39+ Sample Internship Contracts

What Is an Internship Contract?

An internship contract is an agreement between a company and an intern, or trainee. It is a written and often binding document that is quite different from a regular employment contract

According to an online article by The Balance Careers, internships are not created equal. And there are several types of internships that a person or student can pursue. These can either be in the private or public sector, it may last just a couple of weeks or extend for up to a year. The seven types of internships listed in the article are: paid internships, internships for credit, non profit internships, summer internships, service learning, co-operative education, and externship. 

Sample Terms in an Internship Contract 

Like any contract, an internship contract should always contain terms and conditions. The following are examples of stipulations you will normally find in an internship contract: 

Educational Purpose: The purpose of an internship is primarily anchored on learning and immersive education; and its sole objective is to equip trainees with enough tools and experience to take on actual workplace challenges. It is precisely why an internship is also referred to as an on-the-job training. It is meant to cultivate the skills and knowledge necessary for the workplace; and to help prepare the student or person for the actual job. In some cases where an internship is unpaid, it must be explicitly detailed in the contract that the program is for educational purposes and the student is neither receiving any compensation or benefits from the internship, other than knowledge and work experience. Liability Clause: Like most contracts, a liability clause is usually present in an internship contract. The company will take any precautions to protect itself and its interests. A release of liability condition absolves the company from any responsibility should any untoward incident occur. This basically means that the company is responsible for the intern’s learning and educational experience; but other than that, the company is released of any liability if the intern sustains any injuries or damages during the course of the internship. Mentoring or Supervision: By its very nature, internships are a type of job that presupposes the need for work experience. This means the intern is not just looking for experience and exposure, but would also need the proper guidance and mentoring. In order to maximize their learning experience in a work environment, interns need to be trained and their functions clearly defined by their immediate supervisor. It falls on the supervisor or team leader to impart useful knowledge and skills in order for the trainee to grow professionally. In effect, an internship contract may include specific details about whose duty it is to mentor or what company department is responsible for the student’s internship. Termination: If there is reasonable cause for terminating an agreement, a cancellation clause can also be inserted in a contract. The conditions for termination vary, but it is usually related to disciplinary cases. It is important then for the contract drafter to include specific disciplinary grounds where it may warrant a termination of contract. Conduct: One common condition that is found in a lot of contracts, including internship contracts, is office conduct. This generally pertains to the expectation of conforming to company policy and code. An internship contract should thus dutifully outline and define what the right conduct is. The terms can be itemized in the actual contract or enumerated in a separate document such as an Employee Handbook or Code of Conduct as reference. Even if intern trainees are not full-time and regular employees, company rules and regulations still apply to them for as long as they are under the internship program. Work Schedule: For academic cases, an intern is usually required to render a certain number of hours to complete his or her internship. For this reason, a schedule should be outlined and detailed within the contract as well. This is not limited to work schedules only. If it is applicable, payment schedules should be written down as well. It is the intern’s right to be informed not just of their wage or allowance amount, but the frequency of pay ought to be indicated in the contract too. Non-disclosure Policy: The degree to which disclosure is tolerated may vary depending on the company, but many businesses and establishments give high regard when it comes to non-disclosure, especially if it involves confidential and sensitive information. An intern is not a regular employee and their training normally does not exceed several months. However, in the span of a few months, it’s possible company information and strategies may be imparted to the intern. It is vital for the intern to be aware of respecting company methods and secrets. If the company wants to be strict about divulging details, a non-disclosure policy may be inserted in the contract.

Workplace Tips for Interns

Being an intern may seem like an easy job on the surface, but the experience is no different from starting any new job. It takes some time to adjust, learn the ropes, and figure out the flow of work. The tips below are just some ways to help you thrive in your internship journey.  

Learn to Be Open: Learning demands open-mindedness. It is rare for anyone with a closed mindset to truly optimize a learning experience. If you remain unwilling or refuse to take on new tasks, you won’t be able to seize a potential opportunity to learn. Of course, it will not be easy in the beginning, but that’s the point. People do not become experts overnight; it takes time to truly get the hang of things and master any skill. It all begins with the desire to learn. And this takes an equal amount of courage and open mindedness. Practice Humility: Learning is also closely connected to humility. You cannot learn if you are closed off and unwilling to learn from others. It takes a certain ounce of humble pie to really maximize a learning experience. If you go around acting like you already know everything, you will only make it harder for yourself to accept and process new information. It is important to remember that every person is a work in progress. Now matter how decorated or multi-awarded you are, there is always room for improvement. As an intern, you need the exposure and experience. And a huge hindrance to this is arrogance and narrow mindedness. Exert Effort: Nothing ever happens if you just sit down and expect things to fall easily on your lap. Take advantage of your learning experience by exerting effort over the course of your internship program. Chances are there are multiple opportunities to learn and grow, you just need to take the steps and appropriate actions to grab it. Laziness and carelessness does not have a place in an internship if you truly want to succeed in a particular field or career. You can feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in the fact that you dedicated time and effort to a job. Ask for Help: Some people find it difficult to ask for help. It can be out of fear, pride, or even just ignorance. But when in doubt, it is always a good move to consult your supervisor or head. If there is something that you do not quite understand or instructions are not clear to you, don’t be afraid to seek clarification. You will save yourself a lot of time if you approach tasks and assignments with a clear direction, rather than second guessing and doubting your ability. Supervisors and team leaders are there to guide and instruct you, so don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Strive to be Punctual: Attendance is sometimes an underrated achievement. It takes a lot of discipline and diligence to consistently show up on time. One of the most basic courtesies is being respectful and sensitive of other people’s time. Even if you are not a full-time employee at the company, you still want to exhibit respect and professionalism to your employers or supervisors. Practicing punctuality is an easy and simple way to start doing well in any work environment.

How to Create an Internship Contract

If convenience is what you’re after, using an existing template is the most practical choice. If not, you can also opt to create an internship contract from scratch. Just make sure to keep the following steps in mind: 

Step 1: Names of Parties

All contracts must contain the complete names of the parties partaking in the agreement. In this case, indicate the full name of the student or trainee as well as the company that is sponsoring the internship program. You also have the option to include their complete addresses. As an introduction, you can include basic information such as the date the agreement was made or its effectivity; and also the duration of the internship. Numbers and figures should clearly be stated. 

Step 2: Description of Duties

A basic contract must always outline the roles and responsibilities of the parties involved. This is done to promote better clarity and efficiency in the fulfillment of contract promises. This works both ways and is not limited only to the duties and functions of the intern. For example, a contract would need to specify what department an intern belongs to and the role he is expected to fulfill. After which, an enumeration of daily or weekly tasks can then be outlined. On the other hand, the company must also contribute to the intern’s learning and development. The duties, responsibilities, and resources of the company must therefore be included in the contract as well.     

Step 3: General Terms and Conditions

After assigning the intern their duties and responsibilities, you can then proceed to outline the various stipulations that the trainee will be subject to. This can be as general or as detailed as needed. The example terms and conditions above can help you in crafting this section of your contract agreement. The choice is yours whether to include terms pertaining to release of liability, contract amendment, cancellation of contract, payment guidelines, disciplinary measures, etc.   

Step 4: Agreement and Signature

Once the terms are all set, you can include a confirmation statement or agreement declaration at the bottom page to further consolidate the agreement. Make sure to leave ample space or insert a couple of lines for each party to affix their name and signature. You can also include the company signatory’s designation and/or department below the signature line.    


Do interns need a contract?

It is not always required, but interns are normally bound by contract to fulfill certain duties. Some companies furnish bare minimum contracts for interns or on-the-job trainees and have them sign for the sake of formality. Still, other institutions require their paid or even unpaid interns to agree to company policy by making them sign an official contract prior to starting the program.

What does an internship agreement mean?

An internship agreement basically means a written and often binding promise made between an intern, usually a student, and a company. It outlines the different expectations as well as conditions that both parties are supposed to fulfill. Each party should agree to the terms first before it becomes a signed contract. Otherwise, terms can be amended or rejected entirely.

How long does an internship last?

An internship typically lasts several months, depending on the nature of the job or company requirements. For students, academic or course requirements can sometimes mean an internship will last an entire semester. An intern’s work experience is also counted by the number of hours. Usually, there is a fixed number of hours that an on-the-job trainee must complete.

Can interns work for free?

There is such a thing as unpaid internships or students and people who are purely pursuing the program to obtain extensive knowledge and are hoping to gain substantial work experience. Since most interns are not considered regular or full time workers per se, they ought to be given minimal compensation at the very least. Although, this is still highly dependent on the employer or company.

An internship can be a wonderful opportunity for growth and development. You can learn valuable knowledge and skills, expand your network, and be exposed to what people call the ‘real world’. All you need to do is make the effort and take full advantage of the opportunity. Browse through the wide selection of sample templates above to create your own internship contract now!