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Internship and Work Experience Requirements

BBA Internship Requirement

All Texas BBA students are required to successfully complete a professional internship as part of their degree requirements. The internship should enhance the student’s ability to achieve their personal career objectives. Students must work a minimum of 160 internship hours over the course of at least six weeks. Students conducting fall or spring semester internships must take courses at The University of Texas at Austin concurrently; therefore internships during the fall or spring semesters are required to be in the Austin metro area. This is in alignment with The University of Texas at Austin’s 4 year graduation goals.

Employer Responsibilities

  • Employers must provide the student intern with the name and email address of their immediate supervisor.
  • The student's internship supervisor must report the following through the system generated survey: start date, end date, and total hours worked.
  • Students must work a minimum of 160 hours in a six week period to be eligible for course credit.

Intended Outcomes

  • Opportunities for students to put their academic learning into practice
  • Integrated learning about how specific projects relate to larger business goals
  • Greater understanding of business processes
  • Increased professional skills
  • Enhanced ability to recognize preferences and abilities and match them with appropriate career-related choices.

Internship Criteria

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) provides the following internship definition and criteria. More Info: NACE Internships An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.

NACE Seven Criteria for Internships

  • The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
  • The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
  • The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
  • There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework.
  • There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
  • There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.
  • There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.

Non-Eligible Opportunities

  • Self-employment
  • Work performed in the student's family-owned or family-managed business
  • Remote employment (e.g. telecommuting, door-to-door sales; students must work in a professional business setting)
  • Participation in a political campaign or lobbying effort (Working for a seated public representative is eligible.)

Academic Credit for Internships

Decisions regarding whether or not a student will be able to receive academic credit for an internship are made at the academic departmental level, not at the university level. The student is responsible for initiating the application for academic credit with the academic department.


Employers with questions about the BBA internship requirement, please contact Shannon Hickson.

MPA Internships

MPA students have the option to intern during the spring and/or summer semesters. Graduate internship credit is granted for the completion of at least 320 hours of work that requires regular and rigorous use of knowledge and skills learned in the MPA program.

Internships for Students Taking the Traditional MPA Approach

Students taking the traditional approach to the MPA are not required to complete an internship.  Approximately one-third of students taking the traditional approach elect to intern.  Recruiting typically takes place in the fall for students taking the traditional approach.

Internships for Students Taking the Integrated MPA Approach

Students taking the integrated approach to the MPA (BBA+MPA) are required to complete a professional internship.  Internship recruiting generally occurs during a student’s first year in the MPA program, which is typically their junior year.  The internship usually occurs during the spring semester of a student’s second year in the MPA program, which is typically their senior year.

Fall Internships

Some industry and public accounting firms offer fall internships.  The length of fall internships varies.

Spring Internships

Most spring internships are completed with public accounting firms and typically last eight weeks.  Students in the Financial Reporting and Assurance Track work as interns during the first half of the semester.  Students in the Tax Track work as interns during the last half of the semester.  During the spring semester, students complete two intensive courses pre- or post-internship.

Summer Internships

Summer internships are predominately completed in industry.  The length of summer internships varies.

MBA Work Experience Requirement

The work experience requirement embraces McCombs’ philosophy that MBA students learn better when the educational experience encompasses both theory and practice. The work experience requirement is designed to give students an opportunity to utilize and build on the foundational skills that comprise the Core curriculum in conjunction with their elective courses.  As full-time MBA students engage in experiential learning, they will develop new skills and can demonstrate relevant expertise to prospective and sponsoring employers while completing their degree. Students also can use these work opportunities to make more informed career choices having had a chance to work in the area of interest for a limited period of time.
MBA students may fulfill the Work Experience requirement through the successful completion of one of the following curricular or co-curricular options:

  • A summer internship (this may be paid or unpaid and must be a minimum of six weeks)
  • MBA+ Leadership Program consulting project (this must be a minimum of six weeks)
  • An approved MBA Practicum, academic fellowship, program or course with an extensive work experience component; current pre-approved programs include: Venture Fellows, Marketing Fellows, MBA Investment Fund, REIT Fund, Social Enterprise Program, Curtis Meadows Junior Enterprise Fellow

Page last updated: 5/16/2013