Experiential Learning at McCombs
BBA Internship and Practicum Courses
All McCombs School of Business undergraduate students are required to successfully complete 3 credits of experiential learning. To satisfy the experiential learning requirement, most students elect to enroll in the internship course, B A 353, while they are performing an internship. Other students elect to enroll in one of many practicum courses offered by McCombs (see the link called Practicum Courses below). Some students select both options!
Intended Outcomes Include
- Hands-on experiential learning supervised by faculty and industry professionals;
- Immersion in a professional business environment;
- Opportunities to put your academic learning into practice;
- Increased professional skills and understanding of business processes;
- Enhanced ability to recognize your preferences and abilities and match them with appropriate career-related choices.
Resources for Finding an Internship
The BBA Career Management team is dedicated to assisting BBA students in all phases of the internship search, from resume and cover letter writing to suggesting tactics for a successful interview. There are numerous resources to assist you in securing an internship; however, it is ultimately your responsibility to find an internship.
Once you secure a professional internship, you must apply to enroll in B A 353 Internship in Business Administration using the McCombs Online Resources (MOR). None of the hours/weeks you may have worked prior to receiving approval to enroll in B A 353 will count toward earning course credit. Accordingly, you should apply to enroll in B A 353 as soon as you receive your offer. Applications to enroll in B A 353 evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Credit cannot be given for an internship you have already completed.
Suggestions for Getting Started
- Through workshops, events, specialized programming and career advising, the BBA Career Management team is dedicated to assisting students with all aspects of the internship search. For a list of upcoming workshops and events, refer to BBA Career Management events, workshops, and programs.
- Attend the McCombs Career Expo offered each fall and spring semester, as well as other Career Week events to assist you in preparing for an internship experience.
- Utilize and search through RecruitMcCombs and HireUTexas. Refer to the Apply for Positions section of the BBA Career Management website for additional helpful resources.
- Schedule an appointment with your BBA Career Coach.
- Use your networking skills to explore possible opportunities. Remember to speak with family, friends, former employers, etc.
If you are experiencing difficulty finding an internship, please schedule an appointment with your BBA Career Coach to discuss options for securing an internship.
Enrolling in the B A 353 Internship Course
To enroll in B A 353 while performing an internship, you must follow the procedures in the order listed.
1. Fulfill the Prerequisites
- Successfully complete 45 hours of college course work.
- Complete or be enrolled in B A 324 or B A 324H.
- Take the internship course at least one semester prior to the semester in which you intend to graduate. (This is highly recommended; however, it is not required.)
2. Secure a Professional Internship
Certain types of work experiences are not eligible for course credit. Refer to the FAQ link for details.
3. Apply to Enroll in B A 353
Use the application on McCombs Online Resources (MOR) to apply to enroll in B A 353. The deadline to apply is identified in the link called Deadlines (below).
4. Read Your Email
You will receive an email indicating whether your application to enroll in B A 353 was approved or denied. If your application was approved, the email will provide you with registration instructions, the course syllabus, and information about the Information Session. If your application was denied, the email will explain the reason for the denial. You may re-apply at any time.
5. Register for the Internship Course
Once your application is approved, you will receive an email with registration instructions. The course will not be added automatically upon approval of your application. Instead, register for B A 353 in the same way you register for other courses. The deadline to register is identified in the link called Deadlines (below).
- Spring Internship: Students interning during the spring semester add B A 353 to their spring semester schedules.
- Summer Internship: Students interning during the summer add B A 353 to their schedules during the Second Term of the summer.
- Fall Internship: Students interning during the fall semester add B A 353 to their fall semester course schedules.
6. Report Your Offer
Report your internship and job offers (both accepted and declined).
7. Attend the B A 353 Information Session
You will receive an email with the date, time and location of the information session. During the session, faculty and staff will outline expectations and resources, explain the course requirements, and answer your pre-internship questions.
- Spring Internship: For students interning during the spring, the meeting will occur on or around the 12th class day of the spring semester.
- Summer Internship: For students interning during the summer, the meeting will occur toward the end of the preceding spring semester.
- Fall Internship: For students interning during the fall, the meeting will occur on or around the 12th class day of the fall semester.
8. Perform Your Internship
You must work a minimum of 160 hours over the course of at least 6 calendar weeks. (Note: Working 30 consecutive days will not satisfy this requirement.) Any hours worked prior to receiving approval of your internship will not count toward fulfilling this requirement. Any hours worked after the deadline will not count toward fulfilling this requirement. The only hours/weeks that will be counted toward fulfilling this requirement are those that occur between the date of your approval email and the final deadline. You may work part-time or full-time, paid or unpaid.
9. Submit Assignments on Canvas
Details will be announced on Canvas. Each assignment will be based on the readings in the text or activities on MOR. You are welcome to submit the assignments early; however, there will be no opportunity to submit the assignments late. If you fail to submit an assignment on time, or if you earn a score of less than 70% on any assignment, you will fail the course.
10. Complete Assignments on MOR
10a. Validate Your Supervisor's Contact Information
Speak to your supervisor and/or recruiter to determine who will report your time on the job to McCombs. Thereafter, update/validate your B A 353 application on MOR to ensure that the selected person's name and contact information is reflected in the "Supervisor" part of your application. If you forget, you will receive a reminder email approximately three weeks prior to the end of your internship. If you fail to update the information, MOR will not send the Supervisor Survey to your supervisor, and you will earn a failing grade for the course. Even if all of the data in the Internship Tracking System is correct, you must still check the box and click on the Submit button to tell the system that you have reviewed and validated the information.
10b. Ensure That Your Supervisor Completes the Supervisor Survey
Two weeks prior to the end of your internship, your supervisor will start receiving emails asking him or her to complete an online Supervisor Survey. In the survey, your supervisor will indicate the number of weeks and hours that you worked. Ensure that your supervisor to completes the survey by the deadline. Do not leave your internship until you are certain the survey has been submitted. You cannot earn course credit without it. If your supervisor has not received the email, please ask her to check her spam/junk mail folder.
For more information on internship course deadlines, refer to the link called Deadlines (below).
How the Internship Course is Graded
B A 353 is graded on a pass/fail basis, based on the timely and successful completion of your internship and all B A 353 assignments. Grades will be posted online, along with all of your other course grades, at the end of the semester. A grade of “CR” will be given to those students who fulfill all of the course requirements. A grade of “F” will be given if any requirement is not met by its due date. No late work will be accepted.
B A 353 Deadlines
Deadline to apply for B A 353
Spring: Your internship start date or the 10th class day of the spring semester, whichever is earlier.
Summer: Your internship start date or June 30th, whichever is earlier. If you accept an internship offer after June 30th, select Fall as your “Semester on the job.”
Fall: Your internship start date or the 10th class day of the fall semester, whichever is earlier.
Deadline to add B A 353
Spring: The 12th class day of the spring semester.
Summer: The second class day of summer’s Second Term.
Fall: The 12th class day of the fall semester.
Deadline to accrue hours/weeks toward the 160 hour/6 week requirement
Spring 2024: 4/19/2024
Summer 2024: 8/16/2024
Fall 2024: The Friday before Thanksgiving
Additional Information for International Students
If you are an international student in F-1 status, you may be eligible to apply for employment authorization to participate in Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for one B A 353-related internship experience.
- Attend the workshop entitled, “International Students, Internships and CPT” or meet with Stacy Abrams, BBA Career Coach, during the semester prior to your internship experience.
- Upon receiving an internship offer, submit your application to enroll in B A 353.
- Once your application for course credit is approved, fill out the initial CPT application here: https://world.utexas.edu/isss/students/work/cpt. In the field(s) for your Department Contact's contact information, enter the name of the Director of Academic Advising, Lovelys Powell, and his email address, Lovelys.Powell@mccombs.utexas.edu.
Please note: enrollment in B A 353 cannot be repeated.
Additional Information for Students Interning Outside the US
International Travel Requirements
If you will be performing an internship outside the US, and will be enrolled in B A 353 to earn course credit for your internship, you must register your international travel plans with the University and enroll in the University’s international insurance plan. Instructions are on the Global Risk and Safety website. This action is required because activities that are part of or contribute to an academic course or degree program, including internships, are covered under the Student Travel Policy for International Locations.
Exceptions for Residents and Study Abroad Students
If you are a citizen of the country where you will be interning, you may opt out of purchasing travel insurance. However, you must still register your travel, as described above, to report your travel plans to the University.
If you sourced your internship through Education Abroad in Texas Global, please email the University’s Study Abroad Internship Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask them to email Michael Schuetz (email@example.com) and Joshua Barham (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the BBA Program Office, confirming that you have completed all of your pre-departure requirements.
iMPA Internship Requirement Options
All students in the integrated MPA (iMPA) program are required to perform one internship. You have the option of using either the undergraduate B A 353 course to satisfy the degree requirement, or one of the graduate courses (ACC 391C or ACC 691C).
If you earn credit for B A 353, you are not required to perform another internship to also earn credit for ACC 391C or ACC 691C. However, you may choose to perform an additional internship if you wish. In this case, the B A 353 course would count as a free elective toward the BBA degree and the ACC 391C or ACC 691C would count as a graduate elective toward the MPA degree.
Internships Before iMPA Admission
If you perform an internship during the summer before you are admitted into the iMPA program, you may submit an application to enroll in B A 353. If you are then admitted into the iMPA program, you can choose to continue your enrollment in B A 353 and receive academic credit, or, assuming you satisfactorily completed the internship, you can drop the course and not receive credit. If you choose to drop the course, you must notify the BBA Internship Program Director (see the "Contact Us" tab on this page) prior to doing so.
Internships After iMPA Admission
The majority of iMPA students intern during the spring semester of their fourth year and enroll in either ACC 391C or ACC 691C. If you choose this option, you would enroll in two MPA-specific accelerated courses in addition to the internship course. During the semester of your internship, you would earn 9 to 12 credit hours, which would allow you to maintain full-time status even though you would still be listed as an undergraduate student.
While they are not intended to take the place of a professional internship experience, there are several business practicum courses that will satisfy the internship requirement:
- ACC 366P Accounting Practicum (Spring only)
- FIN 366P Financial Analyst Program Practicum
- MAN 347P Entrepreneurship Practicum
- MAN 366P Management Practicum; Social Entrepreneurship I (Fall only)
- MAN 367P Social Entrepreneurship II (Spring only)
- MAN 369P Social Innovation
- MKT 366P Marketing Practicum OM 366P Operations Management Practicum
These courses should not be your first choice for fulfilling the internship requirement, as it is not possible to guarantee your admission into any of them. Some practicum courses require an intensive application and interview process, which can take place up to one year in advance of the actual course. Additionally, these courses may not give you the same type of work experience you would get from a professional internship.
If you take one of these alternate courses to satisfy the internship requirement, contact your BBA Academic Advisor to override your degree audit to reflect this substitution. Do not apply for internship course credit; do not submit an application in MOR.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does my internship have to be a paid position?
No. Your internship can be paid or unpaid. Please refer to the US Department of Labor’s Fact Sheet #71 regarding internship requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act. 90% of the McCombs students in B A 353 are paid during their internships. Of those who are not paid, most are interning in non-profit or government organizations.
How do I get my internship approved for course credit?
Apply to enroll in B A 353 on MOR. To ensure that all of your work hours will count toward earning course credit, apply for the internship course after you have secured an internship, but before you begin working.
How do I know if my internship will work for the internship course?
Apply to enroll in B A 353 and await the decision. The turnaround time is typically within 48 hours.
Are there any internships that will not be approved?
Certain types of work experiences are not eligible for course credit, as noted below:
- Work performed in a student's family-owned or family-managed business.
- Work performed for a student-run organization.
- Work performed autonomously, without direct managerial oversight and guidance, for example, door-to-door sales and similar activities.
- Work performed for an organization that does not provide the tools and equipment necessary to complete the work, for example, positions that require the student to use their own computer, or field sales roles that do not provide either transportation or mileage reimbursement.
- Work performed for an organization that lacks an established professional website and matching email domain.
- Participation in a political campaign, PAC or lobbying effort (however, working for a seated public servant is acceptable).
- Training activities, for example, time spent preparing for insurance or securities license exams.
- Work performed in an employer’s private home or work performed for a business that is registered to a private residential address. To identify the address an employer reported to the state authorities, visit https://mycpa.cpa.state.tx.us/coa/ for businesses operating in Texas, or https://bizfileonline.sos.ca.gov/search/business for businesses operating in California, or https://apps.dos.ny.gov/publicInquiry/ for businesses operating in New York. For businesses operating in other states, google “Statename taxable entity search.”
- Work performed for an organization that is not authorized to do business in the location where the student will be working. To verify that the organization has registered to conduct business in the appropriate location, use the link(s) in the previous bullet point, above.
- Work performed for an organization that operates entirely remotely, without a registered business address that points to the location where the organization conducts its operating activities.
- Remote employment arrangements that are unique to the intern and do not align with the remote work guidelines for all of the organization’s employees. (Note: If you will be working from Texas, your employer must be registered to conduct business in Texas. See the registration information, above.)
Adding B A 353 will put me over 17 hours. What should I do?
The registration system allows you to register for a maximum of 17 hours in a fall or spring semester, however the McCombs School of Business will increase this number if you need to add B A 353. Contact your BBA Academic Adviser for permission to enroll in more than 17 hours. If you don't know who your academic adviser is, please contact the BBA Program Office at 512-471-0690.
Why can’t I add the course, even though my application was approved?
First, wait a day or two. It may take a bit of time for your UTEID to be entered into the registration system, thereby authorizing you to add B A 353 to your schedule. Second, make sure you are trying to add the unique number for which you were approved. Third, ensure that you are registering for 17 or fewer hours, or have permission to register for more than 17 hours. If you have followed these three steps and still can't register, contact the BBA Internship Program Director. Refer to the link called Contact Us (below).
My application was denied…what do I do?
If your application to enroll in B A 353 was denied, you will receive an email explaining why it was denied. Please read the email and proceed accordingly. It may be as simple as correcting a typing error and re-submitting your application. However, it may be necessary to secure an entirely different internship. If so, you can submit a new application at any time. If you have questions, contact the BBA Internship Program Director. Refer to the link called Contact Us (below).
My internship was approved, but I’m not going to do it. What’s next?
You are required to comply with the Texas McCombs Career Management Code of Ethics. If you have already accepted an offer and wish to change your mind and/or quit your position, contact Morgan Medina, Director of BBA Career Education and Coaching, BEFORE you act.
When does the class meet?
B A 353 is an online course. There are no face-to-face meetings.
What is the Supervisor Survey?
To ensure that you earn course credit for your internship, your supervisor will be asked to document the dates and hours you worked. This will occur using a secure, online survey. Access will be emailed to your supervisor two weeks prior to the end of your internship. If your supervisor does not complete the survey by the deadline, you will fail B A 353. This is an opportunity for you to learn how to manage the manager!
Your supervisor is also provided the opportunity to evaluate your performance on the survey. However, the evaluation portion of the survey is optional.
My supervisor never received the email about a survey. What should I do?
If you failed to update your supervisor’s contact information in MOR, the system will not email the Supervisor Survey request to your supervisor, and you will fail B A 353. Even if you know that the supervisor contact information in the system is correct, you must still log into MOR, check the box, and click "Submit", to validate your supervisor’s contact information by the deadline. If you have issues or questions, contact the BBA Internship Program Director. Refer to the link called Contact Us (below).
Why haven’t I received any emails?
Be sure that you are checking the email address that is on file with the University. Verify and/or update your email address through UT Direct.
When should I do an internship?
You can complete an internship at any time during your academic career. In fact, the earlier you get started and the more experience you gain, the better. However, you can use only one internship toward the degree requirement. Just in case issues arise, it is recommended that you do not perform your required internship during your final semester at McCombs.
I changed BBA majors. Do I need to complete another internship?
No; the B A 353 internship course satisfies the degree requirement for all undergraduate business majors.
What if I get fired or want to quit?
If you experience any problem(s) in your internship or with your employer, please immediately contact Morgan Medina, Director of BBA Career Education and Coaching BEFORE you act. She can help you understand your options and will assist you with the issue(s). Be aware that quitting an internship without first speaking with BBA Career Management can have serious consequences.
If you do leave your internship, no matter what the reason, notify the BBA Internship Program Director so she can update MOR. This will enable you to apply to enroll in B A 353 in the future.
Help, my employer is doing something illegal or inappropriate! What do I do?
If you have any issues or problems during the course of your internship, please immediately contact Morgan Medina, Director of BBA Career Education and Coaching BEFORE you act. We will work with you and we want you to be in a comfortable/safe work environment.
My company needs a form signed. Who should sign it?
University of Texas at Austin faculty and staff are not able to sign any company forms. Instead, the BBA Program Office (BPO) Academic Advisors offer a standard letter. To request the letter, stop by the BPO (CBA 2.400) and sign a "Release of Information" letter allowing your adviser to discuss your degree information in the letter. The letter will indicate that your work experience with the company has been approved for internship course credit.
For all questions relating to academic credit and the internship course, B A 353, contact the Director of the BBA Internship Program, Professor Heidi Toprac.
For all questions related to employers and the employer/intern relationship, contact Sarah Nathan Managing Director of McCombs Recruiting.