Tuesday, April 16, 2024

These Colleges Have the Best Internship Programs (Seriously!)

Straight A’s are no longer the golden ticket to land your dream job. In fact, 70 percent of employers want candidates with real-world skills — that’s why internships are so important. 💼

So what needs to be done? The first step is to choose colleges with the best internship programs handpicked by college presidents and deans from over 1,500 institutions. ✨

1. Northeastern University

Northeastern’s track record speaks for itself, having secured the leading position for co-op and internships in the nation for four consecutive years (2020-2023). 🥇

Its triumph in experiential learning is its pioneering cooperative education program where students immerse themselves in a chosen field for an extended period, often exceeding six months. 

Not only that, Northeastern also has over 30 fraternities for those seeking a close-knit community. And did we mention the hefty research grants?

The university receives generous funding from government bodies every year, allowing students to engage in groundbreaking research and innovation. 🔬

📍Location: Boston, MA
🏫Acceptance Rate: 5.6 percent
💰Average Cost: $81,472 per year

2. Drexel University

Want to gain valuable on-the-job experience while still in school? Set yourself apart from the competition with internship opportunities and co-op programs at Drexel.  

The best part: most co-ops at the university are paid. Earn while you learn and start your career with a solid financial foundation. The average salary a Drexel student takes home from these co-ops is more than $16,000! 😯

female college student working as a law firm intern while reviewing legal paperwork with a lawyer
Drexel empowers students to shape their future careers while making meaningful contributions to the professional world. Photo:Pompjaideaw/Depositphotos 

Drexel collaborates with government bodies, non-profits, and human rights organizations to provide students with incredible internships and entry-level job opportunities. 🤩

📍Location: Philadelphia, PA
🏫Acceptance Rate: 77 percent 
💰Average Cost: $58,293 per year

3. Georgia Institute of Technology

Kickstart your career alongside industry titans and government leaders through the Graduate Internship Program at Georgia Tech.

The school’s Global Research and Internship Program offers students international experience, while their five-year co-op programs include multiple semesters of combining academic studies with practical work experience. 🌍

Georgia Tech internship programs can be paid, unpaid, or partially compensated through a stipend. Know which one you need to apply for based on your financial status. 💲

In an effort for inclusivity, the university also guides disabled students enrolled in its Expanding Career, Education, and Leadership (EXCEL) program to find internships.

📍Location: Atlanta, GA 
🏫Acceptance Rate: 36 percent 
💰Average Cost: $49,696 per year

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The class of 2022 at MIT graduated with a bang! A whopping 42 percent of students landed their dream job offers thanks to their internship or externship adventures.

The Momentum program immerses interns in hands-on, real-world problem-solving. Meanwhile, the Materials Science and Engineering Department provides a variety of industry research internships, each spanning two ten-week periods. 🧑‍🔬

female and male college students working on their robotic projects inside a laboratory
Experience innovation in action through the exceptional internship opportunities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Photo: nd3000/Depositphotos

Meanwhile, the MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) push students to collaborate with leading companies and cutting-edge research labs around the globe.

And the cherry on top? MIT covers all expenses, including airfare for selected internships, making it even more accessible for you. ✈️

📍Location: Cambridge, MA
🏫Acceptance Rate: 5.74 percent 
💰Average Cost: $82,730 per year

5. University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati has impressive connections with big companies like P&G and NBC’s Today Show. 

Working with and learning from major players in your field can give you the experience you need to stand out from other job candidates. 💪

a group of female and male college students working as interns inside a network television studio
UC’s internship programs are designed to empower students with hands-on skills and valuable insights, providing a launchpad for future careers. Photo: NewAfrica/Depositphotos

There are programs fit for students more interested in academics, like the school’s summer research programs and the UC Forward (pairing students with faculty to discuss solutions for today’s problems).

📍Location: Cincinnati, OH
🏫Acceptance Rate: 85 percent 
💰Average Cost: $28,540 per year

6. Berea College

Students at Berea can pick from volunteering for nonprofits to enrolling in project-based micro-internships and international internship opportunities. 💪

For that last one, Berea College allows more than 50 percent of its students to travel abroad during college. International interns gain work experience in chosen fields while learning how to adapt to new cultures.

a group of female and male college students doing an environmental cleanup as part of their internship
Berea College offers opportunities that empower interns and students to engage and make a real impact before they graduate. Photo: Syda_Productions/Depositphotos

You will also have access to a variety of industry-specific resources, such as training programs, networking opportunities, and financial assistance. 💰

Mentoring with top-notch professionals and industry leaders is also up for grabs so students can have the guidance and support needed for their post-graduate journey. 🌱

📍Location: Berea, KY
🏫Acceptance Rate: 38 percent 
💰Average Cost: $45,026 per year

READ MORE: Studying Abroad Offers Unique Opportunities to College Students 

7. Elon University

With around 40 percent of Elon students doing internships every year and loads of cool places to pick from, Elon University’s internship program is totally up there with the best. 😎

If you’re searching for job opportunities, look no further than the Elon Job Network! This online database connects students and alumni to a wide range of opportunities, including on-campus jobs, full-time positions, and internships. It also features micro-internships — short-term, paid assignments similar to those given to new hires or interns.

Each year, only 45 first-year students are admitted into this prestigious program which offers smaller discussion classes and benefits like study abroad grants and special honors housing.  

📍Location: Elon, NC
🏫Acceptance Rate: 67 percent 
💰Average Cost: $44,029.00 

8. Duke University

Duke partners with over 3000 organizations, including the World Trade Organization, Warner Brothers Entertainment, and Apple. 🎥 

It also offers short-term and gap-year opportunities to students after graduation, allowing them to further explore their passions and gain even more essential skills

a group of female and male college students working as interns in a tech startup company
Duke University students can engage with and intern at innovative startup ventures. Photo: FS-Stock/Depositphotos

Additionally, Duke’s Career Center Internship Financing Program assists students in securing financing for unpaid or low-paying internships, ensuring that financial constraints do not stop them from gaining meaningful experiences. 🤝

📍Location: Durham, NC
🏫Acceptance Rate: 7.8 percent 
💰Average Cost: $83,263 per year

9. Stanford University

Ready to work on cutting-edge engineering projects in Singapore, South Korea, or the UAE? Stanford’s Global Engineering Internship (GEI) Program will help put your creative problem-solving skills to good use. 

Stanford encourages students to give their careers a boost by tapping into their network using Linkedin and the Stanford Alumni Directory. 🤝 

a group of female and male college students wearing white lab gowns and medical gloves using microscope inside a science laboratory
Abundant hands-on internship opportunities await Stanford undergraduates majoring in science and technology fields. Photo: shmeljov/Depositphotos

There are also various community-based internships both on and off campus up for grabs that will provide valuable hands-on experience. For example, those passionate about science and technology can dive into numerous undergraduate research opportunities. 🧪

📍Location: Stanford, CA
🏫Acceptance Rate: 3.68 percent 
💰Average Cost: $82,406 per year

10. Cornell University

Cornell is a gateway to remarkable internship opportunities for freshmen, first-generation, LGBTQIA+, and historically underrepresented groups. 🌈

Students can explore diverse summer internships across New York State with the Cornell Cooperative Extension, dive into immersive experiences at Cornell’s Shoals Marine Laboratory, or learn about the Hollywood film industry.

Plus, you can explore the extensive job postings and on-campus recruiting information available on the Cornell Handshake system

📍Location:  Ithaca, NY
🏫Acceptance Rate: 10.6 percent 
💰Average Cost: $63,200 per year

11. Carnegie Mellon University

Don’t let an unpaid internship hold you back from gaining valuable experience. Carnegie Mellon’s Summer Internship Experience Fund is here to save the day. 

The school will pay for your off-campus, low-paying, or unpaid internships, including transportation, accommodation, and other necessary expenses so you can focus on your passion without worrying about your bank account! 💰

a group of female and male college intern meeting alumni for a networking event
Carnegie Mellon facilitates connections between students and industry experts, alumni, and potential employers. Photo: gstockstudio/Depositphotos

With numerous programs, grants, and fellowships available, students can dive deep into their field of study and contribute to cutting-edge research projects alongside renowned faculty members.

The university offers networking sessions, job fairs, panel discussions, and alumni meet-ups to easily connect students with industry professionals and potential employers.💲

READ MORE: These 17 College Degrees Have the Highest Starting Salaries

📍Location: Pittsburgh, PA 
🏫Acceptance Rate: 15 percent 
💰Average Cost: $61,344 per year

12. Rochester Institute of Technology

At Rochester, there’s an exciting option to intern abroad through the Global Experiences program — an opportunity that 6,000 students have used so far!

Unlike most schools, where internships and co-ops are optional, at Rochester co-ops are mandatory for most majors. 🚀

Male senior engineer giving instructions to a male college intern
Interning at tech industry leaders provides an unparalleled opportunity to immerse in cutting-edge technology and collaborate with brilliant minds. Photo: Dmyrto_Z/Depositphotos

Students can work for big names like Tesla, Amazon, and Google after graduation. Imagine the endless possibilities and the doors that will open for you with these prestigious companies. 

READ MORE: The 21 Top Jobs for College Graduates (and How to Get Hired!)

📍Location: Rochester, NY
🏫Acceptance Rate: 83 percent 
💰Average Cost: $56,884 per year

13. Purdue University

Did you know Purdue has a special program that links undergraduates to the state’s startups to provide internships? 

Interns for Indiana helps Purdue students land opportunities in both STEM and non-STEM disciplines alongside a $6,000 stipend! 🤑

Two young happy female college interns wearing sun glasses lying on the grass and having fun in front of the Bundestag building in Berlin
Immerse yourself in a new culture, gain valuable on-the-job experience, and learn from business leaders as you intern abroad. Photo: frantic00/Depositphotos

The CLA Global Internship program offers another incredible opportunity to live, work, and learn in another country for a month while earning Purdue credit. Experience a new culture, gain on-the-job experience, and learn from business leaders as you intern abroad.  

READ MORE: Studying Abroad Offers Unique Opportunities to College Students

📍Location: West Lafayette, IN
🏫Acceptance Rate: 69 percent 
💰Average Cost: $28,794 per year

14. Agnes Scott College

With a whopping 84 percent of undergraduates participating in internships, you’ll be joining a community of go-getters at Agnes Scott. 💪 

But here’s the best part: the school also provides funding for unpaid experiences

male college student wearing a blue scrub suit guiding a senior patient while working as an intern in a senior home
Agnes Scott internships enable students to have practical application of their skills, boosting their self-confidence and belief in their abilities. Photo: Dmyrto_Z/Depositphotos 

Agnes Scott also offers resume workshops, recruitment meetups, and networking opportunities with successful alumni to help you shine in the professional world. With their support, your resume will be unstoppable.📝

📍Location: Decatur, GA
🏫Acceptance Rate: 70 percent 
💰Average Cost: $61,775  per year

15. Endicott College

Endicott rolls out the red carpet of internship opportunities for all its students, whether you’re just stepping onto campus or you’ve already claimed your spot in the college scene. 

Each student is required to complete two 120-hour internships — one during their freshman year and another during their time as a sophomore. 🎯

They can also work with exciting international and domestic partner organizations during their semester internships. 

For instance, Endicott’s partnership with Florence University of the Arts has allowed students to pursue semester internships at various sites and organizations, including Palazzo San Niccolo, Shaft Jeans, and Way Out Studios. 🎭

📍Location: Beverly, MA
🏫Acceptance Rate: 79 percent 
💰Average Cost: $37,776 per year

16. George Washington University

George Washington University has over 12,000 yearly internship opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students. 😮

Whether your dream internship pays you or not, GW aims to empower your passion through the Knowledge in Action Career Internship Fund, a grant that supports your unpaid internship. 

a male professional looks over a male college student wearing safety goggles while working as an intern
George Washington University offers internship opportunities not only for traditional academic students but also for vocational candidates. Photo: photography33/Depositphotos

Not just internships, the school’s career services section helps students with their interview skills and provides support to create resumes that will stand out. 📋

📍Location: Washington, DC
🏫Acceptance Rate: 49 percent 
💰Average Cost: $64,700 per year

17. Bentley University

What makes Bentley one of the colleges with the best internships? Almost all of Bentley’s internships are paid, with salaries up to $18 an hour. 💰

It’s no wonder that 92 percent of Bentley students complete at least one internship a year. The motivation to gain valuable industry experience is high when you know you’ll be compensated for your hard work.    

But Bentley’s Career Services Center is a game-changer. With nearly 3,000 internship opportunities posted every year, you’ll have a wide range of options to choose from, whether you’re interested in finance, marketing, or technology. 🧑‍💻

📍Location: Waltham, MA
🏫Acceptance Rate: 58 percent 
💰Average Cost: $80,670 per year

18. Clemson University

Clemson undergraduates have the incredible opportunity to work at over 375 prestigious organizations like Amazon through co-op programs. 🙌

There are also international internships and off-campus micro-internship programs where students can take up short-term, paid professional assignments.

Their micro-internships are scalable, easy to implement, and can seamlessly integrate into your existing programs. While these don’t count for academic credit, the year-round practical experience gained is one-of-a-kind.  

For instance, Clemson’s Center for Career and Professional Development teamed up with micro-internship experts Parker Dewey to make internship opportunities in Fortune 100 companies and dynamic startups available. ✨

📍Location: Clemson, SC
🏫Acceptance Rate: 43 percent 
💰Average Cost: $53,806 per year

19. Georgetown University

Georgetown’s College presents an expansive array of options for internships across varying fields, catering to various interests like Anthropology, Art, History, and Media Techniques. 🎨

Students can seek help from the Cawley Career Education Center for Community-Based Learning (CBL) courses that allow you to earn academic credit while actively participating in the community

male college student wearing headphones on his neck while looking for colleges with the best internships on his laptop
Georgetown enables art students to collaborate with professionals, build their portfolios, and immerse themselves in the art industry. Photo: photographee.eu/Depositphotos 

If you’re interested in politics, Georgetown has amazing opportunities in the Washington, DC, area as you tackle policy research, unraveling complex issues and contributing fresh insights that could shape the future. 🏛️

📍Location: Washington, DC 
🏫Acceptance Rate: 14.1 percent 
💰Average Cost: $64,896 per year

20. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Through its Career Development Center, Worcester Polytechnic offers numerous valuable services and resources to help increase students’ chances of landing an internship

This includes teaching students how to create compelling resumes and cover letters that captivate prospective employers. 📝 

If you’re seeking internships within Massachusetts, WPI suggests a range of dynamic starting points for gaining hands-on experience in cutting-edge industries

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Internship Program, Mass Life Science Intern Program, MassTech Intern Partnership, and Mass Digital Games Institute Summer Innovation Program (SIP) are some noteworthy examples.🚀 

📍Location: Worcester, MA 
🏫Acceptance Rate: 47 percent 
💰Average Cost: $79,342 per year


Gaining real-world experience before you graduate shows employers that you’re value is found beyond your degree. 💪

So why wait until you graduate? Dip your feet in the professional world now through these colleges with the best internships, and boost your chances of landing that dream job! 🎯🚀 

READ NEXT: Applying for Internships? Here Are Some Tips 

These Colleges Have the Best Internship Programs: Frequently Asked Questions 

Which college has the best internship program?

Institutions such as the University of Texas at Austin, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Pennsylvania, and Stanford University offer some of the best internship opportunities in the US.

What are the best public colleges for internships?

What are the benefits of a college internship program?

What makes a good internship program?

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