Experiential Learning

Experiential learning is the process through which students translate the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom into real world professional work experiences. Students will gain skills such as communication, critical thinking, problem solving, analytical thinking and writing in non-academic settings. These skills can then be applied in internships, undergraduate research and professional work experiences. The goal is to promote career development and provide students with the experience they need to be better prepared for a career.


Handshake is the University’s off campus job board. It connects students with thousands of job and internship opportunities all over the world and is accessible to all University of Nevada, Reno students. Just login, create a profile, browse and apply to positions that have been approved through the Nevada Career Studio.

Students: Please review additional information for your protection during the job search process.

Internship process for faculty and advisors

It is strongly advised students plan well in advance for internships/experiential learning opportunities if they want to receive academic credit. The recommended timeline is at least one semester prior to the internship experience as it may take time to process the required documents and ensure an internship course is available.

  • Step 1 for faculty

    Meet with your student to obtain the organization name and the site supervisor’s contact information.

  • Step 2 for faculty

    Send the organization name and site supervisor’s contact information to your departmental specific “internship contact/coordinator,” or directly to Aqueelah Thompson, if you do not have a specified contact.

  • Step 3 for faculty

    Aqueelah will verify if the organization is approved or not. If the organization is approved, you can move forward to Step 4.

    If the organization is not approved, Aqueelah will work with the organization to obtain all required signatures and documents. (Keep in mind this can take as little as a week or as long as up to a few months, depending on how quickly the organization responds, and if there are revisions needed which go through general counsel). Once all documents have been approved, Aqueelah will notify either the faculty/advisor or the internship contact/coordinator.

  • Step 4 for faculty

    Faculty/advisor will meet with the student to update and sign the student waiver and the appropriate student agreement paid or unpaid forms, and keep for their records.

    *Each department will determine when students enroll in the appropriate internship course. Departments may enroll students prior to above information being complete, or wait until after all documents are signed.

Internship process for students

If you do not know your advisor, please refer to the College of Liberal Arts advisors list.  If you need further assistance please contact Aqueelah Thompson.

  • Step 1 for students

    Meet with your faculty/academic advisor and provide them with your internship organization name, as well as the contact information for your internship site supervisor. You may then discuss options for enrollment in an appropriate internship course. (Course enrollment may differ by department).

  • Step 2 for students

    Once the faculty/academic advisor receives confirmation that the organization is approved, you will meet with your advisor to sign the student waiver and appropriate student agreement paid or unpaid forms, and your advisor will keep these documents for their records.

Internship process for community partners

  • Step 1 for community partners

    All partners interested in creating a connection with the College of Liberal Arts, please contact Aqueelah Thompson to begin the process.

  • Step 2 for community partners

    If you are offering internships where a student earns academic credit, Aqueelah will email you the appropriate forms including the organization agreement and site assessment.

  • Step 3 for communiy partners

    Obtain signatures for the organization agreement and complete the online site assessment form, listing Aqueelah Thompson as your University contact. Once completed and approved, your organization is now approved for the term of the agreement, up to five years.

The importance of internships

Securing an internship is a great way to gain experiences and test-drive a career. We encourage all student to pursue at least one internship while in college, and to participate as early as your freshman/sophomore years. Students can participate in multiple internship opportunities throughout their academic career. Post-graduation, employers will be seeking students who have participated in internships, service-learning and other experiential learning opportunities.

Timeline for seeking internships for academic credit

If you would like to receive academic credit for an internship, advanced planning is essential. The process of getting an internship approved could take upwards of two months, but we encourage you to work on this the semester prior to when you wish to participate in the internship. If students do not plan in advance they may not have adequate time to collect all of the required documents and therefore may not receive academic credit. Students should seek information from their faculty advisors early in their academic planning to incorporate this valuable experience.