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Unpaid Internship Guidelines


New Mexico State University recognizes the guidelines for unpaid internships.  Some unpaid internships may provide students with an experience in the academic field that augments what is being taught in the classroom and helps move theory into practice.  New Mexico State University encourages that all internship positions are paid.  Though employers decide if an internship will be funded, New Mexico State University determines if an internship qualifies for academic credit.  All employers are strongly encouraged to follow state and federal regulations pertaining to labor laws when determining remuneration options.  All employers must be aware of how the U.S. Department of Labor guidelines for unpaid internships under the Fair Labor Standards Act may affect your company. To avoid legal action, a for-profit employer may legally “hire” an unpaid intern only when the intern is the “primary beneficiary” of the position and meets the six criteria.  Please contact the NMSU Cooperative Education and Internship Program with any questions.

US Department of Labor – Fact Sheet #71 – Internships

Study on the impact of unpaid internships on career development.