About the Internship Program

Launch your career at full speed

Through Western’s Graduate Student Internship Program, you can apply your skills in a work environment. You will explore challenges beyond your degree program in a business, government institution, or not-for-profit organization. You’ll also lay the foundation for a professional career by sharpening your transferable skills and building your network.

I’m always looking to expand upon my interests in storytelling and writing in new and challenging ways. During my internship, I was able to build upon these capacities by developing a social media marketing strategy and communications plan for a start-up company. I also established and wrote content for their bi-monthly newsletter. The new skills I gained were particularly helpful for finding my current job in the federal government.
Percy Sherwood, PhD Candidate, Media Studies

About the Graduate Student Internship Program (GSIP)

Western’s Graduate Student Internship Program supports graduate students in expanding their professional skills within and outside of their academic discipline. Internships are meaningful, full-time, paid work experiences, allowing graduate students to connect theory with practice and expanding professional portfolios. Find out more about how to register here.

Who is eligible?

The Graduate Student Internship Program is for all Western graduate students in programs that does not include a mandatory internship, co-op, practicum, or placement component. To be eligible to participate, you must be registered as a part- or full-time PhD student at the time of application. You must also be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. International students are not eligible to participate at this time. Finally, it is required that you confirm with your thesis supervisor(s) and graduate chair that you are in good academic standing and meet the graduate program conditions for progression toward your degree.

How to find an internship

A great first step is to check out the job search resources provided by Western's Career Education team. We encourage you to search for internships using LinkedIn, build your network through informational interviews, and follow employers' social media feeds. A select number of opportunities are posted on Western Connect. You must be registered for the Graduate Student Internship Program to view and apply for those opportunities. If you are looking for guidance on your internship search and would like to speak with a team member, please contact David Feeney at dfeeney@uwo.ca.

Frequently asked questions

Q: I read that internships are four, eight, or 12 months long. Why is that?
A: We strongly recommend you align your internship with Western's academic terms. Ideal start dates for internships are January 1, May 1, and September 1.

Q: How can I access the internship opportunities posted on Western Connect?
A: Visit Western Connect and register for the Graduate Student Internship Program. Navigate to the "Internship/Co-op" tab, click "Undergraduate and Graduate," and select "GIPD - Graduate Student Internships Program (Doctorate)." Please note that you will need your academic supervisor or graduate chair to support your internship at this step, so make sure you have a conversation with them first.

Q: What happens to my studies while I am doing my internship?
A: Internships are full-time, so you will need to apply for a leave of absence. While you are away on your internship, your studies are put on hold.

Q: While I still get funding during my internship?
A: Your employer will pay you a salary. All funding provided by the university will pause for the duration of your leave of absence and resume when you continue your studies. If you are receiving an external scholarship, please contact the funding organization to learn if a leave of absence will affect your eligibility.

Q: Will the internships show up on my transcript?
A: For now, your transcript will only show a leave of absence for the term or terms in which you are doing your internship. We are working on a solution that will note the internship on your transcript - please allow us some more time for that!

Q: I am an international student. Why am I ineligible for the Graduate Student Internship Program?
A: To do an internship requires permission to work full-time outside the university. Study permit holders do not have this permission. The Canadian government issues co-op work permits for students, however, you can only obtain such a permit for internships that are mandatory components of your degree program.

Q: I want to do an internship next term. When is a good time to start preparing?
A: We recommend you start thinking about your internships and having conversations with your academic advisor several months in advance. Contact Western's Careers & Experience team at least four weeks before your expected start date. Also, please note that deadlines for applying for a leave of absence differ by faculty, so contact your graduate student services team to find out more.

Q: How can I prepare myself for the internship search?
Own Your Future, Western's doctoral professional development program, is a great place to start. Review the materials on their website and sign up for their workshops for guidance on job search, networking on LinkedIn, preparing your resumé, and much more.

Curious to learn more?

Sign up for email updates on the Graduate Student Internship Program by filling out this form. Visit the SGPS website to learn more about eligibility criteria and the internship process.


Send us a note to hirewesternu@uwo.ca.