Columbia University expects companies to appropriately compensate students for the work that they perform during an internship. We expect that all employers abide by the standards established by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
When conducting an internship search, students need to make themselves aware of the FLSA. This includes the specific criteria for unpaid internships at for-profit companies as outlined by the U.S. Department of Labor. If any of these criteria are not met, the intern must be paid.
Additionally, for employers seeking interns to work in the State of New York, strict attention must also be paid to the requirements set forth by the New York State Minimum Wage Act and Wage Orders.
Not-for-Profit organizations seeking to hire interns in the State of New York are also required to review and adhere to the guidelines set forth by the New York State Department of Labor
Academic Credit as a component of unpaid internships
An employer may request that students receive academic credit for their internship. Please be aware that the decision to award academic credit is based on the policies of the school at which the student is enrolled. Most schools and programs at Columbia University do not offer academic credit for internships. Academic credit should not replace compensation for work performed during an internship.