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UIP Mission and Overview

University of Virginia Internship Programs Mission


The primary mission of the University Internship Programs (UIP) is to engage students in planned, educationally-related work and learning experiences locally, nationally, and internationally that integrate knowledge and theory with practical application and skill development in a professional setting.  The UIP has been designed to support students' academic, professional, and personal interests through (1) carefully vetted placement and application processes for interns and internship sites; (2) development, evaluation, and maintenance of an integrated two-part interdisciplinary program consisting of an academic seminar and a professional practice internship under the supervision of a UIP liaison, a UIP internship site supervisor/mentor, and a UIP seminar instructor.  Additionally, the UIP plays a key role in supporting the University's relationship with the Charlottesville community.   Since 1976, the UIP has placed approximately 8,000 UIP interns in public and private sector organizations in the Charlottesville area.

University of Virginia Internship Programs Overview


  • Academic Seminar
  • Supervised Professional Practice Internship


The University of Virginia Internship Programs (UIP) at the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service offers several internship options to U.Va. undergraduate students in collaboration with the Departments of Sociology and Psychology of the College of Arts & Sciences. All UIP internships are unpaid and for academic credit with two parts: the academic seminar and the supervised professional practice internship. The UIP options offered are:


  • Academic Year Internship Program in Charlottesville (Fall & Spring Semesters)
  • Summer Internship Program in Charlottesville (Summer Session)
  • Extended Summer Internship Program in Charlottesville (Summer & Fall Semesters)
  • To-Go Summer Internship Programs in:

Dublin, Ireland (Special Summer Session)
Washington, D. C. (8-Week Session)
Other U.S. Cities and Abroad (8-Week Summer Session)

Please see UIP Program Options on the left sidebar for more information about each of these options.


• Academic Seminar

All interns are assigned to an academic seminar based on the client population they serve or the service area in which they intern. Academic seminars are conducted by a faculty member from either the Psychology or Sociology Department. The weekly seminar will provide interns with a structured classroom environment to actively reflect on their experiences and to discuss and learn about themselves, the workplace, service delivery, and life in organizations.

Seminars are structured around a different focus each semester:

1st Semester Focus:  personal/professional development and understanding work and organizational behavior

2nd Semester Focus:  post-graduate transition topics, and emerging professional, organizational, and community concerns

In the seminar, interns will participate in group and structured learning experiences, group presentations to the class, and write short topic papers and a term paper. The seminar also provides interns with a supportive environment to reflect on events that occur while at their internship and to discuss their experiences with other interns.

• Supervised Professional Practice Internship

Whether in Charlottesville or elsewhere, the local, national, and international areas are rich in social, governmental, cultural, and natural resources. As the community and its economic base have expanded, internship opportunities have grown. Through the University Internship Programs, every organization becomes a stimulating educational laboratory. Interns have the opportunity to:

  • Recognize their skills & talents by working with professionals in the public, for-profit, or non-profit sectors
  • Broaden their understanding of the diversity in Charlottesville, other U.S. cities, and abroad
  • Experience first-hand the challenges faced by organizations
  • Prepare themselves for the post-collegiate transition to either graduate school or the workforce


To be eligible for the University Internship Programs, students must:


  • be a rising fourth-year student enrolled at the University of Virginia*
  • have an overall and major GPA of at least 2.5
  • be in good academic standing
  • have a clear disciplinary record
  • be able to meet the health, age, academic, security, and/or related internship criteria of the sponsoring organization
  • be willing and able to devote the time and energy necessary to meet UIP's demands

*Rising third-year students may participate in any of the Charlottesville or To-Go Summer Internship Options. Participation of first- and second-year students is determined on a case-by-case, space available basis.