Internship Timeline

Begin your search early, especially if you hope to enroll for credit.

Timelines for hiring vary by industry and by organization size.

For established internships, you can expect to find opportunities available during the following windows:

  • Government:
    • FBI and State Department: These organizations have a lengthy background-check process. Applications tend to open in August.
    • Federal Internships: Application deadlines vary from September/October to February/March. 
    • State, County, and City Internships: Opportunities tend to be posted between January and April. 
  • Large Corporations:
    • With more recruiting capacity, large for-profit organizations tend to recruit around the same time of year, competing to have “first dibs” on top talent.
    • Many internships are posted in early fall semester – by September or October. 
    • There tends to be a short recruitment period in early spring semester, for internships that weren’t filled through the fall recruitment process.
  • Midsize Organizations:
    • Recruitment activity ranges from October to April/May. 
  • Small Organizations:
    • Small organizations and start-ups tend to use a “just-in-time” hiring process – when they realize that they need an intern, they post. Internships may be posted as late as May/June.
    • Smaller organizations may lack the recruiting capacity to manage an online hiring process, or to advertise their opportunities. Through networking, you may be able to inquire if an organization would be open to hiring an intern to work on X problem or contribute to Y project over the summer.

  • For organizations with the capacity to do so, you may see internships for fall posted as early as March or April.
  • The majority of fall internships are posted between July and September.

  • The recruiting season for spring opportunities tends to begin in October, and may continue through January/February.

Searching for an internship is similar to a job search. Puget Sound has resources to support your process. Looking for guidance? Make an appointment to connect with a CES advisor. We can help you customize a search strategy that aligns with your goals.

Planning to pursue an internship for credit? Here’s info about that process.