Internships are short-term work assignments related to the student's major or career of interest that combine what you learn in the classroom with real life experience from the work place. Internships allow students to try out career options and gain professional experience that will be helpful in finding a full-time position upon graduation or deciding on a path to graduate school.

Social Science Internship Requirements

The Social Science Internship (SSCI 410) provides students with an opportunity to earn academic credits via a meaningful work experience. Through an internship students can experience possible career situations and work in organizations commensurate with their interests. More importantly, internships allow students the chance to draw upon what they have learned about social sciences in classroom settings.

An intern is like an ethnographic or naturalistic researcher. He or she participates in a work experience or organization as he or she observes it. Interns study the organization through their experience and interaction with others and via performing their internship tasks.

Note: A student can choose any faculty in social science to work with for an internship. Contact the faculty member before a term begins, ask if the faculty member would be willing to facilitate an internship, and then the two of you work together during the term.


To be eligible for the SSCI 410 Internship program, students must:

  1. Be a social science major
  2. Have completed 21 credits in the major
  3. Have an overall GPA of 2.3 or higher (C+)
  4. Have a social science GPA of 2.7 or higher (B-)

Determining Credit Hours

Credit amount depends on the number of internship hours you complete. 1 credit = 30 hours of internship. For example SSCI 410 (3 credits) would be 90 hours of internship in a 10 week term.

Credits cannot be earned retroactively and will only be awarded if the application procedure is followed.

Application Procedure

  1. Students must submit a typed SSCI 410 internship proposal to a social science faculty member who participates in the program. The proposal should:
  • Detail the nature of the internship work (the work the intern will do).
  • Indicate the hours per week worked and the length of the internship (number of weeks). Based on that, calculate the number of credits you hope to receive. The general credit hour formula is as follows: 1 credit for each 30 to 40 hours of internship work time. Consequently, a 12-credit internship requires about 40 hours of work weekly for ten weeks.
  • Justify social science credit for the proposed work. A good internship allows the student to observe or participate in a variety of significant events, situations, etc. This justification should feature possible social science theories and concepts that could be applied to activity the student anticipates in the internship. These theories and concepts must come from social science courses you have completed as part of your social science major.
  • Explain how the internship fits into the student's overall social science program and relates to career aspirations.
  • Specify the date by which all written internship material will be submitted to the faculty sponsor.
  • Include a current transcript.

2.  Internship proposals should be submitted to potential faculty sponsors at least three weeks before preregistration for the term in which the internship will take place.

Gaining Approval

The faculty member to whom the student has submitted the internship proposal will review that proposal to determine approval status.  If the internship is not approved, the student may revise and resubmit the proposal or seek an internship that is appropriate for academic social science credit. Upon approval, the student must submit a request for an Experience in Handshake. The Career Development Center internship coordinator will verify the details provided and begin the process of approvals in Handshake, requiring faculty, site supervisor, and academic advisors to all approve the experience. Once all approvals are received, the academic advisor will remove the registration hold. The student then registers for the course.

Completing the Internship

In order to earn academic credit for the internship, students must submit the following materials for evaluation:

  1. Periodic written work, such as:
    1. Daily logs, or
    2. Weekly (per forty hours of internship) social science activity reports.
    3. Journal entries
  2. A final analytical paper (term length), or presentation.
  3. A letter of evaluation from the student's on-site supervisor, sent directly to the faculty sponsor.
  4. All internship materials should be turned in no later than the second day of finals week unless another due date has been arranged with the faculty sponsor.

Internship Deadlines and Incomplete Policy

Internships should be completed within the academic term. Incompletes will not be assigned without prior approval.

  1. Unless arranged otherwise and with prior approval of the faculty sponsor, internships should end by the last day of classes prior to final exam week.
  2. All internship materials should be submitted to the faculty sponsor within the subsequent four-day period (for example, by Tuesday of finals week of a regular term).  If not, students may receive a "No Pass." 
  3. Students whose internships extend beyond the last regular class day of the term and/or cannot submit their work within the four following days must request receiving an incomplete from the faculty sponsor.
  4. Ideally, incompletes should be anticipated and arranged prior to the beginning of the internship, but no later than three weeks prior to the end of the term.
  5. Faculty will not assign incompletes ("I") without prior arrangement.  Students whose work is not submitted by the confirmed due date will receive "No Pass" or "N."  Under normal circumstances, "N" grades will not be later changed.
  6. Students should consult specific deadlines that may apply to particular terms, such as Summer Session.

Interns in the Community