A psychology internship is a situation in which you, as an advanced student in psychology, gain supervised practical experience directly related to previous classroom instruction. In the past, students have completed psychology internships in settings such as mental health centers, schools, prisons, and businesses. Our graduates often comment that their internship was their most useful and most enjoyable college experience.
The exact nature of the internship will vary depending upon the internship site and the types of learning objectives you wish to pursue. A faculty member will provide you with a syllabus outlining academic requirements that will encourage integration of prior classroom learning with current practical experiences.
In order to participate in the internship program, you must have completed 60 credits toward graduation at the time your internship begins, including 15 credits in Psychology. You must have a 2.0 grade point average or better, overall and in Psychology. Only grades earned at Shippensburg University count. You must also complete an internship application that will need to be approved by the professor teaching the internship class, the psychology internship committee, and the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
If your internship involves one-to-one confidential and personal interaction with clients, you must take PSY 384 (Person-to-Person Interaction) prior to your internship. Likewise, if it involves group interaction, you must take PSY 361 (Psychology Group Interaction) prior to your internship. If your internship will involve interaction with children, you must have taken a child psychology or child development course prior to your internship. Comparable training may qualify. Please discuss your preparation with your agency, faculty internship coordinator, or the department internship coordinator. Approval of your internship application will depend, in part, on your academic preparation for the particular internship you are proposing.
You will be expected to complete 120 “work” hours for a 3-credit internship. In addition, you will also need to complete further requirements that will involve your integration of the internship experience with prior classroom knowledge. At a minimum, you will need to keep a log of your experiences each day and write a paper at the end of the internship. Your internship professor will give you a syllabus outlining the requirements and the basis for assigning an internship grade.
We can help you find an internship position. Make an appointment with your advisor or the internship coordinator as they can help you find an internship that fits your educational and career goals and for which you are academically prepared.
After getting information about internship sites, you should call the agency (or agencies) to discuss your interests and theirs. You will probably need to schedule an interview with the agency. The agency must be willing to provide adequate supervision of constructive work -- that is, we expect that you will be doing meaningful things rather than busy-work. Also, the agency must be willing to complete midterm and final intern evaluation forms which are sent to your internship professor. In addition, a representative for the internship site must sign the Letter of Agreement for Internships, found in the application packet.
Internship applications and evaluation forms are available from the department internship coordinator and can also be found online through the College of Arts and Sciences.
Be sure to pay close attention to application deadlines.
At the end of the internship experience, you are expected to complete the Student Internship Evaluation Form, which is included in the application packet. It will be kept on file and may wind up in our internship booklet for other students to read.
- Any complication with the program is to be promptly and completely discussed with your internship advisor or the department internship coordinator.
- Be sure you have agency approval before getting involved in new areas of activity on-the-job. Know the extent and limits of your responsibility and be conscientious in their fulfillment.
- You must safeguard all personal and confidential material concerning clients, patients, or workers, and use it only for professional purposes. Do not carry confidential information outside the agency. Make sure to use fictitious names in your academic paper where confidentiality would be compromised.
- This is a step towards a professional career. You should behave like a professional.
Internship Clearance Information
You may apply online with the Criminal History Request Form (SP4-164).
The Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance Form (CY 113) is available online.
All information regarding process, policy, and fingerprinting locations may be found at uenroll.identogo.com.
The applicant must register prior to going to the fingerprint site. Walk in service without prior registration will not be provided at any fingerprinting location. Registration is completed online or over the phone. Registration is available online 24 hours/day, seven days per week at uenroll.identogo.com. Telephonic registration is available at 1-888-439-2486 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. During the registration process, all demographic data for the applicant is collected (name, address, SSN, etc.) so there is no data entry required at the fingerprint collection site.
The applicant will pay a fee of $40.00 for the fingerprint service and to secure the Criminal History Record. Applicants may make their payment online at uenroll.identogo.com using a credit card or debit card. Money orders or cashier’s checks payable to Cogent Systems will be accepted on site for those applicants who do not have the means to pay electronically. No cash transactions or personal checks are allowed.
The applicant proceeds to the fingerprint site of their choice for fingerprinting. The location of the fingerprint sites and days and hours of operation for each site will be posted on Cogent Systems website at uenroll.identogo.com. The location of fingerprint sites may change over time so applicants are encouraged to confirm the site location nearest to their location.