Launch: Internship Information for Students

As a biological sciences or environmental sciences major, we encourage you to think broadly when considering an internship or an off-campus research experience. There are many different types of relevant professional development opportunities available to you.

Below is some general information that may provide you with answers to initial questions you may have about finding an internship or summer research program opportunity and what you need to do to explore if this experience may be applied towards earning BIOL or INES academic credit.

For more information on where to look for an internship or summer research program opportunity we encourage you to visit our Internship and Summer Research Program Resource pages.

Before starting an internship or a non-Marquette summer research program experience, students should apply through the Launch internship approval application form to seek approval of their internship opportunity as a BIOL/INES credit bearing internship.

  • What internships qualify for academic credit?
  • How do I find an internship or summer research program?
  • Student eligibility requirements
  • How do I earn academic credit for my internship?
  • What research experiences qualify for earning internship credit?

Internships that qualify for the academic credit through the Launch Internship Program are opportunities that allow a student to investigate a career related to the biological sciences in depth. The experience must have clearly defined learning objectives/goals that are related to the professional goals of the biological sciences and/or environmental studies student. Internships may be part-time or full-time.

  • Internships can be completed during an academic semester (i.e. Fall or Spring) or during the summer months.
  • Part-time and summer internships require a minimum of 12-15 hours per week and must complete 140 working hours within one semester or summer period. Students must complete BIOL/INES 3986 (0 cr.) concurrently with their part-time or summer internship.

  • Full-time internships during the fall or spring semester are also possible (i.e. co-ops) and these require 30-40 hours per week for a total of 450 hours/semester. Students are not permitted to be enrolled in academic courses at Marquette or other academic institutions during their co-op semester and maintain their full-time student status during this period by enrolling in BIOL/INES 3987 (0 cr.).

  • Students with an approved internship (BIOL/INES 3986) or co-op experience (BIOL/INES 3987) can enroll in an elective course (BIOL 4987 - Applying the internship experience) to earn academic credit (3 cr.).

If you are hoping to use your internship position towards fulfilling requirements for academic credit, the internship position needs to be preapproved, i.e. before you start on the internship. To seek approval for your internship, you should work closely with the Internship Program Director and formally complete the Launch Internship Program Application. Note the application process will require you to submit the formal job description for your internship opportunity and to provide the name and contact details for your future internship supervisor. 

Students are encouraged to independently arrange their internships or to apply to summer research program opportunities.

Some internship options are posted on Marquette’s student job/internship posting platform Handshake or on our Internship & Summer Program Resources page, but students are free to seek opportunities beyond those listed there.

If you are seeking ideas for summer research programs to apply too, check out our Internship & Summer Program Resources page and the many valuable resources listed there.

Also make sure to put some thought into your applications. If applying for internships, schedule time in to work with the Career Services Center to perfect your resume and cover letters.

If you are applying to a summer research program opportunity at another university or research institution, please seek advice and direction from your faculty adviser or existing research mentor, as you prepare your applications. Please note also, many, if not all, of these opportunities will require letters of recommendations submitted by faculty (e.g. instructors, advisers, research mentors) on your behalf. Please plan ahead and give faculty sufficient time to write these letters.

Need more help? Contact the Launch Internship Program Director or the program assistant to get started.

  • The student is a full-time and degree seeking Marquette student with a major in the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Arts & Sciences. These majors include Biological Sciences, Bioinformatics, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Environmental Studies, Environmental Sciences and Physiological Sciences. 
  • The student is making satisfactory progress towards their major in the Department of Biological Sciences, has completed 50 credits towards their degree, and is in good academic standing.
  • The student must apply for the Launch Internship Program online. The student’s internship or non-Marquette summer research program must be preapproved for BIOL/INES credit by the Launch Internship Program Director, and this approval must be obtained before starting the internship or research program.

The Launch Internship Program offers a mechanism for students to earn academic credit for their preapproved internships and non-Marquette summer research program experiences through completion of BIOL/INES 3986/3987 (0 cr.) and BIOL/INES 4987 (3 cr.) course combinations.

To earn academic credit for an internship or summer research program experience, students are required to:

  1. Apply to the Launch Internship Program online and talk to the Internship Director to receive pre-approval for your internship. 
  2. Register for and successfully complete BIOL/INES 3986 (Part-Time Internship - 0 cr.) or BIOL/INES 3987 (Full-Time Internship / co-op - 0 cr.) during the semester (or summer) of the internship, co-op experience or research program.

    Note: completion of BIOL/INES 3986 or BIOL/INES 3987 allows the internship experience to show on the student’s transcript - regardless of whether they subsequently opt for earning academic credit through completion of BIOL/INES 4987.

    Note: BIOL/INES 3987 is only used for students pursuing a full-time co-op internship experience during an academic semester. Registering for this course allows students to maintain their full-time student status when they are away from campus during their co-op experience.

    Successful completion of BIOL/INES 3986 (or BIOL/INES 3987) course requires students to complete:
    • 140 hr. (BIOL/INES 3986) or 450 hr. (BIOL/INES 3987) of internship work (and documented on supervisor signed time logs)
    • Compute a Learning Agreement form and SMART goal setting
    • Mid-point and final performance reviews
    • Reflection essays
  3. Students must register for and successfully complete BIOL/INES 4987 - Applying the Internship Experience (3 cr.) as this course is the credit-bearing aspect of their internship experience. The BIOL/INES 4987 course may be taken concurrently with their internship or in the semester directly following their internship. This weekly 1-hour, 3 cr. seminar provides students with career preparedness education and opportunities for reflection and communication on the internship experience.

Will my internship credit count towards my major?

For students majoring in Biological Sciences (BSCI) completion of the BIOL 4987 – Applying the Internship Experience course will fulfill EITHER one of the three required BIOL lab electives OR one of the three required BIOL mastery level electives

For Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BIMB) majors, the completion of the BIOL 4987 – Applying the Internship Experience course can count towards one of your required electives for this major.

For Physiological Sciences (PHSC) majors, the BIOL 4987 – Applying the Internship Experience course can count towards fulfillment of the BIOL mastery level elective requirement

For Environmental Studies (INES) students must complete either a credit bearing internship or independent research study experience. INES 4987 – Applying the Internship Experience counts as this credit bearing internship experience.  

For Bioinformatics (INBI) majors, completion of the BIOL/INES 4987 – Applying the Internship Experience course can count towards your required BIOL/INES elective for this major.

For Environmental Sciences majors, completion of the BIOL/INES 4987 – Applying the Internship Experience course can count towards your required BIOL/INES elective for this major.

If you are performing a non-Marquette faculty mentored research experience i.e. at a university or research institution other than Marquette, e.g. as a participant of a formal summer research program, or a semester-long research experience at a neighboring institution, e.g. Medical College of Wisconsin, you can apply through the Launch Internship program to have these experiences approved towards earning BIOL or INES internship credit through the BIOL/INES 3986(H) (0 cr) mechanism. Following successful completion of BIOL/INES 3986 (H), you would be eligible to enroll in BIOL/4987(H) (3 cr) - Applying the Internship Experience course in a subsequent semester.

If you are participating in our Department of Biological Sciences summer research program, you will have the option to complete BIOL 9002(H) (0 cr) during the summer. Following successful completion of BIOL/INES 9002(H) you may be eligible to earn academic credit by enrolling in either BIOL 4956(H) (3 cr) or BIOL 4987(H) (3 cr) in the subsequent Fall semester.

Please note that performing research with faculty mentor in the Department of Biological Sciences during a regular academic semester is not considered an “internship” and thus is not eligible for BIOL/INES 3986 (0 cr). However, you should speak with your faculty mentor about the possibility of earning research credit for this valuable experience by registering for a BIOL 4956(H) (3 cr) independent research study.

For more information on research opportunities in the Department of Biological Sciences and our summer research program – visit our undergraduate research website.


For more information about the Launch Program and the requirements to earn academic credit for your internship, contact:

Dr. Rosemary Stuart
Launch Internship Director

Wehr Life Sciences, 309