Internship/Co-op Exception Request

Based on federal guidance and statewide mitigation plans implemented by Gov. Tom Wolf around the coronavirus pandemic and Penn State's ability to meet the state's requirements for in-person instruction, Penn State is planning for in-person instruction for summer 2021.

In-person internship and co-op experiences, however, may take place in locations where conditions differ from those at Penn State campuses. To promote the continued health and safety of students, all students who plan to participate in an in-person internship or co-op for credit during the summer 2021 semester—either on or off campus—must complete an Internship/Co-op Exception Web Form and Acknowledgement, with the following exceptions:

  • Students who are completing internships or co-ops that will be conducted 100 percent virtually, with no in-person or on-site work required
  • Students who are completing not-for-credit short-term work experiences that are not required for degree completion
  • Students whose short-term work experiences for academic credit are simply an extension of a current position
  • Students whose short-term work experiences are not for credit and not for the primary purpose of meeting an academic requirement for a Penn State program

In the last two situations above, students may be considered independent employees.

In all cases, students are strongly encouraged to comply with CDC guidelines, as well as applicable state and local guidelines, for protecting themselves and others. The University strongly encourages all students completing internships and co-ops with in-person components to get tested for COVID-19 prior to beginning work.

Complete your Summer 2021 Internship Co-op Exception Web Form and Acknowledgement

Review and Approval

Factors that are considered in the review of an exception request include, but are not limited to:

  • Whether or not the in-person work experience is being completed at an existing workplace (e.g., the second rotation of an in-person co-op)
  • The nature of the activities involved in the work experience (e.g., whether or not they could be completed virtually)
  • The risk mitigation practices communicated by the work location
  • The overall risk in the geographic area where the work experience is located

Although Penn State considers various factors as communicated by students and internship sites, the University cannot follow up with each location to verify protocol; therefore, it is each student's responsibility to follow relevant guidance and best practices at all times while working and communicate concerns to supervisors and Engineering Career Resources & Employer Relations staff as appropriate.

Requests are reviewed by the Associate Dean for Education and Graduate Professional Programs in the College of Engineering, in consultation with the Office of General Counsel and—in the case of international student requests—Global Programs. Because Exception Request Forms must be reviewed by at minimum two offices, we advise all students to complete and submit their forms as quickly as possible after receiving all the necessary information from their employers. In the case of international students, Curricular Practical Training (CPT) may not be granted for in-person internship and co-op experiences until exceptions have been approved.


Engineering Career Resources & Employer Relations

College of Engineering

117 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4710

Phone: 814-863-1032