Santa Clara University

Career Center


Most internships that are posted for Santa Clara students are paid.

Hourly wages for interns vary according to the student’s experience, academic level, and the particular field or discipline of the internship.

The average pay rate for most undergraduate internships is $10-14 an hour, often higher for technical students, finance/accounting majors, or for students with extensive work experience.

Unpaid Internships

Employers are encouraged to offer paid internships that are compensated with an hourly wage for all hours worked.

Research has shown that “students with paid internships spend a greater percentage of their time on professional tasks than their fellow students serving unpaid internships,” according to results of the NACE 2011 Student Survey.

To post an unpaid internship, please review the following:

U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division: The Test for Unpaid Interns

“The following six criteria have been established for identifying an intern who must be unpaid:

  1. The training, even though it includes actual operation of the employer’s facilities, is similar to training that would be given in a vocational school.
  2. The training is for the benefit of the student.
  3. The student does not displace regular employees, but works under the close supervision of a regular employee.
  4. The employer provides the training and derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the student. Occasionally, the operations may actually be impeded by the training.
  5. The student is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period.
  6. The employer and the student understand that the student is not entitled to wages for the time spent training.

According to the Department of Labor, all six requirements must be satisfied in order for an intern to be deemed a non-employee trainee [and therefore be unpaid].” February 2010 NACE Journal

Unpaid internships may have value for students if the duties and responsibilities, learning objectives and outcomes, and committed supervision are of the highest quality.

Employers are encouraged to limit hours required for unpaid internships to less than 20 hours during the summer so that students may concurrently have a part-time job or another internship which is paid. Recruiting interns for a 40-hour-per-week unpaid summer internship will yield limited success.

Credit Internships

Very few internships posted for Santa Clara students require that they earn credit.

If an employer requires that a student receive credit for the internship, then the student may be able to accommodate that request if he/she enrolls in an internship seminar during the academic year or arranges an independent study with a professor during the summer.

Hold Harmless Agreements

Under no circumstances will a member of Santa Clara University sign a Hold Harmless Agreement. Employers who request these documents will need to make an exception to this custom when recruiting our students.

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