ECON394 Basics

What is Economics 394?

The ECON394 – Economics Internship – course it is not a standard course with a classroom, books, tests, other students, etc., that you take to learn about how to get an internship. Rather, it provides an opportunity to gain academic credit for something you do outside of JMU. Using leads from Career Services and/or your own research, you seek out an internship on your own. If your internship meets certain requirements, described below, you can register for the course. It is not necessary to be an Economics major. It is the character of the internship you are pursuing, not your major, which determines whether your internship makes you eligible to register for the course. To register you must also have taken the prerequisites (ECON201 and ECON200). The course is not repeatable and is offered on a credit/no credit basis.

When can Economics 394 be taken?

One of the requirements for this course is that you must register for ECON394 during the academic term that is concurrent with the internship. Most students have internships in the summer and would need to register for ECON394 in the six-week summer session. The concurrent registration requirement means that you cannot complete an internship in the summer and then seek academic credit for ECON394 in the fall. However, ECON394 is in the class schedule every semester to allow students who might choose to pursue an internship during the fall or spring semester the same opportunity for credit that students have during the summer.

What are the requirements for Economics 394?

Besides the concurrent registration requirement mentioned above, there are several other requirements:

  • The student should have at least junior standing (60+ credit hours). Junior standing is a general College of Business (COB) requirement for taking courses at the 300 level or above. This requirement is not a binding constraint for the curriculum of the Department of Economics. Students may take ECON394 any time after they have completed the 200 and 201 prerequisites. Better quality internships, in which organizations are uniquely seeking economics majors, require better preparation. Students are encouraged to take ECON331, ECON332, and ECON385 before the end of their spring semester junior year to be more competitive in seeking internships between the junior and senior year.

  • The internship must be approved in advance by the Faculty Internship Coordinator before the student registers for the course. This screening process is needed because internship possibilities for students vary and not all internships have responsibilities that are sufficiently analytical in character and also have an “economics” content. In other words, for an internship to be approved, it should involve some clearly identifiable analytical thinking that is similar to what would be experienced in an economics course. A letter or email from, or phone conversation with, the organization employing the intern is necessary to verify the nature of the internship responsibilities. If these responsibilities are deemed sufficiently analytical and have some economics content, a course approval form is signed and the student can register.

  • The intern must complete a minimum of 200 hours of work experience.

  • A satisfactory performance evaluation must be given by the intern’s supervisor.

  • Internships require a journal, a research paper, and an exit interview with the Faculty Internship Coordinator.

If your internship is approved, then you can you can find additional information on completing the course in other links in this webpage: (1) how to register, (2) journal writing expectations, and (3) tips on writing a paper.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me

Finding an Internship

There are a multitude of resources for you to find internships online. A couple of places you can go to get started: