The purpose of the internship requirement for Criminology and Criminal Justice majors is to:
- Provide CCJ students with an opportunity to experience the work environment of criminal justice practitioners
- Offer CCJ students a chance to analyze theoretical concepts in an applied setting; and
- Assist students in exploring and making career choices.
CCJ majors must successfully complete eight (8) credits of CCJ 404: Internship. This course is available only to CCJ majors who have achieved senior status which equals 135 credits or more. Some internships require that interns serve lengthier commitments (i.e., 6 months). In this case, majors with junior status (less than 135 credits) may request approval to begin their internship search early to accommodate the requirements of the agency.
The internship course requires 200 hours at the internship site over ten weeks, or 20 hours per week. In addition, there is a required classroom-based component, with class meetings at the start and during the eighth week of the internship term. With prior approval from CCJ internship coordinator and internship agency supervisor, students may begin their internship hours up to one term prior to when they formally enroll in the course.
1) Explore Possible Internship Placements
The CCJ department has established internship relationships with over 100 agencies in law enforcement, courts, corrections, and social services. Students should explore the listing of internship opportunities to identify those that most closely match their interests, skill set, and desired career paths. Students may seek internships with other agencies but the internship activities and supervisor must meet program requirements, and students must secure prior approval from internship coordinator.
In selecting an internship, students should keep in mind the requirements of the internship agencies and the desired timeline for graduation. For example, some agencies may require students apply at least two full terms in advance of the internship start date and/or may require up to six months of internship service. Students who need upper-division CCJ elective credit may also wish to consider interning for additional hours (ranging form 25-100) for up to a maximum of 4 additional CCJ 409 Practicum credits. Lastly, many internships require a background check and these must be completed before students can be approved to register for CCJ 404 to begin the internship.
Click here to access current CCJ Internship Opportunities. (Note: A PSU log in is required to access this google site.)
2) Make an Appointment with the CCJ Internship Coordinator
Campus Students -
Two terms prior to the desired internship term, Criminology and Criminal Justice campus students should schedule an appointment with CCJ Internship Coordinator, Dr. Danielle McGurrin. This appointment must take place before students contact a potential internship agency or attempt to register for the CCJ 404 Internship course. Dr. McGurrin will review student eligibility, discuss internship requirements, and assist students in finding the right internship experience.
Online Students -
Criminology and Criminal Justice Online program students interested in an internship should contact their online internship coordinator, Dr. Debra Lindberg.
3) Contact Potential Internship Agencies
After approval by Dr. McGurrin, students should begin preparing to apply to their desired internship agencies by carefully reviewing the relevant internship agency descriptions listed on the CCJ Internship Opportunities site as well as select agency websites. Some agencies take new interns each quarter while others have more limited openings. Students should contact agencies about current openings before applying. PSU's Advising and Career Services provides guidance on developing both a cover letter and resume. It is recommended that students meet in person with a staff member from PSU's Advising and Career Services to help finalize their cover letter and resume before mailing these documents to the appropriate contacts at the desired internship agency. Please note that some agencies also require a separate internship application in addition to the cover letter and resume.
4) Register for CCJ 404
Once an agency has informed the student that she/he has passed the background check (when applicable) and has been formally accepted as an intern for the given term, the agency supervisor must send an email to Dr. McGurrin (copying the student) confirming the student's placement, the number of hours to be served during the placement, and the specific internship duties. All other internship requirements must be in place (such as any agency-required steps) before students can register for the CCJ 404 course.