How Long Does An Internship Last? An Answer That Every Student Must Know

When you are in your last year of college or university, one of the critical decisions you make is about your internship. Sadly, most students need more knowledge about internships, including ways to get the internship offer, its benefits, and duration. Naturally, they search the internet for questions such as, “How to get my first internship offer? how long should an internship last?”

As your premier guide, we will answer these questions about internships. To begin with, internship jobs may last from a few weeks to even a month. The tenure depends on your academic requirements, plans, and the organization’s necessity.

So, let’s dig deep into this discussion.

How Long Does An Internship Last
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How Long Does An Internship Last?

Are you about to complete your graduation or associate degree? Then, you must know the ins and outs of an internship, particularly its tenure.

Usually, an internship will last a minimum of 10 weeks. The maximum duration can be six months to even 1-year. The duration mainly depends on the organization type and payment system for the intern.

You will see the following variations in the internship job tenure.

  • An internship will be for one term for non-paid jobs in a profitable organization. So, you will be an intern for ten weeks there.
  • If you choose to be an intern in a non-profitable organization without salaries, it can last for 3 to 6 months. It happens mostly for charitable and volunteer organizations.
  • For paid jobs, the internship can last from 10 weeks to 6 months and even one year. Usually, you will work for two terms, or 20 weeks at least, as a paid intern. Some companies seek interns for even an entire year.

Hence, you must consider the type of internship and discuss it with your employer to fix the internship period. To fulfill their internship terms and conditions, you must read the academic requirements carefully.

Most universities and colleges ask their students to complete an internship for one semester, at least. It will be roughly three to four months. Conversely, some institutes will ask you to have an internship for two semesters or more. They usually have 6 to 10 credits allotted only for the internship. Thus, it would help if you were an internee for at least 6 to 8 months.

Read: Are Internships Only For College Students?

working hours for internships
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Working hours for the internships

Besides the actual duration of the internships, you must also consider the weekly working hours of it. This weekly hour working duration is crucial because different institutes and businesses have various standards for it.

  • Most organizations will offer you a complete 40 hours of weekly internship. In these cases, it will be a paid internship.
  • Some organizations may allow free internships for 20 hours every week. These are, as said, non-paid internships. Plus, most organizations will still offer you monthly token money and free lunch.

As you see, the weekly hours available for internees vary extensively. Hence, it would help if you discussed it with the employers in detail. It will help you know the possible terms and conditions and work according to their norms. As you follow the organizational norms and continue performing brilliantly as an intern, you increase your chance of being a permanent employee there.

When it happens, you won’t even need to look for jobs after graduation. You may directly join the company, which will boost your career.

An insight into the industry standard for internships

We discussed the possible duration and working hours for the internships. However, it would be more fruitful to see its industry standards. Collegiate Employment Research Institute studied the expected internship tenure among business organizations. It revealed some surprising data that will surely provide you with better insight.

The study included detailed statistics on over 100 organizations and 500+ employees. So, you can depend on the information. It will be invaluable information for you if you are a student looking for the perfect internship.

  • 30% of people agreed that the internship should last for 12 months, at least. They said that it helps the internee to know about their work in detail and gain good experience. So, companies will be more confident in the internees and will employ them directly.
  • In the study, 9% of employers commented that 7 to 10 months of internship is enough for students to have the proper knowledge. Also, it is adequate for their academic requirements.
  • 25%, aka 1/4th of the study participants, agreed that 5 to 6 months of the internship should be okay for students.
  • Another 30% agreed that internships should last at most 3 to 4 months. They suggested that a student will have enough expertise to enter the job market with one semester of complete internships. Also, they can invest their 2nd semester of internship into different sectors to gain more knowledge. They say four months of internship and four months of certificate course or training is the best way for students.
  • Two to four months of internship tenure was enough, according to 5% of participants. They said an intern could achieve meaningful experience in the job market with 2 to 4 months of internship.

As you see, different respondents have various opinions about the internship offers. Thus, it’s up to the students to determine how long their internship should last. One of the best ways is to discuss it with your academic advisor and seniors in the department. They will provide you with the best insights about the possible tenure of your intern jobs.

Read: Top 8 Online Colleges That Pay You To Attend

What Affects The Internship Duration?

Many factors will determine the possible duration of your internship. So, you need to be aware of this for a proper understanding of it. Also, knowing the factors impacting internship longevity will make your decision-making process more manageable.

Internship Duration
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  • Mainly, your credit requirements and educational institutes will fix the internship tenure. It depends on how many credits are allotted for the internship. Also, the internship length varies depending on your educational level. College and university students will have more extended internships than associate degree holders.
  • Next, it depends on the internship’s purpose. Shorter internship periods are for introducing students to a particular topic or field. It can be a part of the project too. If students wish to acquire in-depth knowledge and expertise, their internship period will be longer.
  • The internship offer also depends on the student’s availability. Since organizations pay less to their interns than regular employees, they seek internees. When there’re many students seeking interns, the length will be short. On the contrary, the unavailability of the students means the internship will be longer.
  • Finally, the possible budget of the employing organization will also determine the duration. The tenure will be shorter if they have to pay more for the intern. Conversely, internship tenure will be longer when employers have to pay less to the students. Thus, the organizational budget is crucial in fixing the internship length.

As you see, different factors will determine the actual length of internships. Thus, discussing it with your possible employers and academic counselors is best. Also, it would help if you considered your goals for the internship and possible achievements from it.

If you are still trying to figure it out, take a break for a couple of days and think. Then, depending on your salary expectations and goal, go for the best length.


how long can an internship last? You will see it lasting from ten weeks to one full year. It depends mainly on your credits for the course and the employer’s requirements. As an internee, you should be sincere and work hard. It will boost your chance to become a permanent employee where you are working as an internee.

Finally, you must consider the internship offer’s cost, outcome, and setbacks. Choosing a shorter length will be beneficial if you are into an unpaid internship. Make it longer if you find a suitable internship with a good salary. This way, you can pay your tuition fees from the internship salary. Or, you may go on a countryside tour after the completion of the tenure. All these are indeed fantastic opportunities for students. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to