/ Biology Department


Internships provide a competitive edge when seeking a career in biology. Start exploring the myriad opportunities in your field of interest by checking out these resources.

Receiving an internship position off-campus can be an invaluable experience that allows you to meet new people and build a larger network, preview what graduate school or industry is like, and explore different scientific models/systems. Perhaps just as important to your future employer, completing off-campus internships displays your adaptability to new environments and sense of adventure!

Guidelines for receiving academic credit for internships
  • All internships must be approved by the chairperson of the biology department.
  • The student is responsible for arranging for the internship position with the external agency/company, including identifying one individual (placement supervisor) who will be directly responsible for supervising and evaluating the student during the internship.
  • The student is responsible for finding a biology department faculty member (Hope supervisor) who will oversee the internship as it relates to the biology department. This must be done prior to or during the registration period before the semester the student plans to participate in the internship. The student should consult with the chairperson of the biology department as to which faculty members would be appropriate.
  • To qualify as a biology department internship the work experience must be clearly related to the biological sciences. In the event of a disagreement over this issue between the chairperson and the student, the faculty of the biology department as a whole will determine the suitability of the internship.
  • Each hour of internship credit requires four hours per week of work experience.
  • A maximum of five hours of biology department credit will be allowed per semester.
  • Credit may not be received in another Hope College department for the same internship unless the hours of the internship are split between the departments.
  • A second internship may not be started until the first internship is finished and a grade has been assigned.
  • In accordance with Hope College policy, a student may receive compensation for the internship in addition to internship credit.
  • Within two weeks of the beginning of the internship, the internship supervisor must submit a letter to the faculty coordinator indicating the nature of the work experience, the hours to be worked and a willingness to directly supervise the student and provide a letter of evaluation including a recommended grade.
  • In addition to the actual work, the student must submit two typewritten papers to the Hope supervisor during the final week of the semester. The first paper should document the internship experience itself — what was done, how it was done, what new skills or information was gained, how the internship experience changed the student and other information of the type which would be found in a journal. The second paper should be a scientific review paper written in a style appropriate for submission to a review journal. The paper should review an area of biology which was dealt with during the internship experience. The length of the paper should be at least five pages for each hour of internship credit.
  • The grade for the internship will be determined by the faculty coordinator. She or he will take into account the evaluation by the internship supervisor, the quality of the two papers, the adherence of the student to the departmental requirements for internship credit and a self-evaluation by the student.
  • The student must fill out and sign the Hope College Biology Department Internship Application. Signing this application indicates that the student agrees to fulfill the biology department internship requirements.
  • The student must provide a copy of the internship application to the Hope supervisor, the placement supervisor, the chairperson of the biology department and the biology department office.
Tips on getting a great internship or research opportunity
  • Apply to several positions.
  • Do your research and start early — be prepared to sift through many postings to find the right one for you!
  • Ask for letters of recommendation at least two weeks in advance of the due date.
  • In your application, your personal statement or cover letter should explain why you want the internship. Your primary motivation should be to do/learn science, not to have a summer job.
  • To obtain academic credit for internships, read the above instructions about receiving academic credit for internships.

Download the internship application 

Biomedical  Research Internships