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Applied Study Term Program University of Illinois Springfield

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Information for Students


What is an Applied Study Term (AST)?

  • An AST is a credit bearing internship. When students do their internship they are enrolled in an Experiential & Service- Learning (EXS-L) class at the same time. Students pay tuition for the class. The class requires written work, plus the work done on the internship.

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What do AST credits fulfill?

  • Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE): The AST can fulfill your ECCE Engagement and/or ECCE Elective requirements.
  • General Elective: If you have all of your general education and major requirements completed, but still need additional credits to reach the 120 that is required to graduate, the AST can be used as a general elective.
  • University Requirement: If you are under a UIS catalog prior to 2007 the AST can be used to fulfill your University Requirement

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When can I take an AST?

  • You are eligible to take an AST during your Junior or Senior Year, after you have completed at least 3 of your 300 or 400 level courses required for your major.

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How many credits of AST can I take?

  • You earn credit by taking the appropriate AST course- EXL 300: General Applied Study Term or EXL 301: Project Applied Study Term
  • You can take 2-12 credits* of AST.  Please refer to your academic advisor or AST staff for assistance determining how many credits that you need.
  • *College of Business and Management students are allowed to take 6 credits  (students interested in earning up to 8 credit hours should consult Dr. Dyanne Ferk or Dr. Leonard Branson).
  • If you take more than 6 credits, there are additional requirements: Guidelines for AST ECCE Beyond 6 Credit Hours

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How many internship/project hours do I have to work?

  • You have to work 50 hours at your internship for every credit that you register for.  For example, 3 credits = 150 hours.
  • Please note: students under UIS catalogs prior to 2007 who are fulfilling University Requirements are required to work 40 hours for every credit.  For example, 8 credits = 320 hours.

When do I start looking for an internship?

  • You should start looking for an internship or project the semester BEFORE you plan to complete your AST.

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What do I do first!?

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Can I do an internship where I currently work?

You may be able to complete your internship at your current place of employment if the following are true and your academic advisor approves:

  • You currently work in your field of study.
  • You are working in a new position, or you will be assigned new duties, projects, etc. that will provide you with a new learning experience.
  • You have a work supervisor who is willing to supervise your work for the AST, participate in a site visit with a UIS faculty member, and fill out an evaluation of you at the end.

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What does the AST course involve?

  • The AST course, EXL 300 or EXL 301, is offered online or in a blended format.
  • See the Curriculum Overview page for details on the AST course requirements.

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Types of ASTs / General, Study Abroad/Travel, Project

  • Most ASTs take the form of a traditional internship, and are termed General ASTs.
  • However, it is possible to do a Project AST while working on a project, studying or traveling abroad. The Project AST is very independent in nature requiring good organizational skills and attention to self-imposed deadlines. Examples of a Project AST include–
    -a research and writing project (fiction or nonfiction);
    -an entrepreneurial endeavor such as starting a business
    -creating new software;
    Email for more assistance.
    Students doing a Project AST enroll in EXL301.

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Updated: July 2013

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