All IE University students can begin to participate in IE Labs and the Start-Up Lab at the beginning of the academic year. Visiting and Exchange Students can join during the full-time period from April to June.

A professor will lead each Lab to guide students through their work. Each Lab operates much like a small company, with working hours, timetables and deadlines. Students have a commitment to work for companies on projects and deliver them within the specified deadlines.

In the first two terms students dedicate only part of their time to IE Labs. During the Internship Period, from April to June, students work on IE Labs full time. The daily workload during the full time period will vary, depending on the projects, but will consist of a class or seminar, working on projects, a meeting or a company visit. There are also weekly presentations, when students present their progress on work they are doing.

The IE Labs are long-term projects, which continue the following year with new students. In many cases, students can continue with their research and consultancy projects, using their work for their Final Thesis Project as well.