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Winter Term Internships

Student Options for Winter Term

Students are required to earn Middlebury credits during two winter terms. All first-year students must enroll in a winter term course their first winter term at Middlebury. This includes both September and February matriculates. 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 courses will count toward the graduation requirement of 36 course credits.)

Students with 8 or more credits may submit a proposal to their faculty sponsor for on or off-campus winter term independent work either as a continuation of their major or minor or as work outside of their major or minor as long as:

  • You have not completed more than two units of winter term independent work; and
  • You have received the approval of the chair or director of that department or program in which the work will be completed

Students are not allowed to pursue independent projects during their first winter term.

Winter Term Internships

Internships involve significant, high-level exposure to and participation in the work of an established career. Mere by-standing is not sufficient, and a distinction is made between professional careers and work experience. In order for an internship application to be approved, the members of the Curriculum Committee must be convinced that the internship will provide the intern with either an opportunity to grow intellectually or a professional experience directly related to the intern's major or intended postgraduate career. Internships are available to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Routine office experience, clerical work, or the continuation of a summer job or internship is not suitable. According to Middlebury College policy, internships for academic credit are unpaid career experiences, although students may receive a stipend towards their living expenses and travel.

Credit toward Middlebury graduation requirements cannot be granted for internships done outside the time period of the winter term. Students applying for internships must be in good academic standing. A student may not repeat the same winter term internship for credit. A maximum of two internships may be taken during any student's four-year college career. A second internship must be substantially different from the first. Generally, the Curriculum Committee will not look favorably on an application that involves work in the same organization as an earlier internship, or work that involves repeated application of the same skills and experiences used in an internship previously completed.

Career Services has established a list of pre-approved internships undertaken by students in previous years, which will not require additional approval by the committee. Students interested in these internships, as well as in submitting those of their own design, should contact Career Services. Application for all internships must be made in writing to Career Services. The deadline for submitting applications to the Career Services for January 2012 internships is Friday, October 28, 2011.

Applications for internships other than those previously approved by the Curriculum Committee shall contain a clear and well-supported statement describing how the internship relates to the student's educational program. Proposals that involve the association of a student with a close relative will require clear evidence of educational merit. The relative may not function as the intern's supervisor. If the internship is to be undertaken in a foreign country, the committee will expect competence in the language of the country.

The work supervisor must provide a clear statement of the responsibilities of the intern and how the intern will be evaluated.

Internship proposals must be endorsed in advance by the student's faculty adviser and approved by Career Services in consultation with the Curriculum Committee. The faculty adviser's endorsement indicates the internship is viewed as appropriate to the student's educational objectives. All applications must also be endorsed by the member of the faculty or administrative staff who will serve as the academic sponsor of the internship. The academic sponsor will recommend a grade of credit or no credit on the basis of the intern's written work, either in the form of a journal or a substantial paper, determined in advance by the academic sponsor. The student shall also file a three-to-five-page summary report on the internship with Career Services. These reports will be made available on the Career Services Web site to be consulted by students considering internships in the future. An evaluation by the intern's supervisor is also required at the end of the internship in order to assure credit and posting to the intern's transcript.