Chemistry Laboratory Internship (CHM 490)


The intent of the internship course is to enable Chemistry and Biochemistry majors to obtain industrial experience in using chemical techniques, procedures and equipment while solving real problems. During this time, you will work in local industry or other laboratory setting and become familiar with the organization and operation of the business and the role of the laboratory within the organization's structure.  To be eligible for an internship, you should have had two or more years of college chemistry including general, analytical, organic and, possibly, physical chemistry.  This background should qualify you for a part-time (minimum of 10 hours per week) or a full-time technical position in the areas of industrial testing or quality control. Your job supervisor, during the internship, is directly responsible for the assignment of your duties and the evaluation of your performance.

Course Requirements and Credit Assignment

In order to be admitted, you must be a Chemistry (CHM), Biochemistry (BIC) or Chemistry - Education (CHMX) major, with a minimum of 20 hours in chemistry.  Permission of a department professor, who will serve as a liaison between you and the corporate/laboratory supervisor, is required before registration.  A report of 10 pages or more is required at the end of the semester detailing your duties and accomplishments.  In addition, the Chemistry department advisor will assign independent study topics, literature searches, and reports (at least 10 pages) related to your area of practical training.  You should arrange to meet with the professor at least five times during the semester.  A maximum of 4 hours of credit per student will be allowed.  One hour credit per semester requires a minimum of 10 hours of laboratory experience per week.  Two hours of credit can be earned for 20 hours of work.  This course is offered every semester. 

At the end of the internship the work supervisor returns a Site Supervisor Evaluation of Intern Form to Career Services which forwards it to the faculty coordinator for grading purposes.  The student also completes a Student Evaluation of Internship Form.

CHM 490 enrollment procedure

Students wishing to enroll in CHM 490 should take the following steps:

  1. The first step is to identify an internship opportunity.  The Chemistry Department maintains a list of companies and laboratories that offer internships.
  2. Upon successfully obtaining an internship, you should next identify a chemistry faculty sponsor who will oversee the project. It is helpful if the faculty has some knowledge of the area of chemistry involved in the internship, and you can identify potential mentors by looking through the list of faculty and their interests.  The student and sponsor should discuss the project goals, meetings times, and how many credits the student would like to register for.
  3. Once a faculty sponsor has been identified and agrees to serve as a mentor, the student should request a registration permit for CHM 490 through MyBanner.  If you don't know how to request such a permit, GVSU provides instructions.
  4. Next, the student should fill out the Chemistry Department Research Request Form, which can be found at the link below.  This form alerts both the department and the faculty member of the request, and allows the faculty member to confirm their willingness to sponsor the project.
  5. Once your permit has been approved, you will receive an Email from the department via MyBanner indicating that you are now eligible to register.  Very important:  it is still necessary for you to register for the class in MyBanner before 5 p.m. on Friday of the first week of class.
  6. Internships are formalized through the Career Services Office, which has the needed forms, in the Student Services Building.  The application process requires the completion of an Internship/Cooperative Education application and Information Release Form that must be returned to Career Services.  This form is used to incorporate the student into an internship register used to notify students about internship opportunities.  Once the student is notified of an internship opportunity or the student informs Career Services of an internship opportunity, this office allows the student to complete the Internship Agreement Form.  This form requires signatures by the student, the employer/supervisor, faculty coordinator, and the Chemistry Department Chair.

Page last modified August 5, 2021