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Internships, Research, and Other Opportunities

Research has repeatedly shown the importance of learning by doing. Internships, research, and other engaged learning experiences can give students a chance to translate their academic knowledge to real world settings. Students will also gain practical tools such as improved listening and communication skills, data gathering and analysis, just to name a few, that will translate to jobs after graduation.

Internships in MILE

PitE Internship Program through the Michigan Internship Learning Environment (MILE)

The MILE program includes a series of stages that must be completed before, during, and after the internship. This process can be initiated throughout the academic year. Each of the goals and activities included in MILE must be completed before students can gain Environ 398 credit for an internship experience.

Why do an Internship for Credit?
1. Can be used to fulfill major or minor requirements in PitE.

2. Provides more structure to the internship and incorporates a research component, which is also an excellent item to include on a resume.

3. Some organizations may require students to get credit for an internship.

Requirements to do an Internship for Credit:
1. Be a declared PitE major or minor.

2. Have completed at least two terms of study at the University of Michigan or equivalent campus.

3. Be in good academic standing, including a minimum 2.0 G.P.A.

4. After completing Stage 1 and 2 of MILE, register for at least 3 credits of ENVIRON 398

Download a copy of the full Environ 398 Guidelines for more information about the course.

Sign-up to meet with a PitE Internship Faculty member to learn how to complete an internship for Practical Experience and discuss the MILE program further.

Self-Directed Independent Study in MILE

PitE Self-Directed Independent Study for Practical Experience
in MILE

In order for a self-directed independent study to fulfill the practical experience requirement it must meet the following criteria:

  • The independent study represents a substantial self-directed learning experience of at least 3 credits that builds on a student's academic interests and/or allows the student to develop professional/career-oriented skills
  • The independent study must involve a “research” element where the student collects and analyzes data  to better understand some issue/topic. In order to prepare for this, students must develop an independent study research proposal and secure a faculty advisor to work with.  Once students have secured a faculty advisor and finalized their proposal they will be given permission to enroll in Environ 398.
  • Environ 398 is graded as Credit/No Credit (CR/NC)

Sign Up to meet with a PitE Internship Faculty member to learn how to complete an Self-Directed Independent Study for Practical Experience and discuss the MILE program further.

Research and Independent Study Opportunities

PitE Independent Study with Faculty: This may be an option if you are working in a faculty member’s lab or cohort, conducting research in an environmentally related subject.  This is not awarded after the fact and must be planned with the faculty member and your PitE advisor.  ENVIRON 300 Special Problems and Research must be taken for 3 credits and the research must have a final presentation.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities (UROP): Students who have previously or are currently enrolled in UROP working on environmentally related research with a faculty member may petition for this opportunity to count toward Practical Experience.  Contact a PitE Advisor for further information.

PitE Honors Thesis Program: Students who finish an honors thesis in PitE by completing ENVIRON 399 and 6 total credits of ENVIRON 499 may petition for this opportunity to count toward Practical Experience. Contact a PitE Advisor for further information.

Other Opportunities

Many of these other opportunities are non-credit bearing experiences and will need to be pre-approved by a proposal to count toward Practical Experience by your PitE Advisor. 

Please use the following rubric to complete your proposal for potential approval.

Examples of possible non-credit options that will meet Practical Experience:

Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program: This NSF funded nationally recognized research program may count toward Practical Experience if your research is environmentally related.

Doris Duke Conservation Scholars: This is a highly selective multi-year undergraduate research program which helps to connect students of color to research and career experiences related to conservation. 

Michigan Sustainability Cases: An MSC imparts scientific skills and situational understanding. Cases consist of a real-world based problem with a challenging decision. Then, research is done to find perspectives from key decision makers and main stakeholders, accompanied by audiovisual resources providing diverse and in-depth insights. Finally, interactive learning exercises are created for students to analyze priorities, trade offs, and unintended consequences.

Check out MSC’s and the faculty working on them here.

Planning and/or Coordinating an Environmentally-Related Conference or Event: Work with a faculty or staff member in PitE or SEAS to coordinate and plan logistics for a large campus-wide event related to the environment.  Examples may be a conference, an LS&A theme semester, or large speaker event.  Such an event would likely take more than one semester to plan for and coordinate. 

For any of these opportunities, please contact a PitE Advisor for further information and/or approval.