Department of Sociology

Internships

The Sociology Internship program (SOC 444/644) helps students earn academic credit through a structured-work experience in the community.

Internships can help students . . .

  • Apply academic knowledge in a work setting
  • Develop new knowledge and skills
  • Explore career opportunities
  • Assess strengths and weaknesses

Internship settings include business, government organizations, nonprofit agencies, educational institutions, treatment facilities and research groups. Factors to consider when choosing an internship, include learning goals and availability of field supervision. 

  • Sociology internship is available for six to 15 credits
  • Critical Applied Sociology is available for six to 15 credits
  • Social Responsibility graduate internship is available for three to eight credits

Credit earned is based on the nature of the internship, time invested and learning opportunities. A 15-credit internship requires 562.5 work hours -- usually 40 hours a week over 14 weeks. For each academic credit earned, there must be 37.5 hours of work.

Application

Before applying for a sociology internship, a student must have:

  • Officially declared major/minor/graduate programs
  • Discussed career interests and internship possibilities with an advisor
  • Completed or planned relevant course work

At least one semester before the internship, a student must:

  • Attend informational meetings held by the faculty internship supervisor and/or meet with the faculty internship supervisor to review the course and discuss student options
  • Complete core Sociology requirements, especially SOC 201 (inequality), 302 (theory) and 303 (methods); 304 is strongly recommended

The following courses are highly recommended, but not required. They can be taken concurrently.

  • SOC 365 Social Psychology
  • SOC 456/556 Complex Organizations
  • SOC 498/598 Practical Research and Writing
  • SOC 460/560 Practice and Policy
  • SOC 488 Sociological Practice

To apply:

  1. Prepare your resume
  2. Interview at least two internship prospects
  3. Set up an meeting via email with Elizabeth Scheel-Keita, associate professor
  4. Bring your resume and internship prospects to the meeting
  5. Prepare a list of questions about the internship program

Preparation

For best results, apply at least two semesters before you intern.

Discuss possible placements with your major/minor advisor and other faculty members. The department has developed a file of placements, but you know best what you want to do and where.

Become familiar with the areas in which you want to work or pursue graduate study. It is preferable to have classes, interests and experience in those areas.

Factor in scheduling conflicts and transportation issues when exploring placements. A motor vehicle is often necessary.

When interviewing internship prospects, consider special skills you have, such as research or a second language.

Many businesses and community organizations seek interns with strong writing, research, statistics, problem-solving and word-processing skills. Some want interns with basic accounting, marketing and community-organizing skills.

Learning Contract

The learning contract is an agreement among the student, faculty members, internship advisor and field supervisor. It outlines tasks and responsibilities, evaluation criteria, credits, learning objectives and methods, and the sociological aspects of the project.

You will complete the learning goals portion of the contract twice:

  1. After you arrange the internship, but before it starts, you must write the first draft of the contract in consultation with the field supervisor and faculty advisor.
  2. During the third or fourth week of the internship, you will rewrite the contract, elaborating on the first draft and specifically outlining the sociological aspects of the project.

The internship grade will be based on:

  • Completion of class requirements
  • Conversations among the student, faculty advisor and field supervisor
  • Evaluation by the field supervisor
  • Evaluation by the student
  • Final project