Internships are an important complement to a sustainability degree because they help students select appropriate green careers, provide opportunity for the practical application of classroom concepts and enhance employment prospects. They are especially important for students in the sustainability program in that they give insight into sustainability practices outside of the academic setting.Sustainability Connect
Finding a sustainability internship
Finding an internship requires preparation and commitment, so if you would like to complete one or are required to for your capstone, plan to begin your search 2-4 months in advance. The Internship & Experiential Education Specialist is available as a resource for you throughout the entire internship process.
Overview of internships & opportunities
All School of Sustainability students are encouraged to pursue sustainability internships during their academic career.
Internships range in focus from environmental science to business, and are an important complement to a sustainability degree as they allow students to apply classroom theories to real-life situations.
These professional development opportunities can also help students determine whether their desired green career is a good match and to find the best job for their sustainability degree. Students who have completed an internship tend to have a competitive edge when searching for professional positions after graduation.
Read on for more information about the internships students in the sustainability program have completed with corporations, non-profits/NGOs and government agencies across both the nation and world.
The pages below may answer many of your questions about internship opportunities in the School of Sustainability. You are also highly encouraged to schedule an appointment with the Internship & Experiential Education Specialist to discuss your specific interests and questions.
Community partner resources
Do you want to bring sustainability students onto your team with internship opportunities?
Looking to hire an intern?
The School of Sustainability welcomes community partners who wish to help students pursuing a sustainability degree to connect with professional development experiences. Interested businesses and organizations should contact the Internship & Experiential Education Specialist for dedicated guidance and support through the process.
For more information refer to our Community Partner Guide to Internships
Looking to hire a Sustainability graduate?
We also have a dedicated Recruitment Development & Corporate Relations Associate to assist you in your search. Our sustainability majors bring unique knowledge in areas such as corporate sustainability, waste stream issues, energy strategy, project management, food systems, education, communication/marketing/PR and community development.
For more information visit our Recruiters and Employers page on how you can hire our graduates.
Credit for a sustainability internship
After securing an internship, you may be eligible to register for undergraduate- or graduate-level internship credit. Please note that internship credit is currently only available to undergraduate majors or graduate students in the School of Sustainability.
Sustainability minors and other majors with a concentration in Sustainability should discuss credit options with their academic advisor.
Click here to schedule an appointment
Frequently asked internship questions
The School of Sustainability Internship & Experiential Education Specialist screens each internship very carefully to make sure it fits our academic requirements. Please refer to the Undergraduate Internship Handbook for specific details on what defines an internship. In general, an experience will probably qualify as an internship if the student’s work allows him/her to participate in substantive sustainability-related activities that are carried out in a professional setting under the guidance of a mentor. In addition, the intern’s work should make a meaningful contribution to the agency, organization or company.
If you have secured an internship through a source other than SustainabilityConnect , please contact the Internship & Experiential Education Specialist as soon as possible to begin the review process.
The short answer is yes. School of Sustainability students may earn either SOS 484 or SOS 584 credit towards graduation requirements. Please refer to the Undergraduate Internship Handbook for detailed information on credit hours, grading and options.
Depending on the catalog year, sustainability undergraduate students may either be required to do a capstone internship, or be allowed to pursue an internship as one of their capstone options. You should review your program’s capstone requirements and discuss them with your academic advisor if you are uncertain what your degree requires. All undergraduate students have the option of pursuing an internship for elective credit at any time.
Graduate students in the Master’s in Sustainable Solutions degree program have the option of completing their capstone through an internship. All sustainability graduate students also have the option to pursue an internship for elective credit. Please discuss your plans ahead of time with the Graduate Academic Success Coordinator.
Internships provide hands-on, practical experience in a professional setting. An internship allows you the opportunity to apply knowledge gained through lectures and coursework to real-life situations, all while enhancing your classroom education and preparing you for the professional world. Each semester, we receive positive feedback from students who say that their internship was an essential part of their education, and who thank us for requiring it.
Before beginning an internship, you should commit to a certain number of hours. The minimum required for School of Sustainability credit is 135 worked hours for undergraduate students and 160 worked hours for graduate students.
There is an academic course component to the internship credit. In addition to the work you are doing at the internship site, you are completing assignments and participating in a course similar to other ASU classes. You receive a grade which counts in your GPA.
Significant resources are devoted to internships. The Internship & Experiential Education Specialist is involved in all student internships from beginning to end. The coordinator advises students, evaluates sustainability internships, develops internship opportunities and information, reviews internship agreements, checks pre-requisites and registers students for necessary courses, and conducts site visits and evaluations. In addition, the specialist maintains contact with students and supervisors through e-mail, telephone, written reports and evaluations. When the semester comes to a close, the specialist reviews all materials submitted by students and supervisors, conducts interviews as needed and assigns grades.
We have found that students who try to complete an internship during their first semester at ASU are not as successful in their classes or the internship itself. Our internship providers also expect a certain level of sustainability knowledge, which typically comes after taking at least one semester of coursework in the sustainability program. Therefore, undergraduate students may register for internship credit only after completing SOS 110 and 111, as well as at least one semester at ASU. Graduate students may register for internship credit after completing SOS 510.
Students planning to register for Undergraduate Capstone or MSUS Capstone will have additional pre-requisites in place. Please work with the Internship and Experiential Education Specialist to determine eligibility.
After you have found an internship, begin the registration process by contacting the Internship & Experiential Education Specialist. You will need to complete all of the required forms with your internship supervisor and return them to the School of Sustainability in order to receive an override for either SOS 484 or SOS 584.
- Reflection: To help direct your internship search, reflect on what you hope to gain from an internship, what type of setting and experience you would like, and how much time you are able to commit. Meet with the Internship & Experiential Education Specialist early to explore the types of sustainability internships and green careers that exist so you know what your options are.
- Resume: A resume is a tool to tell a prospective employer or internship host about yourself and your interests. The resume you use to pursue a sustainability internship should emphasize experience relevant to the type of internship you seek. Whether you are interested in urban planning, green business or international development, make sure to list all course, class project, volunteer activity and employment history information. The School of Sustainability offers students help with resumes in one-on-one appointments and workshops. ASU’s Career Services also offers excellent resources for preparing a resume: See resume information online .
- Credit requirements: Internships relevant to sustainability may be eligible for undergraduate- or graduate-level credit.
- All internships that have been vetted and reviewed by the School of Sustainability are posted on SustainabilityConnect .
- Register for ASU’s Sun Devil Career Link . By completing this online registration, you can browse internship or job postings, upload your resume for employers to see and monitor opportunities as they are posted. Screen opportunities on Sun Devil Career Link carefully, and discuss them with the Internship & Experiential Education Specialist prior to accepting if you want to pursue them for credit.
- There are many other great resources (listed below) for sustainability-related internships and jobs on the local, national and international levels.
- Many students arrange internships independently. This may be achieved by contacting organizations where you have an interest in interning or through other connections. Before you contact a potential internship site, you should have a resume that clearly summarizes your experience. Also, refer to the Undergraduate Internship Handbook so you know what is required in order to earn credit for an internship and can explain this to a potential mentor. For more guidance on this approach, make an appointment with the Internship & Experiential Education Specialist.
Here are some additional resources to help you with your internship search. Remember, internships you find will still need to be approved for credit.
- Sustainability Job Search Resources . – These are mainly job sources, but many may be useful to the internshp search as well. This can be a good place to start.
- ASU Career Services Internship Resources – Numerous useful links to diverse organizations available on this site.
- ASU School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning
- Green Dream Jobs
- Orion Grassroots Network
- Sustainable Careers Environmental Internships
- Sierra Club Jobs and Internships
- College of Menominee Nation Sustainable Development Institute – The Sustainable Development Institute offers unique internship experiences to both College of Meominee Nation students and students from other schools (ASU School of Sustainability student has interned here.)
- Internships at the Clinton Foundation – Policy, leadership, education, food systems, climate/environment opportunities.
- White House Council on Environmental Quality
Where can I get advice for the next steps?
If you have questions about your resume, the internship search, a potential sustainability internship or another internship/experiential education topic, make an appointment with the Internship & Experiential Education Specialist using our online scheduling system .