Economics Internships | Economics | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

students listening to lecture


Internships allow students to gain valuable real world experience while at the same time make progress towards the degree.  An economics major can fulfill one elective (3 hours) towards the requirements of the major through successful completion of an internship.  Students wanting to do an internship should sign up for ECON 399 after the following guidelines are met:


  • Must be a declared major in economics
  • Successful completion of ECON 240 and ECON 241
  • 6 credit of economics courses taken at SIUC in addition to ECON 240 and ECON 241

A candidate meeting or who will meet the above requirements at the time of the internship must first speak with the director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Economics and must receive written permission from the director before formally arranging the internship.  The director and the student will discuss the proposed internship, including the duties that will be performed, the length of the internship (semester, summer, two months, etc.) and any requirements after the internship is completed, such as writing a paper describing the duties that were performed and what was learned.  When the proposed internship and subsequent requirements meet the advisor’s satisfaction and written permission is obtained, the student can then register for ECON 399 for three credits under the direction of the advisor.

Internships may be with our without pay.

A student who already has a job that entails characteristics commensurate with that of an acceptable internship can enroll as an intern for credit towards the major provided:

  • the student receives written permission from the undergraduate studies director and registers for ECON 399 as outlined above.
  • the student remains at the place of work for the duration specified by the director.  The student cannot retroactively apply work experience for the completion of ECON 399.  That is, the internship officially begins after successful registration not at the time the student began work at this job.

Students are encouraged to seek internship opportunities.  Generally, there are two types of internships:  formal and informal.

  • Formal internships constitute official internship programs within businesses (AG Edwards, Price Waterhouse) or government offices (governor’s internship programs, internship program in federal agencies).  Often these sources provide formal descriptions of their internship programs along with formal applications.  A student who wishes to participate in one of these programs must provide a copy of the program’s details to the director, who then can determine whether the program contains enough economic content to qualify for an economics internship.  The economic department strongly recommends that a student provide such information before applying to these programs to ensure that they can be counted as credit towards the major.  The director has information regarding some internships programs but students are not limited to these internships.
  • Informal internships can be established even in businesses or agencies where no existing internship program exists.  Students need to first gain written permission from the business or agency where the internship is desired, a copy of which will be placed in the student’s file in the Economics Department.  Furthermore, the student needs to provide the director with the contact information of the supervisor who will be in charge of the student’s work, along with a description of the duties that will be performed so as to better inform the director as to what the proposed internship constitutes.