University issues guidelines for required experiential learning during fall 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — During the fall 2020 semester, as Penn State takes aggressive measures to help keep the University community safe during the coronavirus pandemic, Penn State undergraduate and graduate students who wish to complete required experiential learning opportunities, such as internships and practicums, in person, will need to secure prior approval from University leadership. Whenever possible, students will have the option to complete required experiences remotely. 

Students can request approval for an in-person internship, practicum, or other experiential learning requirement through a new, streamlined process by completing the Fall 2020 Internship Exception Web Form and Acknowledgement Form at Requests are reviewed by the associate dean for the student’s academic program, working with relevant University offices, and approved only if deemed sufficiently safe.

Students are not required to secure approval if completing an experience that is not for credit and not for the primary purpose of meeting an academic requirement for a Penn State program, or if the experience will be an extension of their current employment. View a full list of exceptions at

Students are encouraged to consider the flexibility they have to meet academic requirements during Fall 2020. The University has asked that all Penn State colleges and campuses accept virtual experiences as meeting experiential learning requirements of Penn State degree programs unless accreditation or other regulations prevent this. In many cases, students will have a range of options for fulfilling experiential requirements, from remote virtual internships or experiences, to special topics courses that meet similar learning outcomes, to research or culminating projects that simulate the internship or other required experience.

For international students who are in F-1 immigration status, if their academic program does not require an internship, these students must enroll in internship credits in order to complete an internship. F-1 regulations require that the internship be directly related to the major and be curricular. International students can seek advice from an international student adviser from Global Programs.

More information about the University’s experiential learning guidelines during the Fall 2020 semester, along with resources for succeeding in remote experiences, is available at

Last Updated September 22, 2020