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Internships for Psychology Majors

Download the Internship Proposal Form here.


Psychology 481:  Internship

The internship opportunity is designed for the upper-level psychology major to integrate an applied, professional work experience with academic coursework. Internships can be a “foot in the door” for a future job in a psychology-related field, and of course graduate programs and employers value work experience. Before registering for Psychology 481, you must complete a detailed proposal which must then be approved by the psychology department. Follow these directions for completing your proposal:

1. Identify an internship site. It is your responsibility to identify a potential field placement and an on-site supervisor. You may want to make appointments to talk to several people working in psychology-related positions.  Other resources include the psychology faculty and the staff at the Student Professional Development Center. The work you propose to do must be psychological in nature and it must be supervised by a qualified person at the internship site.

2. Determine the number of hours you will work. In general, you may receive one hour of credit for every 40 hours of work on-site. Forty hours at one site fulfills the General Studies Experiential Learning Requirement (ELR).  Most students find it takes more than 40 hours to become a contributing worker at their internship site; consider committing to 80, 120 or even 160 hours of work. A total of 4 credit hours of internship may be applied as an elective in the psychology major. Distributed across the semester, the work-load looks approximately like this:    

 Credit HoursHours per week
       1    3-5
       2    5-10
       3    10-13
       4    13-15

3. Find a faculty sponsor.  A member of the permanent full-time faculty must agree to serve as your faculty sponsor. Prior to filling out your internship proposal, meet with your faculty sponsor to discuss your learning goals, your academic assignments and your planned contacts. Students often do background reading, write daily fieldnotes, and complete a final paper, project or presentation for their academic assignments. You will meet periodically with your faculty sponsor, so your progress may be monitored and any problems addressed.

4. Complete the INTERNSHIP PROPOSAL form. This includes information about yourself, including your GPA and the courses you have taken in psychology; information about the internship site; your learning goals; planned contacts with your faculty sponsor; academic assignments; and a brief narrative about the role of the proposed internship in your education. The completion of the internship proposal form is required to receive approval  fromyour faculty sponsor, advisor, and department chair. Approval will be provided using the online internship registration process. 

5.  Complete your online registration process through the Student Professional Development Center. Please remember, your faculty sponsor will not approve your internship if you have not completed the Internship Proposal form prior to registration. Bring your internship proposal form with you when you register as it provides information needed to complete the registration process. Once you complete the online registration process, your faculty sponsor, department chair, and advisor will be contacted to provide approval online.

6. Take a copy of the Internship Proposal form with you when you begin your internship. You and your on-site supervisor will fill out Section Five together, specifying your job duties and the nature of your supervisory contacts if you haven’t already done so.

7. Provide your on-site supervisor with a copy of the Field Supervisor Evaluation and Feedback Form to return to your faculty sponsor.  Notice that you will be evaluated on your professionalism and positive attitude as well as on the quality of your work.

8.  You will be assigned a letter grade by your faculty sponsor.  This grade will be based on your on-site supervisor’s evaluation of your performance and your faculty sponsor’s evaluation of your experience and your academic assignments, as negotiated with your faculty sponsor. Pass/Fail is not an option because the internship is a part of your major. If during the course of your internship your work is determined to be unacceptable to your on-site supervisor or agency you will be withdrawn from the course and your grade will be an F. Completion of an internship taken for credit automatically satisfies an experiential learning requirement and will appear on your academic and Elon Experiences transcripts.

9. Email a summary of your experience, using the attached form, to your faculty mentor upon completion of your internship.