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  • Writer's pictureJoan Halsey

Student Teaching vs. Internship

Updated: Nov 8, 2023 the end of your teaching major (Elementary Education, Early Childhood Education, PE Teaching/Coaching, Special Education, or Secondary Education) you get to choose between student teaching or an internship. You may be wondering what the difference between them is? So today we are going to break down the differences between the two, so you can make a more informed decision when the time comes!

Student Teaching

Student Teaching is the more traditional, one semester, experience. You will be placed in mentor teacher's classroom. Student Teaching can occur in one of BYU's 5 partnership districts. You will be teaching full days in your mentor teacher's classroom. There is no interview process necessary for student teaching, unless you choose to participate in one of the student teaching programs outside of Utah. So, if you want to get out of Utah and have a more diverse experience, you may want to consider the National/International Student Teaching Program, which sends BYU student teachers to Houston TX or Washington DC! You can do your student teaching in either a Fall or Winter semester.


If you choose to do the internship option you become a full-time teacher and it counts as your first year of teaching. For an entire school year, you have your own classroom with kids you teach every day in one of BYU's partnership districts. You receive 1/2 salary of a starting teacher and full benefits and it will count as your first year of teaching in that district. You get to take on your first year of teaching with not only support from your district but also BYU. You can only start your internship during the Fall semester. There is an interview process with the individual school's administrators, so it can be a little more competitive.

Both opportunities have a lot of support from the McKay School of Education. You can always contact your Clinical Faculty Associate (CFA) whose role is to give feedback, support, and advise you in the process of student teaching or interning. The choice between student teaching and internship can be a difficult one. It is important to consider the timing of your last semester, and what you want out of this wonderful experience.

If you are finishing up your major and are planning on student teaching or doing an internship in the Fall, be sure to consult with your education academic advisor for more information!

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