Unpaid Internships / Volunteers

Departments, HR and Texas A&M University-Commerce as a whole are required to  follow federal law and System regulation with respect to volunteers and interns. Federal law limits qualifications for unpaid interns and volunteers, therefore, departments are encouraged to contact HR for assistance with determining whether or not they can have a unpaid intern or volunteer. 
Here are a few key aspects of compliance:

  • Employees may not volunteer to do their own jobs nor activities closely related to their own jobs.
  • Generally speaking, students may perform voluntary work through student organizations and related activities.
  • However, students may not work for Texas A&M University-Commerce as a volunteer, with the exception of unpaid internships which are part of their degree requirements and for which the student will receive course credit. Further details and criteria regarding unpaid internships are:
    1. The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
    2. The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
    3. The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
    4. There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework.
    5. There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
    6. There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.
    7. There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.

In all other circumstances, people may volunteer to work at the University only for civic, humanitarian or charitable purposes. Please note that for volunteers who are not Texas A&M University-Commerce employees or students, it may be difficult to arrange computer access.

Student Intern and Volunteer Waiver forms ARE REQUIRED, and once completed, are retained in the department as documentation of the volunteer status.

Departments are also required to run background checks for unpaid interns / volunteers. *Background check Form link will be added when available.

Non-Student Volunteer WAIVER: http://assets.system.tamus.edu/files/hr/forms/206.pdf

Student Intern / Volunteer WAIVER: http://assets.system.tamus.edu/files/hr/forms/205.pdf

Texas A&M University System policy #33.99.08
Student Employment Section 5