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Internship Experience

SPExS_Gap Interns

In addition to the Seminar course, you will have a graded internship by way of a Mentored Field Practicum course. The internship experience is unique to the AU Gap Program, as it allows you to start to build credentials, gain real-world experience, and develop connections through the internship and mentored field practicum class.  

Internship Search

AU Gap staff will provide you with the tools and resources to secure your own internship. Creating a resume and cover letter, developing interview skills, and searching for internships are key skills you will develop through this experience.

Prior to entering the Gap Program, you are given access to resume builder software and you will work with program staff to fine-tune your resume and cover letter. After arrival on campus, you will work with the Gap Program team and a professor to refine your search and secure an internship.

You will have access to the School of Professional & Extended Studies Internship Database—the largest of its kind focusing on internships in the Washington, D.C. area. With over 3,000 internships in the database, many employers specifically turn to the School of Professional & Extended Studies at American University for their semester interns. There are internships available in areas of interest ranging from politics and justice, communications, international affairs, psychology, and arts & sciences.

Mentored Field Practicum

Supplementing the internship experience, you will participate in a Mentored Field Practicum (MFP) class. Led by an experienced AU instructor, the MFP course enables you to have a successful educational experience at your internship, as it provides a forum for exploring common challenges and opportunities in the workplace, including job responsibilities, communication with co-workers, diversity in the workplace, and goal setting. You will also identify skills crucial to success in the professional field you are interning and you will connect theories and knowledge gained in your seminar classes with "real world" experiences. The MFP is a 4-credit course.