How Long do Internships Last? It Depends.

how long to internships last?

How long do internships last? Internships last for 2-3 months. While 2-3 months is the standard time frame for a summer internship, there are several types of internships that vary in length. In this article, we’ll discuss summer internships, co-ops, and ongoing internships. We’ll talk about the time frame for each one and what they are like.  

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  1. Summer internships
  2. Co-ops
  3. Ongoing internships

1. Summer internships

How long are internships?

Internships are 2-3 months long. Summer internships are the most common type of internship. Summer internships typically start in May or June and end in August or September. Most companies require you to complete a minimum of 10 weeks at the company for a summer internship.

What do you do in an internship?

In an internship, you are typically given 1-2 major projects to complete over the summer. This is accompanied by smaller, daily tasks. The goal of an internship is to learn the ins and outs of a company, get a sense of what working in that particular industry is like, and accomplish at least one major project for them.

Read How to 6 Ways to Make the Most of your Engineering Internship and End of Internship Presentations – Everything you Need to Know to learn more about internships.

2. Co-ops

How long are co-ops?

Co-ops are typically 1-2 semesters long. If you chose a one-semester-long internship, it will last for about 4-5 months. This is a great option if you want to do a summer internship as well, allowing you to have two companies and positions listed on your resume.

If you chose a two-semester-long internship, it will last for 7-8 months. With two-semester-long co-ops, one semester is always the summer semester, so your co-op will either be a spring-summer co-op or a summer-fall co-op.

What do you do in an co-op?

During a co-op you are given more responsibility. Over the course of your co-op, you can expect to complete 3-4 major projects and be tasked with a variety of daily tasks and smaller projects to support the team.

The major benefits of doing a co-op are that they are less competitive to get, and you learn more than in summer internships. Fewer students will take an entire semester off of school, making the candidate pool smaller. Additionally, due to the longer time frame, you have time to really get comfortable in your position and accomplish a great deal in your time there. Summer internships alone can often feel rushed.

Read Co-ops vs. Internships: 7 Major Differences for more information on the differences between co-ops and internships.

3. Ongoing internships

How long are ongoing internships?

Ongoing internships do not have a set time frame. With an ongoing internship, engineering companies typically hire local students to be interns for the team. These teams likely always have an intern supporting the team, so you can stay on for however long you like.

If you choose to do an ongoing internship, you would typically choose a local company so you can work part time while doing full-time school. These internships are typically best during the fall or spring semesters. Over the summer, you can either get a different internship or continue there.

What do you do in an ongoing internship?

With traditional internships and co-ops, the intern is given a specific project(s) to complete. The team will decide ahead of time what they want their intern to complete.

An ongoing internship is more of a support role. You will be assisting the full-time employees with their tasks and will get assigned to skill-level-appropriate projects as they pop up. As an engineering intern, this might look like CAD work, testing, and small design projects.

One benefit of being an ongoing intern is that you will get a realistic sense of what working as a full-time employee would be like. You are treated more like a member of a team rather than the guest of honor who will be leaving soon. Working part time at a local company while doing full-time school is a great way to make money throughout the school year while getting relevant experience.


Read More:

6 Ways to Make the Most of your Engineering Internship

End of Internship Presentations – Everything you Need to Know

Co-ops vs. Internships: 7 Major Differences