Students completing either a B.A. or M.A. in anthropology have the option of doing an internship as part of their degree program. Internships are a wonderful way of making contacts in the community, gaining practical experience in the student’s field of interest, and learning about anthropology in a “real-world” setting.

Getting Started:

Students interested in completing an internship as part of their degree will need to follow these five steps in order to get started.

  1. Identify your interests. Keep in mind your overall program, courses taken, and career goals. See the notes on career planning for resources on identifying your interests and goals.
  2. Identify possible agencies. Your faculty advisor can help you make the first contact, but it will be largely up to students to research what possibilities are out there.
  3. Apply to the agency. Gather as much information about the agency before applying.
  4. Apply to the department. You and your advisor will need to determine the number of hours you will spend per week on the internship, the number of credits, and the specific objectives and responsibilities.
  5. Submit a contract. The student, faculty advisor and field supervisor must sign the contract. Consult your advisor about what assignments will be submitted for a grade.

After an internship has been secured, the following steps should be taken:

  1. Keep a journal of your experiences (the department strongly recommends you do this even if you are being evaluated via a different method).
  2. If being used as your method of evaluation, work on your research report as you go through your internship.
  3. When the internship is over, have your internship supervisor submit an evaluation to the anthropology Department.


  • Visit the PSU Career Center for internship and career opportunities, or check out the Career Center list of resources just for anthropology majors.
  • See NAPA's on-line list of resources.
  • For international internships, consider the IE3 Global Internships program. The program is open to graduate and undergraduate students. Some scholarships and loans are available. The program matches students with internships around the world.
  • What do applied anthropologists do? See ANTHAP (the Applied Anthropology Computer Network) for more information.
  • Great Careers: The Fourth of July Guide to Careers, Internships and Volunteer Opportunities in the Non-profit Sector (Garrett Park, MD: Garrett Park Press, 1990).
  • See for listings of general internships.

The anthropology department has information on possible internships with the following organizations and agencies. Contact Jeremy Spoon for information. See Virginia Butler or Shelby Anderson for information on archaeology internships.

  • Mercy Corp, Intl.
  • IRCO (International Refugee Committee)
  • CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)
  • SCA (Student Conservation Association)
  • MedicaLogic
  • IE3 Global Internships
  • Kaiser Research Foundation
  • National Park Service
  • Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Forest Service
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • State of Oregon, Department of Transportation

Further Suggestions:

  • Check out local non-profit organizations and government agencies.
  • Use the PSU Career Center for leads on internships in the area and help with resume preparation.
  • Unpaid internships have some advantages since you will be in a better position to avoid low-level jobs such as photocopying and answering the phone. You may be able to negotiate some money for expenses, such as meals or necessary equipment.
  • Consider what kind of role you want to play (advocate, researcher, mediator, etc.) before you begin your internship.
  • Be prepared to be flexible. The internship project you planned may not turn out to be feasible once you are on the job. Be ready for a quick change of plans.
  • Find out what the agency's needs are before defining your project.
  • Keep a journal, even if this will not be the basis for your grade.
  • Remember that your supervisor's evaluation may be the basis for a reference in the future.