Undergraduate Internship in Psychology (PSYC 435)
PSYC 435 offers the psychology major the opportunity to gain experience outside of
the classroom by working in the field alongside a professional while receiving course
credit. The student will apply psychological knowledge and develop practical skills
in a placement under the supervision of a person who holds a graduate degree. Course
requirements include a series of written journal essays and a major paper, in addition
to a minimum of 120 hours at the internship site. PSYC 435 credit can be earned only
for placements in which the student is not paid.
For further information on undergraduate internship opportunities, please email Professor
Evangeline A. Wheeler, , or stop in for a visit at LA 2210B.
- A student must have completed a minimum of 23 credits in psychology before applying for an internship placement.
- A student must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in his or her psychology courses and a minimum GPA of 3.0 overall.
- A number of agencies now require that a student successfully pass a police background
check and/or a drug test before they are accepted for an internship.
- It can take up to several weeks for a student to complete agency interviews and any
background and/or drug tests and eventually be offered an internship at an agency.
So that they complete this process in time to register for next semester’s classes,
a student should submit the required application materials to the coordinator of PSYC 435 by the fourth or fifth week of the current semester.
- A student must submit a completed application and a resume of educational and work experiences. These materials should be emailed to Professor Wheeler at ewheeler AT_TOWSON. After receipt of your application, you will be invited to schedule a meeting with Professor Wheeler.
- If a student is already working or volunteering at an agency, wishes to enroll in
PSYC 435, and agrees to receive course credit and no pay, they must submit completed
internship application materials along with the name, position, address, and phone number of a person who
can act as an onsite supervisor. The coordinator of PSYC 435 will contact that person
to discuss their role as an internship supervisor.
Pursuing the Internship
- If there are still seats available in PSYC 435 for the following semester, the coordinator of PSYC 435 will verify that
the student meets the course and GPA prerequisites and will decide whether an appropriate
internship placement can be made.
- The student must contact the agency’s director of internship placement to set up an
interview. The director will inform the student as to what materials (for example,
letter of interest in an internship, resume) should be submitted to the agency prior
to and/or brought to interview.
- At the agency interview, the director and/or onsite supervisor and the student will
discuss what would be required of an intern for the number of PSYC 435 credit hours
that the student wishes to obtain (see Credit Hours below), including attending any
orientation or training sessions and the work schedule.
- Once the agency interview process and any police background and/or drug tests are
complete, the agency makes a decision on whether the student is accepted for an internship
at that agency.
- If the agency’s conditions of internship are acceptable to the student, the coordinator
of PSYC 435 will give the student a special permit code to register for PSYC 435.
- The student must keep the coordinator continuously informed of his or her progress in arranging interviews at the agency etc. If within 1 month after meeting with the coordinator the student does not demonstrate sufficient progress in pursuing an internship, the coordinator will assume that the student is not interested,
will no longer hold a seat open in PSYC 435 for the student, and will give the seat to someone else. Each student
and the coordinator must be considerate of others—there are a large number of students
who want to do internships in a given semester, and there are only a limited number
of seats available.
PSYC 435 Requirements
An internship student must complete any orientation or training and all work requirements
established by the agency’s director of internship placement and/or the agency’s onsite
If a student starts the internship after the first week of the semester begins, he
or she must still complete the total number of hours required for the number of PSYC
435 credit hours enrolled in order to receive course credit (see Course Credit below).
The student must arrange weekly supervision meetings with his or her onsite supervisor.
A student must make sure that an accurate record of the number of hours spent each
week at the internship—and this includes time spent in orientation and/or training
sessions and/or in fulfilling other obligations. If an agency does not use its own
record-keeping system, the internship student must use the Time Sheet provided by
the coordinator of PSYC 435.
The student must contact the coordinator of PSYC 435 whenever difficulties arise that
cannot be satisfactorily resolved with the agency’s onsite supervisor and/or director
of internship placement.
An internship student must complete all requirements presented in the course syllabus
for the semester in which he or she is enrolled in PSYC 435, including meeting with
the coordinator of PSYC 435 as needed, maintaining a written journal, and writing
a Final Self-reflective Essay.
In order to obtain the minimum number of 3 credit hours of PSYC 435 for which a student
can enroll, he or she must work 120 hours (approximately 1 full day or its equivalent
per week) in the internship placement over the semester—and this includes time spent
in orientation and/or training sessions and/or in fulfilling other obligations. For
each additional 40 hours of work over the semester, the student can enroll for 1 additional
credit hour of PSYC 435, up to a maximum of 6 credit hours.
A student may repeat PSYC 435 in (a) subsequent semester(s) at the same or a different
agency if the work required is different from that completed in a previous semester.
Prior to graduation undergraduate students may complete up to a total of 12 credit
hours of PSYC 435. All credit hours completed apply toward the 120 credit hours required
for graduation by the university. However, only 6 credit hours of PSYC 435 can be
applied, as electives, toward the psychology major.
Responsibilities of the placement agency
- The agency will provide orientation and/or training in specific skills required for
- The agency will provide the student with an on-site supervisor who holds a graduate
- The onsite supervisor will directly oversee the student in performing his or her job,
provide weekly meetings with the student, and if the agency does not use its own record-keeping
system, sign the student’s Time Sheet each week.
- The agency’s coordinator of internship placement and/or onsite supervisor may assign
specific readings or give the student outside assignments to enhance his or her learning
- Within the final week of the internship, the onsite supervisor will evaluate the student’s
- By accepting a student for an internship, the placement agency has no obligation to
provide a student with future employment.