As an Environmental Studies student, you are encouraged to take advantage of independent learning opportunities outside of standard classroom courses. There are a variety of independent learning opportunities available for students to take advantage of, including internships, apprenticeships, experiential education experiences, independent study, and practicum work. After securing an internship or other learning opportunity, the Environmental Program is pleased to enroll students in ENVS 191/291 to gain credit for their work. The Environmental Program insists on rigor and quality for individualized studies. A student considering an independent study should understand that it is up to the student to design the idea for the research, field study, or practicum. Much preliminary planning and preparation is required before enrollment is approved. In general, we expect more self-initiative and responsibility of the student than is expected in most traditional courses.
Credit is not granted for the ENVS 191 or 291 experience in and of itself but for the learning that results from all aspects of the activity. To receive ENVS 191 or 291 credit, the planned activity must have a significant environmental component; ENVS 191 or 291 is not for projects better done in other departments, nor is it an automatic "course of last resort" for projects unaccepted in other departments.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an internship useful for?
An internship can be a great way to study something on your own, or to learn about something not covered in a course. It can also give you a chance to get out in the community — in a business, non-profit, town, state or federal government, with an artist, farmer—all kinds of practitioners! You can also use ENVS 191/291 credits to do an unaccredited program and earn credit for your efforts and experience, such as the Greenpeace Semester or learning sustainable living skills at Aprovecho Research Center in Oregon.
Why should I do an internship?
- For practical, hands-on experience.
- To try out your interests.
- For work experience – to apply skills and knowledge gained in school elsewhere.
- For good mentoring.
- To network.
- To build your resume.
- To earn credits
- To learn about yourself in different settings, communities, different activities.
- To open doors for future opportunities
- 291, 202 senior thesis or internship, or beyond UVM
When and where should I do an internship?
There are a number of options for when and where a student can do an internship. An internship can be done locally in Burlington during the semester or in the summer. Or the internship can be done anywhere during the summer. Alternatively, the student can take time away from school to do the internship during the regular school year.
How do I find an internship?
Internship opportunities can be found in a variety of ways:
- Keep an eye out for emails from “env-talk” or other listservs.
- Talk to faculty for ideas.
- Talk to students about internships that they have done in the past.
- Look at departmental bulletin boards.
- Visit the Resource Center in Aiken.
- Go to the UVM Career Services website (http://career.uvm.edu).
- Search the internet.
- Go directly to where you want to intern and inquire about the possibility of an internship.
What types of internships are available?
There are many different types of internship/independent study opportunities for students to take advantage of. They vary by length, compensation, position type, and structure:
- Summer, semester- or year-long
- Paid or unpaid
- Valuable work-study position.
- Credit or not-for-credit.
- Ready-made advertised internship.
- Design your own.
Do I need an advisor for my internship?
You will need two advisors: a Practicum Supervisor from the organization and a Faculty Supervisor from the Environmental Program. In some cases one person will serve as both the Practicum Supervisor and the Faculty Supervisor.
How do I get credit for an internship/independent study/apprenticeship/practicum?
See the online guidelines for ENVS 191/291 independent study. Look at the ENVS 191/291 guidelines – available on paper and online. The guidelines outline the requirements for writing a proposal/project plan, including the anticipated outcomes and final products of your 191/291 experience.
Can I earn ENVS 191 credit for something I have already done?
It is not recommended that you seek credit for internships/independent studies that have already taken place. It may be possible to pursue. Schedule a meeting with your academic advisor if you have any questions about this.
How many credits can I earn for ENVS 191/291? Do I have to register for the credits when I am doing the activity? Do they have to be in the same semester?
ENVS 191/291 credits are variable, and range from 1-9 credits depending on the level of work and time commitment. Permission is required to register in ENVS 191/291 credits. These credits do not have to be taken in the same semester and they can be registered for after the add/drop period. If you are planning to do a summer internship, we recommend that you register for the credits to be applied to either the spring or fall semester. The credits can also be
How many hours of work per credit is required for ENVS 191/291?
The standard is 50 hours of work per credit.