academic Sponsor form, a faculty member gives their approval to the Curriculum Committee that there is potential for scholarly investigation of an issue or topic related to the internship experience. Credit will be granted for evidence of connected learning through the final academic work which will be evaluated by the faculty academic sponsor.  
  • Applications for Winter Term Internship credit are approved on a rolling basis after Oct. 21; the process typically takes 1-2 weeks. 

If you secure an internship after November 30, you cannot pursue the opportunity for credit. If you do not need the credit for graduation and plan to pursue a non credit-bearing internship, you must contact the Registrar's office and complete an opt-out form to withdraw from Winter Term and ensure that you meet all the appropriate requirements. 

What is Middlebury's definition of a Winter Term internship?

Winter Term internships involve significant, high-level exposure to "real world" experiences beyond the classroom. Routine office experience, clerical work, or the continuation of a summer job or internship will not be considered a credit-bearing internship, unless the responsibilities vary in significant ways from what the intern has performed for the organization in the past.  Internships for academic credit are unpaid experiences, although it is allowable for students to receive a stipend to help pay for their living expenses. Winter Term internships for credit include significant academic work that will be submitted to your academic sponsor during or after the internship; the academic work ties the internship experience to a scholarly investigation of an issue or topic related to your field of interest.

What is the required time commitment/length to receive credit for a winter term internship?

The minimum is 100 hours, typically over the course of all four weeks of J-term. If you have an exceptionally different circumstance, please make your case clear in the required personal statement that you submit.

What are the credit requirements for Winter Term and who is eligible ?

Students are required to earn Middlebury credits during at least two winter terms. All first-year students must be in residence and enroll in a Winter Term course their first winter term at Middlebury. This includes both September and February matriculates (Sophomore Febs).

The second credit may be earned by enrolling in a Winter Term course, a credit-bearing independent project, a credit-bearing internship, or by studying abroad and earning winter term equivalent credit. A minimum of two and a maximum of four winter term course credits will count toward the graduation requirement of 36 course credits. 

Please note that there are different policies related to how many courses with non-standard credits (such as AP credits and internships) you may count toward graduation depending on your year and when you matriculated. All of your non-standard credits can listed on your transcript, however, only a certain number will count toward graduation. Please click here for more information.


What is an Academic Sponsor and why do I need to list 3 scholarly sources in my application for credit?

The Academic Sponsor is a Middlebury faculty member who agrees to act as the academic connector between your internship experience and learning explored during the internship. The academic sponsor must agree that the internship provides a worthwhile opportunity for the application of liberal arts learning, and with the student’s input, will develop a plan for academic work during or after the internship that will allow the student to make meaning of the internship and tie the experience to an exploration of a scholarly topic, idea, or issue.  If the academic sponsor agrees to sponsor the internship for credit, he or she will sign the Academic Sponsor form indicating their willingness to guide the student and determine whether the post-internship academic work deserves credit.  The academic sponsor should also help you identify learning objectives and at least three scholarly sources that you will list in your application for credit; these articles, publications, or other sources will provide an intellectual framework for your experience and will provide relevant content for your final work that you present to your academic sponsor.

Can my Faculty Advisor serve as my Academic Sponsor?

Yes. In many cases your faculty advisor will serve as your academic sponsor.  An academic sponsor does not necessarily need to have expertise in the area of your internship as long as he/she feels they can work with you to develop a plan for, and evaluate, academic work that will tie your internship to a scholarly investigation of a related topic, issue or idea. Students undertaking an internship unrelated to their major, however, may decide to ask a faculty member from a background more tied to their topic of interest to serve as their academic sponsor. 

How do I handle WT registration?

If you are waiting for approval on a proposed internship, register for a Winter Term course in case the proposal is denied. If you receive an approval email from CCI before or during Winter Term registration, you will be instructed on how to register for your internship. If your internship is approved after the Banner Web registration period has ended, CCI will inform you and the Registrar’s office of your internship’s acceptance. The Registrar's Office will then register you for the internship and drop you from the course in which you initially registered, creating a space for another interested student.

How do I opt out of Winter Term if I don't want to take a class or internship for credit?

Students who elect not to participate in winter term MUST still participate in winter term registration by enrolling in the No-Credit, “Opt-Out” option. Students registering for this No-Credit option will not receive academic credit during winter term and will not be eligible to remain on campus. This option is not available to students who are participating in their first winter term, i.e., students who entered Middlebury in the Spring or Fall of 2016. Students participating as a member of a Middlebury College winter team sport MUST be enrolled in an academic credit-bearing course during winter term.

Remember, credit is not required for many internships.  The value of the experience is also in the opportunity and education that you receive—not just in the credit.  If you do not need the credit and do not need to stay on campus in January, you may want to “Opt Out” and participate in a non-credit bearing internship.

Where do I find information about available internships?

One way to find a J-term internship is to visit Handshake. Remember, an internship you see listed there is not automatically approved for credit. Securing the internship for J-term is the first step; getting credit for it is a separate process. Please read this entire web site and FAQs to understand the process.

In addition, students are encouraged to create their own internships. For more information, go to How to Find an Internship.

If you’d like some help in finding an internship, schedule an appointment with a career advisor in your interest area by visiting go/cci and click on Talk to an Advisor. You can also get started by dropping by to talk with a Peer Career Advisor (PCA) during Quick Questions in Adirondack House and various other locations on campus.  Visit go/cci for times and locations.  No appointment necessary for Quick Questions. 

What have J-Term interns done in the past?

The following is a list of student internships during the last several Winter Terms. Read and explore to get some ideas of what you might want to do! Open the spreadsheet and you can sort by student name, employer, location and industry to learn about hundreds of internships. Questions: contact us.

View the list of past J-Term internships here.

What is the EMT internship?

The EMT Winter Term internship is an intensive month long internship for which students receive 1 academic credit and a 1 PE credit. Please attend the EMT information session on Wednesday September 21, 2016 from 6:30-7:30 PM in Coltrane Lounge to learn more about the program. Please email Hannah Benz with questions.

What is the status of the Porter Internship?

Begun in 1978, the Porter Winter Term Internship has, for generations of Middlebury College students, been a popular introduction to a myriad of health professions. Like most small, independent hospitals, Porter has been facing mounting financial and staffing challenges, and the decision was made to suspend the January 2017 Porter Internship This was a difficult decision for the hospital to make, but with staff stretched thin and recent provider turnover, it was deemed best to push pause at this time. We are in the process of exploring how students can obtain limited shadowing opportunities over the course of the academic year, and we will post this information shortly. In the meantime, we ask that you not reach out to any Porter provider directly as there are a number of protocols that need to be followed in order for a student to shadow in the hospital. Doing so could jeopardize our affiliation agreement with Porter and result in termination of this beneficial relationship. Please email Hannah Benz with questions.

Can I get credit for an internship done while studying abroad?

An increasing number of internship opportunities that award academic credit are possible for students in Middlebury College Study Abroad Programs through the Clarence and Anne Dillon Dunwalke Trust. Check with the office of International Programs and Off-Campus Study for specific details and eligibility requirements.

If you are receiving an additional 5th credit during your Fall or Spring semester abroad, you are not eligible to do a Winter Term internship for credit since you would already be receiving a credit for Winter Term 2016.  You may, however, still do an internship.  Please check with the International Programs and Off-Campus Study Office if you are unsure. 

Can international students pursue Winter Term internships?

Yes. Depending on where the internship will take place, you may need to take additional actions.

If you plan to do the internship in the U.S. and you are in F-1 student status*, you will need Curricular Practical Training (CPT) employment authorization. For CPT, the winter term internship must earn academic credit and must be related to your major field of study. If CCI notifies you that your internship has been approved by the Curriculum Committee, you will need to apply to International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) for CPT authorization. See here for more information about CPT eligibility, and contact ISSS ( if you have additional questions. 

*For international students not in F-1 status, contact ISSS to explore if you are eligible to pursue an internship in the U.S.

For internships outside the U.S., you will need to determine whether you will require a particular visa status or employment authorization to pursue the opportunity in your home country or in another non-U.S. location.  

Can I live on campus if I do a winter term internship in the local area?

Yes, you may live on campus, but you must be getting academic credit for the internship. This means you must obtain your internship and submit your internship for credit application by the November 11, 2016 deadline.  If your internship is approved by the Curriculum Committee, you will be approved to live on campus.  If you are doing a local internship not-for-credit and “opt out” of Winter Term, you may not live on campus.   

Can I be paid during a WT internship?

No, Winter Term internships for academic credit are unpaid experiences, although it is allowable for students to receive a stipend from their internship provider to help pay for their living expenses. 

Is there funding available for winter term internships?

Sorry, there is no funding available for Winter Term internships unless specifically noted in Handshake.

If your credit-bearing internship involves cross-cultural and/or international community service, advocacy, and/or activism, you may eligible for a CCI Cross-Cultural Community Fund $500 travel grant or the Mini-Grant Program. More information is available at Community Engagement’s Funding Page.

CCI does provide funding for unpaid summer internships. Click here to learn more.

Where's the application and how do I apply for a credit-bearing Winter Term internship?

To apply for a credit-bearing Winter Term internship, the student will submit or ensure that the following forms are submitted. 

1) Application for Winter Term Internship Credit (STUDENT SUBMITS)
2) Assumption of Risk and Code of Conduct Form (STUDENT SUBMITS)
3) Intern Sponsor Agreement Form (INTERNSHIP SUPERVISOR SUBMITS)– send this link to your internship supervisor
4) Academic Sponsor Approval Form (ACADEMIC SPONSOR SUBMITS) – send this link to the faculty member who will serve as your academic sponsor 

What if I still have questions?

We are providing Winter Term Information Sessions on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016 from 4:30-5:30 pm in Coltrane Lounge or Monday, Oct. 3, 2016 from 12:30-1:30 pm in Coltrane Lounge for those who would like more information. These are not required.  If you’d like to talk over your application or have additional questions, please make an appointment with the CCI advisor in your interest area (go/cci, and click on meet your advisors) or drop by Quick Questions to meet with a Peer Career Advisor at CCI Monday-Friday 1:30-3:30 pm, Wednesday evenings at Anderson Freeman Center from 7:30-9:30 pm, Thursday evenings at Crossroads Cafe from 7:30-9:30 pm and Sunday evenings at Davis Library from 7:30-9:30 pm. For more general information about the for-credit or application process, please contact Cheryl Whitney Lower, Associate Director of Internships & Early Engagement. For information about the faculty member’s role, appropriate academic work in connection with internships, and grading of such work, contact Suzanne Gurland, Dean of Curriculum.