SJSU iSchool Professors Outline the Details of Enrolling in an Internship

iStudent Blog

Published: November 30, 2016

Why do an internship? Well not just because SJSU School of Information Director Dr. Sandra Hirsh recommends that you do in her director’s forums but because internships offer a great way to gain valuable work experience, expand your professional network and have valuable references for future job applications.

Plus, did you know that many internships turn into jobs and many interns get paid more because of their on-the-job experience? At a recent internship orientation iSchool professors Dr. Bill Fisher, Dr. Lisa Daulby and Dr. Linda Main highlighted the details and procedures of applying for, enrolling in and doing an internship.

Getting Starting: Understanding How Internship Credits Work
How do you sign up? First, read the handbook. Internships are courses just like anything else, and you’ll get your units just the same. The internship begins and ends within the same date as the semester. Internships are offered in two (about 90 hours of work) and three units (about 135 hours), though MARA students will automatically take three. More information about MARA internships can be found in the MARA internship handbook.

Check out the Internship Checklist
Fisher, Daulby and Main all stressed the importance of using the internships checklist, which outlines the internship process in detail:

  • Assess your eligibility
  • Select, negotiate and apply for the internship with the site supervisor
  • Apply through the iSchool
  • Contact site supervisor
  • Register with approval code

Understand Internship Requirements for Your Program (MARA and MLIS)
The course requirements for doing an internship are slightly different for MLIS and MARA students, but all students participating in internships need to have a 3.0 GPA. MLIS students are required to have completed core courses Info 200, 202 and 204 plus nine additional elective units. MARA students have to have completed 200, 204 and six advanced courses. Be aware that some internships require specific courses, so make sure that you have those requirements fulfilled as well.

Identify the Type of Internships Available
Similar to the SJSU iSchool’s online coursework, internships are also available in a virtual environment—meaning you don’t have to physically show up. The iSchool also has connections with various organizations that have on-site internships, including the Los Angeles Public Library, which has an extensive list of requirements in addition to those of the iSchool. Internships are also classified as archival and non-archival. When browsing the database for an internship, you can select these options at the top of the page. If a student is interested and qualifies for an on-site internship that is non-archival, they report to Dr. Fisher and get their approval code from him. All virtual internship students and those with archival internships (on-site and virtual) will report to Dr. Main and get the approval code through her. MARA internship students report to Dr. Daulby.

Enrolling and Planning Your Learning Outcomes
Before getting the approval code and registering through the School of Information, you will need to apply for the internship with the site supervisor, just like you do for a real job. Once  you are accepted to the internship, you will need to coordinate with your site supervisor to write out a draft of the learning outcomes for the work you will do. Use the iSchool’s course competencies and learning outcomes to  make sure that you are thorough and precise in order to make the process as smooth as possible and be granted approval by the reviewer.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Internships
During the internship orientation, professors Daulby, Fisher and Main gave students a short list of do’s and don’ts for a successful internship experience.


  • Report through Canvas to designated discussion boards and submit any necessary logs, reports, evidence or documentation. These assignments, as well as a final report are required.
  • Take Info 256 Archives and Manuscripts before doing an archival internship. It is not required, but highly recommended.
  • Be active on your Canvas internship to be successful.
  • Evaluate the internship site at the end of the semester.
  • Act like a responsible and hard-working employee and a representative of the SJSU School of Information.



  • Start working until the appropriate faculty member has approved your application and give you a permission number to register.


Ready to enter the big, wide world of information professions? Get your foot in the door and earn credit by doing an internship through the SJSU iSchool.


For further reading, be sure to read some of these articles:
Core Competencies at the iSchool Build the Foundation for a Successful Career

The iSchool’s Research Journal, Spotlighted by Editor-in-Cheif Tamarack Hockin

Research Writing Advice from SJSU iSchool Experts

image courtesy of smarnad


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