Department of PSYCHOLOGY
Internship in Psychology (PSYC 435)
PSYC 435 offers the senior psychology major the opportunity to gain experience outside of the classroom by working in the field while receiving course credit. The student will use his or her psychological knowledge and develop practical skills in a placement under the supervision of a person who holds a graduate degree.
PSYC 435 credit can be earned only for placements in which the student is not paid.
Information on the internship program, including an application for a placement, can be obtained from the Psychology Department Office (Liberal Arts Building, Suite 2210).
(a) A student must have completed a minimum of 23 hours in psychology before applying for an internship placement.
(b) A student must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in his or her psychology courses and a minimum GPA of 3.0 overall.
(c) The completion of or concurrent enrollment in a specific course or courses relevant to a particular internship placement is/are recommended, e.g., PSYC 201 Educational Psychology for a placement in a school system, PSYC 205 Introduction to the Helping Relationship for a placement that requires interaction with persons in a therapeutic setting, PSYC 404 Adolescent Psychology for placement in an agency providing services to adolescents.
(e) A number of agencies now require that a student successfully pass a police background check and/or a drug test before he or she is accepted for an internship.
(a) It can take up to several weeks for a student to complete agency interviews and any background and/or drug tests and eventually be offered an internship at an agency. So that he or she completes this process in time to register for next semester’s classes, a student should submit the required application materials to the coordinator of PSYC 435 by the fourth or fifth week of the current semester.
(b) A student must submit (1) a completed application, (2) resume of educational and work experiences, and (3) an unofficial copy or copies of his or her transcript(s) showing college course work completed and currently underway. These materials may be (1) emailed to Evangeline Wheeler, the coordinator of PSYC 435, at firstname.lastname@example.org; (2) be mailed to her; or (3) be submitted to her in person in LA 2129; or (4) be dropped off to Barb Skinner in the Psychology Department Office, in LA 1103C.
(c) If a student is already working or volunteering at an agency, wishes to enroll in PSYC 435, and agrees to receive course credit and no pay, he or she must submit completed internship application materials along with the name, position, address, and phone number of a person who can act as an onsite supervisor. The coordinator of PSYC 435 will contact that person to discuss his or her role as an internship supervisor.
(d) The student must make an appointment to meet with the coordinator of PSYC 435 to discuss his or her application materials and his or her fit with possible internship placements.
(a) If there are still seats available in PSYC 435 for the following semester, the coordinator of PSYC 435 will verify that the student meets the course and GPA prerequisites and will decide whether an appropriate internship placement can be made.
(b) The student must contact the agency’s director of internship placement to set up an interview. The director will inform the student as to what materials (for example, letter of interest in an internship, resume) should be submitted to the agency prior to and/or brought to interview.
(c) At the agency interview, the director and/or onsite supervisor and the student will discuss what would be required of an intern for the number of PSYC 435 credit hours that the student wishes to obtain (see Credit Hours below), including attending any orientation or training sessions and the work schedule.
(d) Once the agency interview process and any police background and/or drug tests are complete, the agency makes a decision on whether the student is accepted for an internship at that agency.
(e) If the agency’s conditions of internship are acceptable to the student, the coordinator of PSYC 435 will give the student a special permit code to register for PSYC 435.
(f) The student must keep the coordinator continuously informed of his or her progress in arranging interviews at the agency etc. If within 1 month after meeting with the coordinator the student does not demonstrate sufficient progress in pursuing an internship, the coordinator will assume that the student is not interested, will no longer hold a seat open in PSYC 435 for the student, and will give the seat to someone else. Each student and the coordinator must be considerate of others—there are a large number of students who want to do internships in a given semester, and there are only a limited number of seats available.
(a) An internship student must complete any orientation or training and all work requirements established by the agency’s director of internship placement and/or the agency’s onsite supervisor.
(b) If a student starts the internship after the first week of the semester begins, he or she must still complete the total number of hours required for the number of PSYC 435 credit hours enrolled in order to receive course credit (see Course Credit below).
(c) The student must arrange weekly supervision meetings with his or her onsite supervisor.
(d) A student must make sure that an accurate record of the number of hours spent each week at the internship—and this includes time spent in orientation and/or training sessions and/or in fulfilling other obligations. If an agency does not use its own record-keeping system, the internship student must use the Time Sheet provided by the coordinator of PSYC 435.
(e) The student must contact the coordinator of PSYC 435 whenever difficulties arise that cannot be satisfactorily resolved with the agency’s onsite supervisor and/or director of internship placement.
(f) An internship student must complete all requirements presented in the course syllabus for the semester in which he or she is enrolled in PSYC 435, including meeting with the coordinator of PSYC 435 as needed, maintaining a written journal, and writing a Final Self-reflective Essay.
In order to obtain the minimum number of 3 credit hours of PSYC 435 for which a student can enroll, he or she must work 120 hours (approximately 1 full day or its equivalent per week) in the internship placement over the semester—and this includes time spent in orientation and/or training sessions and/or in fulfilling other obligations. For each additional 40 hours of work over the semester, the student can enroll for 1 additional credit hour of PSYC 435, up to a maximum of 6 credit hours.
A student may repeat PSYC 435 in (a) subsequent semester(s) at the same or a different agency if the work required is different from that completed in a previous semester. Prior to graduation undergraduate students may complete up to a total of 12 credit hours of PSYC 435. All credit hours completed apply toward the 120 credit hours required for graduation by the university. However, only 6 credit hours of PSYC 435 can be applied, as electives, toward the psychology major.
Half of a student’s final grade in PSYC 435 will be based on an evaluation of the student by the agency’s onsite supervisor. Half of the student’s grade will be based on the evaluation of the student’s weekly Journal Entries and Final Self-reflective by the coordinator of PSYC 435.
(a) The agency will provide orientation and/or training in specific skills required for the internship.
(b) The agency will provide the student with an on-site supervisor who holds a graduate
(c) The onsite supervisor will directly oversee the student in performing his or her job, provide weekly meetings with the student, and if the agency does not use its own record-keeping system, sign the student’s Time Sheet each week.
(d) The agency’s coordinator of internship placement and/or onsite supervisor may assign specific readings or give the student outside assignments to enhance his or her learning and performance.
(e) Within the final week of the internship, the onsite supervisor will evaluate the student’s performance.
(f) By accepting a student for an internship, the placement agency has no obligation to provide a student with future employment.