Internship Requirements for FWCS Undergraduates



Two internship courses are required to graduate: a 40-hour Exploratory Internship with an accompanying 1-credit class, and a 200+ hour Intensive Internship with a 3-credit class. These requirements prepare our undergraduates for their careers and are a unique part of our program. Many undergraduates report their internships to be an invaluable part of their degree experience and career preparation. Check out the Student Stories webpage to learn how other students have thrived in their internships! We encourage students to get creative and plan ahead for internships that work with your unique career goals and schedule. To understand the internship requirements and start preparing for your internships, please read this page in detail.

PLEASE NOTE that internships must be approved in advance by the FWCS Internship Coordinator ( to count as a degree requirement. To request internship approval, email the Internship Coordinator in advance of starting your internship with details on the position, including the organization & position title, start/end dates, total hours you will complete, and how it relates to your career goals. 

And, don't miss the helpful downloadable materials:



An exploratory internship involves completing a professional experience of at least 40 hours of learning time in a fish, wildlife, or conservation setting, while completing the associated 1-credit canvas course of FW410 Exploratory Internship. Students may fulfill this requirement by attending a multi-day professional conference, or by participating in 40 hours of FWCS-relevant work or skills-training.

Some examples of work students have done for their exploratory internship are: conducting research with OSU faculty and graduate students through  the FW Undergraduate Mentorship ProgramURSA Engage, the CAS Beginning Undergraduate Research Support Program, or the University Legislative Scholars program; volunteering with a local conservation organization or wildlife rehabilitation center; completing a series of ride-alongs with law enforcement officers; participating in a series of trainings or workshops (even virtual); assisting a local biologist with field work. 

About half of our students will complete their exploratory internship by attending a multi-day conference. Students can do so by contacting the Internship Coordinator for approval of their conference plan, registering with the conference organization (and paying any associated fees), registering for the FW 410 course, and then attending the conference and completing the canvas assignments.

Before the conference, see if there is a FWCS graduate student attending by checking this Conference Pairings Interest Database Google Sheet, and pair up for support and mentorship! Paired mentors can apply for a $100 travel award from the FW Undergraduate Mentorship Program!

We organize student participation in the annual meetings of the Oregon Chapter of The Wildlife Society or the Oregon Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, which occur in February and March of each year. Come join us! If you live outside of Oregon, search for your state or regional TWS Chapter or AFS Chapter and find details on their annual meeting and workshops! Review the Conference Guide (link at top of page) to learn about other popular conference and their upcoming dates.



An intensive internship involves completing a 200+ hour professional experience with a fisheries, wildlife, or conservation organization that is relevant to your unique career interests, and completing the associated 3-credit canvas course of FW410 Intensive Internship. The goal of the intensive internship is to help you gain the professional network, experiences and technical skills to be a more competitive applicant for the jobs you seek after graduation! 

While many students complete their intensive internship by participating in a full-time, seasonal position, many others complete part-time, longer-term, and even fully remote internships. Internships may span several terms, but all should be approved in advance; students will generally take the FW410 course in the same term that they complete the total required hoursThe intensive internship is intended to be completed in the latter half of your degree after you've taken FW209, but may be completed earlier if an opportunity arises. We encourage students to get creative and propose the intensive internship that will be the best for your unique career goals and situation.

Students from communities that have been traditionally underrepresented or historically excluded from our fields may apply for the FWCS VIEW Fellowship to engage in paid summer research with FWCS faculty. 

Interning abroad with OSU GO through an IE3 international internship or field-based study abroad program can also count as your intensive internship; they host dozens of FWCS-focused internships across the globe. If you find an international internship external to OSU GO, you may complete this International Internship Disclaimer Form and email to the Internship Coordinator with details on your proposed internship.

Are you concerned about how you will fit in an intensive internship into your already busy schedule? Please know that every single student graduating from our degree program, including thousands of Ecampus students with life responsibilities like families and full-time jobs, has been able to complete the internship requirements. These students often find and complete intensive internships that are part time and longer-term, and even remote. Examples of these abound, including students who set up internships with local wildlife biologists for just 5 hours per week over 6 months, or students who worked remotely with a FWCS faculty member to analyze data and write up research reports. Please see the FAQ section in the FWCS Internships Guide (linked above) to read more on Ecampus student internships.



1. PREPARE  - around the time that you've completed your Biology and Chemistry series, your advisor will guide you to register for FW 209 Career Skills in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, a required course that will teach you the skills needed to search for, apply to, and attain internships and jobs, including resume and cover letter writing, networking, and interviewing. But even before you take FW 209, you can prepare for internships by reviewing the FWCS Careers Page, the FWCS Resume and Cover Letter Guides, and reviewing the FWCS Opportunities emails sent by the Internship Coordinator, which include a link to our internal FWCS Jobs DatabaseMake a plan of when and where you would like to intern. If you wish to attend a conference for your exploratory internship, review the Conference List (linked at top) and explore conference websites to determine which is most interesting and feasible for you. And, get involved in clubs like the Fisheries & Wildlife Club and apply for OSU research programs aimed at freshman, sophomore, and transfer students like those mentioned in the Exploratory section above

2. APPLY for internship/job positions. 

3. EMAIL & GET APPROVED. When offered an internship/job in the FWCS field, email the Internship Coordinator immediately, providing the name of the organization, a link to the organization’s website, the position title, start/end dates, the total hours you will complete by the end of the position, and how this fits into your career goals. In this email you may include the completed Intensive Internship Training Agreement or Exploratory Internship Training Agreement, which includes your supervisor's signature.

4. REGISTER for FW 410. If approved, the Internship Coordinator will provide you the override to register for the correct course

5. REVIEW the CANVAS COURSE and the syllabus before starting your internship. Once registered, you will find all assignments in the canvas course, including the Training Agreement, which you'll need to review and sign with your supervisor before starting your internship.

6. CONSIDER FUNDING. If you’re doing a low-paying or volunteer position, read the section below to learn how you can apply for internship awards.

7. ENJOY YOUR INTERNSHIP and complete all assignments in the canvas course. Don’t forget about the Intensive Internship Evaluation Form, which your supervisor will need to fill out and submit to you or the Internship Coordinator between Week 8 and Week 10 of the quarter.



Financial assistance is available to students participating in low-paying, volunteer, and/or international intensive internships, or whom are presenting their research at a conference.

Such students are encouraged to apply for the E.R. Jackman Internship Support Award from the College of Agricultural Sciences; apply in October for a winter term internship, in January for spring term, and in April for summer and fall term. Students may also apply, at any time, for the the FWCS Travel and Internship Awards to support their intensive internship or travel to present their research at a conference. For internship funding questions, please contact the Internship Coordinator.

Students attending a conference may apply for the CAS Undergraduate Professional Development Award, a funding opportunity for CAS undergraduate students who want financial assistance to travel for a professional conference or for a field trip associated with a CAS course; students can receive up to $500 and need the support of an advisor or course instructor. They may also apply for the FWCS Travel Awards (linked above). Students attending a conference can also pair up with FWCS graduate students and apply for a $100 travel award (see details above).



We encourage students to get creative and be proactive in their internship search. Many students, especially those with schedule or location constraints, will find their internship not by just looking for advertised positions, but rather by reaching out to organizations and professionals and starting a conversation about setting up an internship or volunteer opportunity. This is called sending an "Inquiry Email" (or phone call). For example, you can send an Inquiry Email to a local conservation organization or state wildlife biologist, in which you explain your interest in their work and availability for an internship, and ask if they would be open to discussing further.

Make a broad list of all potential employers in your area, which may include public lands at the city, county, state, or federal level, local non-profits such as watershed councils and wildlife rehabilitation centers, sustainability organizations, and environmental consulting companies. You can also research FWCS faculty who do research that interests you; perhaps they have graduate students who could use your help with remote data analysis or even field work. Start going through your list and individually send Inquiries to these organizations. 

Another great way to find internship opportunities in your area is to attend a state-level conference, such as a state chapter of The Wildlife Society or the American Fisheries Society, and meet professionals who may be hiring or who are open to developing an internship.

Remember, we want your internship to advance you towards your unique career goals, and so we encourage you to get creative, be proactive, and find opportunities that work well for your unique interests and situation! We encourage you to consider and apply for many, many potential options. Remember, if the opportunity meets our hour requirements, is generally within FWCS fields, and you feel will advance you towards your career goals, it will most likely be approved. So go forth, network, and apply!



Are you entering the degree and have recently completed a FWCS internship or job? Generally, past experiences cannot count for internship requirements, but, if you have over 2 years of full-time recent experience in the FWCS field, email the Internship Coordinator to explain your background and career goals, and attach your updated resume with full details on all FWCS-related positions.

Have you completed your internships and are engaging in research with an OSU faculty member? You have the option to enroll in FW 401 Research Credit and apply these credits to your Specialization. Students and their research advisors should first review the FW 401 Research Syllabus and determine the number of research credits appropriate for their work in the upcoming term (each credit corresponds to 3 hrs/week of research work). Then, the student should email with their research supervisor cc'ed, and include details on the number of credits, term, and nature of the research.    

Are you completing a second FWCS internship? You may be able to take FW 410 a second time and apply these additional FW 410 credits to your Specialization. Please review the FWCS Advising Guide and webpage and contact the Internship Coordinator in advance.



Still have questions about your internship plan after reading this and the FWCS Careers Page? Contact the FWCS Internship Coordinator (

Have questions about FWCS Curriculum? Explore the FWCS Advising Guide and webpage here.