Internships and Co-ops

Internship & Cooperative Education: Experiential Learning

Experiential learning opportunities, in the form of internships and co-ops, offered through our department are designed for eligible students to gain hands-on work experience in their field of study while earning (elective) academic credit. These internships and co-ops do not affect programs that have Directed Studies, Clinicals, or Practicums "built" into them. See HPU's Academic Catalog for detailed program information.

Please speak with your Academic or Graduate Advisor and Program Chair before attempting to register for an internship or co-op through our office.

Grace Laudick

HPU Communications major, Grace Laudick confronts pandmeic challenges head-on while interning at ThinkTech Hawaii in the spring 2020 semester.

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Chris Beach

Graduate student Chris Beach applies knowledge learned in his MSIS program to the real world context at an internship with Queen's Health System.

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Gabriella Andrade

Hospitality and Tourism Management major Gabriella Andrade finds an unlikely opportunity a the United States Tennis Association Hawaii Pacific Association.

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Internships are primarily intended as an advanced work experience for students. They are training-oriented and may be pre-professional, pre-managerial, supervisory, or technical. Internships can be a paid or non-paid work experience that varies across organizations, at their discretion.

  • To receive academic credit for an internship, you must have open elective credits within your degree plan that may be applied toward the internship. Check with your academic or faculty advisor.
  • An internship MUST be related to what you are studying while attending HPU. Students can register for 1, 2, or 3 internship/co-op credits at a time.
  • Undergraduates may apply up to 12 internship/co-op credits toward their degree plan.
  • Graduate students may apply up to 3 credits toward their degree plan.



1 Credit: 40 Hours
2 Credits: 80 Hours
3 Credits: 120 Hours


***HTM Majors must still complete 600 hours, regardless if it the internship is paid or non-paid***

Whether or not an internship is paid or unpaid, students must complete the required hours outlined above. Additionally, students must write a reflective paper and will work with a faculty member from their college to develop an appropriate paper topic. The student must also complete a self-evaluation and receive a satisfactory Performance Evaluation from their employer in order to receive a passing grade.

  • You must be a degree-seeking student at HPU with an established HPU GPA.

  • Undergraduates must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA for co-ops and 2.7 for internships.

  • Graduate students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA for internships.

  • The work experience must be directly related to the student’s major and must offer a valid learning opportunity.

Internships allow eligible students to earn academic credit for work experience related to their degree and/or major. International students must obtain work authorization (I-20) from the Office of International Students & Scholars (OISS) in order to participate in any paid or unpaid internship off campus. Along with the Career Development center’s Internship forms, students must complete a Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Request form available at: Click on “forms” from the left navigation panel to locate the CPT Request.

Upon reviewing your internship registration forms (from our office), the Office of International Students & Scholars (OISS) will determine your eligibility to work off campus and approve or deny your request.

Below are just a few of the organizations that offer HPU students outstanding internship opportunities:

  • ANA Airlines
  • DKI Asian Pacific Center for Security Studies
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Hawaii State Legislature
  • Kamehameha Schools
  • Kupu
  • Pacific Internship Program for Exploring Sciences
  • Pueo Business Solutions
  • Servco Pacific
  • YMCA of Honolulu

While not all employers offer employment after an internship, data from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), 2019 Internship & Co-op Survey Report shows that 70.4% of interns are offered a position after graduation (

  • Use these experiences as a tool for discovery into your interests, aptitudes, and abilities in various work settings.
  • Receive valuable training and mentoring and increase your marketability.
  • Create a more robust and viable résumé.
  • Gain a first-hand glimpse into the corporate or organizational culture beforehand to make a more informed decision on company and career choices.
  • Since employers use co-ops and internships to recruit employees, you can position yourself for an employment opportunity BEFORE graduation.