All Psychology majors are required to complete a capstone in order to graduate. There are three capstone options: (1) the internship (PS 4360), (2) the psychology seminar (PS 4400), or (3) independent research (PS 4940). The broad purpose of the psychology internship at PSU is for students to gain practical experience outside the classroom in a setting that has an emphasis in the field of psychology. It is our hope that this will allow students to apply psychological theories to real world situations.
PS 4360 – Internship in Psychology (3-6 credits)
The undergraduate internship provides supervised field experience at a site related to the student’s degree and option. Students participate in unpaid service in the community (100 hours for 3 credits or 200 hours for 6 credits) and attend class meetings. Students must apply for permission in the semester prior to their registration for this course. May be repeated for a maximum of six credits. Prerequisite(s): permission of the instructor.
Internship involves spending between 100 hours (3 credits, 6-8 hours/week) and 200 hours (6 credits; 12-15 hours/week) working at an internship site. In addition, there are weekly class meetings (required) and other assignments, including journal entries and a presentation.
You need about 5-6 hours in a row during the business day (8am – 5pm) to complete an internship. Please ensure most, if not all, of your other classes take place on the same days. If you cannot do that, please consider another capstone or taking the internship capstone course another semester.
To participate in a particular internship offered by the department of Psychology, each student must complete the following steps by the last day of classes the semester before they wish to participate in an internship:
- Read and fully understand the PSU Psychology Department’s Internship Policy and sign the Confirmation of Understanding form and put it in Dr. Herzig’s mailbox (located in room 401 Hyde Hall). This should be your first step.
- Provide the department with 3 reference letters from people who can recommend the student and support their ability to successfully complete an internship. Of these reference forms, 2 must be from Psychology Department faculty members and 1 may be from an outside source (e.g., a faculty member from another department, a PSU staff member or an employer).
- Provide the department with a description of your professional goals that may be served by an internship placement. This professional statement must be 1 – 2 pages in length and double spaced. Submit this paper to Dr. Herzig.
- Dr. Herzig will send out a list of potential internship sites with additional information by the start of the advising weeks each semester. Please contact Dr. Herzig directly to get a new internship site approved. (In the past, students have interned at mental health and social services agencies, at area schools where they worked with school counselors and school psychologists, and at community youth and senior centers.)
- The references, professional statement, and internship agreement must be submitted prior to receiving permission to enroll in the course from Dr. Herzig and the psychology department faculty. Therefore, these steps must be completed the semester BEFORE engaging in the internship.
For all additional information about the internship, please contact Dr. Katie Herzig.