Honors at Iowa encourages students to intern — whether as volunteers, paid employees, or as students enrolled for academic credit. To earn honors credit for an internship all students must complete a guided reflection process, which includes a pre- and post-experience questionnaire and a narrative submission. In some circumstances, students have the option to earn additional honors credit by developing and conducting an independent project.

Quick Links: reflection process

Step 1: Identify an internship

At the University of Iowa, the Pomerantz Career Center connects students with many standing programs for interning or service learning. Many undergraduate colleges and departments also provide regular rubrics for internships or service-learning programs that tie substantively to their areas of inquiry and practice. Contact andrew-willard@uiowa.edu to determine if your internship is eligible for honors credit.

Step 2: Register for your internship

  • Option 1: Go through HireaHawk and register your internship for zero (0) credit hours. Click here for instructions.
  • Option 2: Enroll in an internship or practicum course usually offered by your college or department. This is a credit-bearing course and has associated tuition and fees.
  • Option 3: Enroll in HONR:3160 and complete the required Honors Internship Form. This is a credit-bearing course and has associated tuition and fees.

STEP 3: Complete the Pre-Experience Questionnaire

This consists of a few basic questions. It is designed to guide you through considering and then describing what you hope to gain or accomplish from your internship.

Pre-Experience Questionnaire

This is due before your internship begins.

STEP 4: Intern!

STEP 5: Complete the Post Experience Questionnaire

This is the place where you can comment on how your experience has shaped your growth. It is designed to guide your reflection on your internship experience to see how and in what ways it fulfilled or did not fulfill your hopes and expectations.

Post Experience Questionnaire

You can do this once you complete your internship and must do so within five (5) weeks after the following spring or fall semester begins (i.e. this is due at the same time the Honors Contract Form is due). If you are in your final semester at Iowa, this is due on Monday of finals week.

STEP 6: Submit your narrative

The purpose of your narrative is to present highlights of your experience and how they have contributed to your growth and self-knowledge. There isn’t one way to do this, but in general, we want you to be fun and informative, yet easy to read and/or understand.

Narratives can take many forms including a written piece, podcast, comic strip, video, slideshow, etc. There is no required format. We do expect a minimum of 400 words and a maximum of 1000 words for written pieces. Video and audio can be varying length. Video, audio, and comic strip submissions will require a short explanation (minimum of 400 words) detailing their pertinence to your experience.

Here is a list of what your narrative must include and what we might ask for you to expand on after reviewing it:

  • Where you went and what you did
  • How long you were there
  • Highlights of your experience and their personal significance
  • Two (2) images (more are welcome, though!)
  • Your author bio (you have the option to include a photo of yourself)

Your narrative will be published on our website and social media. We want others to share and gain from your experience. By sharing your narrative with others, what you learned can have a broader impact and possibly lead someone else to take part in a new experience. Your narrative will be published because your understanding of how your experience shaped your growth is closely connected to the Honors Program’s mission of fostering self-discovery. By preparing your narrative for others, you will need to reflect on the experience and think about what you want to share.

Submit Your Narrative

You can do this once you complete your internship and must do so within five (5) weeks after the following spring or fall semester begins (i.e. this is due at the same time the Honors Contract Form is due). If you are in your final semester at Iowa, this is due on Monday of finals week.

STEP 7: Earn honors credit!

For zero-credit internships, experiential learning credit will be awarded accordingly:

  • 3-5 week experience with questionnaires and narrative: up to 1 honors credit*
  • 6-10 week experience with questionnaires and narrative: up to 2 honors credits
  • 6-10 week experience with questionnaires and narrative and independent project: up to 4 honors credits
  • 11-15 week experience with questionnaires and narrative: up to 3 honors credits
  • 11-15 week experience with questionnaires and narrative and independent project: up to 6 honors credits

*The independent project is not an option for the 3-5 week experience as the duration does not allow enough time for completion.

For credit-bearing internships/practicas, experiential learning credit will be awarded accordingly:

  • For a 1 semester-hour course with questionnaires and narrative: up to 1 honors credit
  • For a 2 semester-hour course with questionnaires and narrative: up to 2 honors credits
  • For a 3 or more semester-hour course with questionnaires and narrative: up to 3 honors credits

Optional: Meet with the Experiential Learning Director to develop an independent project

In some circumstances, students can choose to develop and conduct an independent project during their internship. Projects are tailored to a student’s individual interest. Some examples of the types of possible project include:

  • Creative/original/entrepreneurial activities
  • Market research/historical research/environmental impact research
  • An in depth analysis of the global or regional aspects of an industry or sector in which the student is working
  • An in depth analysis of global or regional issues of concern to the host country
  • A series of personal interviews with appropriate leaders on a specific topic

All students conducting independent projects are required to make a poster presentation. Details about the project, including topic, audience, and presentation will be finalized by individual students with the Honors Experiential Learning Director. Students are encouraged to discuss their ideas with faculty for their independent projects.

These details must be submitted and approved to andrew-willard@uiowa.edu prior to your internship beginning.