Finding an internship site takes time. Some sites require additional steps such as obtaining a criminal background check. Begin this process at least a month in advance.
1. Determine whether this is a good fit for your educational goals
- Do you need clinical experience to achieve your career or graduate education goals? Most social service agencies and graduate programs expect applicants to have substantial hands on experience.
- Do you have time to devote 20 to 40 hours each week (plus time for reading, writing, and discussion)?
- Will you benefit from earning a minimum of 6-7 upper division credits?
- All credits can be counted as upper division credits toward graduation.
- Only six credits can be counted toward a psychology major and three credits towards a minor. Both of these courses can be applied to the Major depending on the requirements you still have left to fulfill, you can contact an academic advisor if you have more questions on this.
- If you do not wish to earn at least 6-7 credits, volunteer experience without enrollment in PSY 410/406 may be another option for you and is impressive to future employers and graduate programs.
- What is the difference between a volunteer and intern? Some graduate schools and employment agencies look more favorably on internships as these are usually more intensive, structured, and require an academic component with supervision. Volunteering can also get you experience, but is typically not well structured, with little specific clinical supervision, feedback or academic theory, and may happen sporadically like once a month or once every week.
- Please read this entire website before pursuing enrollment.
2. Select Potential Internship Sites
- Decide where you want to work: Corvallis, the broader Oregon community, beyond Oregon, or beyond the U.S.
- Agencies listed on this site qualify for internship credit in PSY 410/406, but are listed as a resource guide only. Students are encouraged to explore new sites. Other agencies that provide meaningful clinical experiences and appropriate supervision may be able to qualify for internship credit as well. If you choose a placement not on this list, please consult with the course instructor to ensure that it meets course requirements.
- Determine the age group and population with which you wish to work.
- Past interns have worked in homeless shelters, substance abuse treatment programs, residential programs for emotionally disturbed youth, detention centers, elder care facilities, etc
- Explore resources for finding internship sites
- Information and links to a range of other local, Oregon, and U.S. sites are listed on our internship site resources list.
- In addition, you can find human services agencies by looking in the phonebook, searching job listings in the newspaper, attending the yearly Human Services Internship Fair (takes place in early May), searching job listings at Career Services or at websites such as monster.com, or exploring the psychology department webpages of universities in the town in which you are interested in interning for potential lists of local facilities. You can also intern at any psychology-related site, not just specific to human services fields. If you are interested in another field like sports psychology or i/o psychology this will take more research on your part, and more time to set up. So be sure to contact the instructor right away.
3. Obtain a position
Contact agencies of interest to see if they have a half-time to full-time internship position available for the term you wish to work, and determine the procedures for applying. Internship spots are often competitive, and agencies are not obligated to accept you as an intern. Application procedures at agencies range from informal to highly structured. You may be asked to provide a resume, references, transcript, and criminal background information, and to complete an in-person interview. Acceptance by an agency, and hence your ability to enroll in the class based on that placement, is at the discretion of the agency.
4. Complete the internship agreement
The PSY 410/406 internship agreement must be completed in order to enroll in the class. This agreement (details expectations for students, the internship site, and the internship coordinator, and is designed to ensure that the internship will provide a meaningful learning experience. This agreement should be filled out in consultation with your agency supervisor, and must be signed by you and your supervisor.
5. Complete any criminal background check
Agencies often require a criminal background check. Some agencies offer to facilitate this process for you; however, if the agency requires you to obtain a copy of your criminal background check on your own and you have questions about the process, follow our directions. OSU is not responsible for this process, nor do we facilitate this process.
Bring the completed internship agreement to the internship instructor, or leave in her box. Within three business days, the psychology department will enter an over-ride into the registration system that will allow you to register for the course online.You will not be able to register until you have turned in the agreement.
7. Get Started
Print and read a copy of the course syllabus, which lists all required assignments and deadlines. Because students are scattered around the state, country, and world, the course is web-based. If you will not have internet access during your internship, please contact the internship instructor to make special arrangements. Of course, students are always free to e-mail, call, or meet with the internship instructor.