Internship Guidelines

Biology Internship Program

The objectives of our internship program reflect the overall objectives established by the University of Central Arkansas Cooperative Education Program.  Biology internships provide students “real world” experiences, allowing the application of theories learned in the classroom to a job setting.  Internships may also provide learning opportunities not available in the Biology Department curriculum.  Internships aid students in choosing career paths and developing career goals prior to graduation.  These can be paid or non paid experiences.

Participating students enroll in the course Internship in Biology (BIOL 3__45) for 1 to 4 credit hours.  These hours will count towards helping the student meet the university-wide requirement of having 40 general upper division hours prior to graduation*.  This is a credit/no credit based course.

To enroll in BIOL 3_45, the student must submit a well-written proposal, describing the internship, to a committee of biology faculty for approval (Biology Internship Committee).  For committee approval the internship must clearly provide rigorous learning opportunities that cannot be obtained in one of the listed biology courses. While a student may receive 1-4 hours of credit, it is rare for more than 3 credit hours to be awarded.  Credit cannot be awarded for merely shadowing a professional; the student must clearly demonstrate the internship experience extends beyond observation.  Each student enrolled in Internship in Biology must identify a Biology Department faculty member who agrees to function as Internship Advisor.  The Internship Advisor is responsible for establishing, with the student, the assessment of the internship and is generally the facilitator of the experience with the student and assigns a grade.  Every student enrolled in BIOL 3_45 may be required to present their internship experience.  

Application Process:

Additional Requirements:

  • GPA of at least 2.5
  • Must have completed 60 hrs of coursework prior to the start of the internship
  • Must be enrolled in Internship in Biology during the semester of the experience
  • Must have a mentor/internship advisor within the Biology Department
  • Sign up for My Interface through Cooperative Education in Bernard Hall 318
  • Completion of application form (with signed approval of faculty advisor/mentor)
    • Credit hours requested
    • Objectives/purpose
    • Full description of internship:  how set up, type, daily tasks, how objectives accomplished
    • Educational benefits:  what is unique about the experience that cannot be received in the classroom and how will this help you achieve career goals
    • Assessment (established by internship advisor and student):  description of how performance will be assessed/evaluated for each objective (such as presentations, journal, paper or case study, professional exam, or custom tool developed by mentor/student).
  • Presentation of internship experience near end of semester.

Note:  Students that wish to be notified of local internship opportunities with companies seeking Biology, Environmental Science, and Chem majors may want to contact the Cooperative Education Dept (Bernard 318) to sign up for info and notifications.

The Medical Internship with Dr. Fleischer (BIOL 3245) described below may count towards the biology elective credit hour requirement for a Biology degree.


Students should begin planning no later than the advising period of the previous semester/term (students wishing to do an internship in spring semester must be make plans by mid-Fall semester and many summer internships require application during Fall semester).  A link to a printable guideline handout can be found here: Internship info sheet.

Application deadlines:          Spring – Dec 1

                                             Summer – Apr 15*

                                             Fall – Aug 1

*Applications may be accepted after the Apr 15 deadline for summer in the event that knowledge or acceptance of the internship is learned after the deadline has passed.  However, the student must provide justification for late submission.


  • The number of credits (1-4) is determined based on the type of internship and work/time it requires.  For most, 2-3 credit hours are appropriate.
  • The general rule is that one credit hour is worth at least 3 hours/week of effort by the student.

Medical internship (see additional information below)


Those students pursuing the field of medicine as a career have the option of taking an internship course (BIOL 3245 Medical Internship), a one semester course that reviews the intricacies of the practice of medicine.  This internship is facilitated by Dr. Anthony Manning, M.D. from Conway Regional Health Systems.

Course Description:

  • Students will spend a minimum of 3 hours each week learning the details of clinical medicine.
  • Students will rotate regularly with private practice physicians in Conway, Arkansas in a variety of specialties.
  • Students will be expected to develop critical thinking skills that will allow them to apply their knowledge to hypothetical situations regarding wellness and disease.
  • Participating students are eligible to receive up to 2 hours of general upper division credit in Biology for this course.


  • This course is open to students who have accumulated at least 60 hours of college credit, maintained a GPA of at least 3.25, and are seriously considering medicine as a career.
  • Recommended prerequisites: BIOL 2405 or equivalent (e.g., BIOL 2406, BIOL 4460, BIOL 4430).
  • Admittance will be determined by the course director and a brief interview is required.
  • To apply contact Dr. Hill or Dr. Manning and be prepared to submit (1) one reference name of a faculty member of the UCA College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, (2) a current transcript, and (3) a written statement of career goals.

Examples of Internship Opportunities:

To look for internship opportunities for biology and environmental science majors, check out the bulletin board near Lewis Science 153 and go to Job Opportunities and More.

To see other internship opportunities go to UCA Career Services