By learning and practicing skills in a professional setting, UW Bioengineering students gain valuable on-the-job experience that expands their abilities, prepares them for their careers and eases the transition from academia to industry.

Companies that create summer internships for UW Bioengineering students can:

  • Help prepare the next generation of successful industry professionals
  • Interact with young talent and benefit from their contributions to your projects
  • Introduce students to your organization

If you have an internship opportunity that does not fall within the summer time frame, please contact us to discuss how we might accommodate your needs.

UW Bioengineering Requirements

UW Affiliates Program staff will work with you to tailor a summer internship that will meet your company’s needs and performance standards, and ensure the internship meets the UW’s academic requirements. We will also help promote the internship among our faculty and students.

Due to curriculum course requirements, UW Bioengineering undergraduate and graduate students are available to participate in summer internships only. Internships typically last one quarter (10 weeks), but can be as short as six weeks. Summer quarter runs from the third week of June to the third week of August.

Internship Expectations

Internships are intended as a learning experience for the student, with mutually beneficial outcomes. Many of our students have considerable practical experience in conducting research, and our curriculum prepares them to synthesize new information and to be contributing, productive members of your team. Work activities should challenge the student’s skills and abilities whenever possible, and employers are expected to provide ongoing mentoring support during the internship. In hosting an internship, your role goes beyond that of employer – you and your organization contribute to the profession of bioengineering by helping to educate the next generation of industry professionals.

The Department of Bioengineering expects fair treatment of its student employees which includes honoring their rights to privacy and providing feedback regarding their performance in order to enable them to successfully meet job requirements.

Departmental, state, and federal restrictions on internships apply to this position:

  1.  The internship must link to substantive biomedical engineering industry practices. The student must have an opportunity to apply his or her knowledge of biomedical engineering principles to practice. The internship must include some time in professional settings (e.g. working in an office, attending events, or participating in business meetings) and present the student the opportunity to gain “soft skills” related to professional behavior.
  2.  Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, an unpaid internship may not constitute “free labor”. An unpaid intern must not be used to replace a paid employee position in order for the organization to save money; otherwise the intern is considered an employee and must be paid at least minimum wage.
  3.  If the internship is unpaid, the employer is responsible for understanding the legal criteria for unpaid internships as specified by the US Department of Labor:
  4.  This internship must be a value-added position, and not essential for the viability of the organization. The internship’s duties should be substantially educational in nature.
  5.  This internship involves the use of university resources and is thus bound Washington State ethics rules. Under these rules, the following activities are prohibited: assisting in an election campaign, promoting or opposing a ballot proposition or initiative, lobbying the state legislature, or direct selling or solicitations for commercial purposes.

Types of Internships

UW BioE will work with you to tailor an internship that best meets everyone’s needs. Summer internships may be full time or part time, and are not eligible for student academic credit.

UW BioE students typically look for the following three types of internship opportunities:

  • Technical research-based internship
  • Technical non-research-based internship
  • Consulting/business development internship (engineering consultant, offering technical input, reviewing business plan or financial prospectus for a life sciences company or organization interested in biotechnical business applications, such as law firms, non-profit organizations)

Recruiting and Hiring Best Practices

Finding the right bioengineering student for your internship is a straightforward process, done with the support of the UW Bioengineering Department. You’ll kick off the process by first registering your internship with the Department of Bioengineering (see Create an Internship: Step-by-step). The following best practices can help guide you.

Information Sessions
Companies are encouraged to host an information session so students can learn about your organization and its goals and needs.

When to Recruit
The peak time for recruiting is Winter-Spring— during the months of January-May —when the largest pool of students is most actively looking for summer opportunities. However, recruiting and information sessions can be done at any time of year. Summer quarter runs from the third week of June to the third week of August. BioE-AP will post your internship to the Internships and Jobs Board upon completion of the internship registration process (see Create an Internship: Step-by-step).

Open Selection Process
Because we support an open hiring process that 1) gives every student an equal opportunity to apply for internships, and 2) mimics an actual job search as much as possible, the UW does not pre-screen applicants. We encourage companies to invite prospective interns to submit resumes directly to your hiring managers, and then invite any or all of them to interview for the position.

The Department of Bioengineering does not require that student interns be paid. In practice, however, we find that virtually all interns are compensated by their companies. Compensation will vary and is determined by the company.

Contact the Bioengineering Affiliates Program to begin the process creating a summer internship and hiring your next intern. Please complete the following online form:


Create an Internship: Step-by-step

The process below outlines the steps involved in creating an internship.

Step 1: Register your internship in the Department of Bioengineering using the Internship Registration Form. Bioengineering Affiliates Program staff will review the submission and will contact you either with questions or with approval to move on to Step 2. For details about internship timing, duration and structure, please see UW Bioengineering Requirements and Internship Expectations.
Internship Registration Form

Step 2: BioE-AP will post the internship position on the UW BioE Internships and Jobs Board.

Step 3: (Optional): Schedule an on-campus information session. (Strongly encouraged, but not required.)

Step 4: BioE-AP will either 1) forward application materials (résumé and personal statement) to companies that do not have an online application system OR 2) direct applicants to the company website if there is an online application system.

Step 5: Schedule and conduct interviews. For efficiency and ease, you may hold interviews on campus. Contact Affiliates Program staff to reserve your private space.

Step 6: Extend offer(s) to internship candidate(s).

Step 7: Contact UW BioE-AP with the name of the student(s) you wish to hire, and sign the Student Internship Employment & Safety Form provided by the student.

Step 8: Sign the Student Internship Employment & Safety Form, which will be provided by the student.

Step 9: Following the completion of the internship, complete a post-internship evaluation survey, provided by the Affiliates Program.

To create a Summer Internship, or to learn more, please complete the following online form:
Internship Registration Form