Internships can provide a unique and valuable opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired in your psychology classes. Working with a psychology faculty member and a site supervisor, you can craft a learning contract that will meaningfully relate your work in the community to other material you’ve encountered in your study of psychology. A more explicit policy for using internships in fulfillment of the requirements for a major in psychology will take effect at the start of the 2011-2012 academic year. The details are below.

In general, 4-credit internships conducted under the supervision of a psychology faculty member will count as your “wild card” course within the major. You, your site supervisor, and your faculty sponsor will determine the goals, strategies, and assignments that best meet your learning objectives and that ensure the experience advances your knowledge of psychology.

An internship can substitute for one of your three upper level requirements only if your learning contract articulates a set of goals and assignments equivalent to the workload and intellectual intensity of a typical advanced level course. The following list spells out the most common features of an advanced-level internship:

a) Just as advanced courses involve considerable engagement with the scholarly literature, internships also involve considerable engagement with relevant scholarship. Although students and their faculty supervisors will determine the specific readings best suited to the internship, we expect that the student will read a minimum of 20 scholarly sources (peer-reviewed journal articles; books or book chapters written for a professional audience) related to the internship.

b) The student will submit reflection papers, typically weekly, that explicitly connect these scholarly sources to the internship experience.

c) The student will conclude her/his internship by writing a paper (12+ pages) that focuses on a key issue within the field of psychology and that draws upon both the student’s internship experience and her/his critical reading of the scholarly literature.

d) Only junior and senior majors are eligible to complete an internship for advanced credit.