FAQs

What is an internship?

Internships, sometimes referred to as cooperative education experiences, are a central and required component of a student’s total educational preparation in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism. These experiences are designed to combine on-site professional experiences with theoretical and philosophical foundations studied in traditional academic settings. Through internships, students learn to identify their strengths, interests, and limitations. Students also gain an appreciation of roles, duties, and responsibilities of parks, recreation, and tourism professionals.

How long is an internship?

It depends. Each PRT major is required to complete the PIR and the Senior Internship. The PIR Experience Requirement, serves as an initial exposure to practice and requires students to work a total of 300 hours in a minimum of two agencies. The Senior Internship (PRT 4828) (12 credits) provides an in-depth experience that is designed for senior level students who are approaching graduation. PRT 4828 requires students to work a minimum of 480 hours in a minimum of 12-14 weeks. PRT 4828 requires students to complete journal entries, evaluations, possible readings, a potential senior project, and a portfolio. Many more details are available in the Internship Handbook.

What is the average pay offered to an intern?

In general, about two-thirds of our interns receive some compensation. This is negotiated between the internship agency and the intern. Some examples of compensation include nothing, hourly wage, fixed stipend, room and board, travel expenses, commissions for sales, and salaried positions.

Where do I find an internship?

The student is responsible for contacting prospective agencies, setting up an interview, and securing the internship position. Useful resources for finding the right position include PRT bulletin boards, Career Services, the internet, faculty, past and prospective employers, professional organizations, friends, and family.

What is meant by the "right position"?

Above all, an internship is a learning experience. The “right position” is a position that allows the student to learn about the roles, duties, and responsibilities of professionals within that agency while exploring his or her own strengths, interests, and limitations. The “right position” is a position within the student’s chosen emphasis area that assists the student in his or her transition from student to professional. An internship is not credit for working, nor should an intern be considered cheap labor.

Is there an internship class?

Students completing PRT 4828, the Senior Internship, earn 12 credits by completing the field experience hours, reflective journals, evaluations, a possible senior project, and a portfolio.

When do the internships meet?

PRT 4828 has two mandatory class meetings. An orientation meeting during the first week of the internship and a presentation of projects upon completion of the internship are required.

Sign me up. I want to do my internship.

Not so fast. Both internships have pre-requisites and require an application. Please review the pre-requisites and details of the application process in the Internship Handbook. Application forms are available within the Internship Handbook and on the PRT website. You cannot enroll in the class without the permission of the PRT Coordinator of Internships and the completion of the application forms. The applications must be submitted by the deadline below to the PRT Coordinator of Internships.

TermDeadline
Spring Internship November 1
Summer Internship March 1
Fall Internship July 1

The proposed agency placement site must also be approved by the Internship Advisory and Approval Committee prior to the deadline above. Once this process is complete and approval is granted, you will be issued a permission code to add the course.

How do I apply?

Please review the pre-requisites and details of the application process in the Internship Handbook. Application forms are available within the Internship Handbook.

  • PIR requires completion of the documentation forms and the agency business card.
  • PRT 4828 requires completion of Form 1, Form 2, Form 3, Form 4, and Form 5.

How will I know if my agency is approved?

Generally, if an agency meets the criteria below then it will be approved. A list of past approved internship sites is also available from the Internship Coordinator.

How does an agency become an approved internship site?

If you meet the following criteria, you can become an approved internship site.

  • Do you provide professional services that comply with PRT professional standards?
  • Will you allow the student to assist in leadership and management?
  • Will you allow the student to participate in agency-wide roles?
  • Does the proposed agency supervisor have a 4-year degree, work full time with the agency for a minimum 1 year at agency? (A resume may be requested.)
  • Is the proposed agency supervisor willing to meet weekly with the student for evaluations and constructive feedback?

Then, send us an email to tell us about your internship opportunity.

What must I do in order to advertise for and hire an intern?

Advertising for an intern is simple. Send us a one-page flyer to tell us about your internship. Include qualifications of the applicant and your contact information. This will not guarantee that you will have an intern in place by a specific date. All opportunities are made available to students in the hopes that interest will be generated. Once the information is posted, it is entirely up to the individual student to contact the prospective agency, set up an interview and finally, negotiate the terms and conditions of the internship contract.

Once the interviewing process is complete and you decide to hire an intern, please provide the following items directly to the student:

Letter of Acceptance

Once an agreement has been made between the prospective intern and the agency, a letter of acceptance on formal letterhead complete with the hiring agent’s signature must be provided directly to the intern. The intern is required to turn this in to the Internship Coordinator as proof that they have secured a position. The following details must be included:

  • Duration of the internship clearly listed with beginning and ending dates.
  • A short job description including a brief description of tasks.
  • Compensation information.
  • Name, address, phone number of the intern’s direct supervisor.

Affiliation Agreement

A signed copy of an agreement, Form 5, between the agency and the University of Utah must be on file prior to the commencement of the internship.

Contact Us

Preston Tanner, MBA

Internship Coordinator

Location: Annex C, Room 1069
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112-0920
Phone: 801-587-7357
Fax: 801-581-4930
Email: preston.tanner@utah.edu

Undergraduate Advising

Eric Gardner

Undergraduate Advisor

Phone: 801-585-0832
Email: eric.gardner@utah.edu

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Graduate Advising

Dr. Jim Sibthorp

Director of Graduate Studies

Phone: 801-581-5940
Email: jim.sibthorp@health.utah.edu

Online ST&HM Program

Preston Tanner

Online Program Coordinator

Phone: 801-587-7357
Email: preston.tanner@utah.edu 

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