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Internship Basics

Nothing helps you learn more quickly what your interests and skills are than a hands-on internship.  Nothing helps you “get your foot in the door” of an organization that you might want to work for more easily than an internship. And nothing helps you “network” with employers and professionals who can help you succeed in your career more quickly than an internship. That is why the Sociology & Anthropology Department does all it can to encourage students to do an internship in a field (or fields) that interests them. Internships help you see how the knowledge and skills you gain as an undergraduate translate into the workplace.

There are a couple ways to find out what internships are available.  To start, we suggest reviewing internship poster gallery listed on this website. You will see that there is a wide range of organizations offering internships, and they are EAGER to have our students work for them.  But this list is not exhaustive, and is stronger in some areas than others.  There are many other possibilities, and we recommend that you have a discussion with your advisor about your interests and passions, and the types of places that you think might help you pursue them.  Often, a call from your advisor can open doors that you did not even know existed.  TCNJ has a very good reputation in New Jersey, and many places jump at the chance to have you as an intern – they just haven’t considered having one until a faculty member suggests it to them.

We recommend the following websites to get your search started:


Setting up an Internship

If you are considering an internship for credit, your first step is to meet with your faculty advisor and talk over internship possibilities.  While many of the organizations listed on our website allow students to contact them directly, you should talk with your faculty advisor first to target those that best suit your interests and possible career path.  With your faculty advisor, you can make sure the internship fits into your program of study and your advisor can help you consider a full range of internship options.  Your faculty advisor may also become your faculty internship supervisor, or may direct you to another faculty member whose particular interests overlap more directly with yours. Remember: your faculty advisor does not necessarily have to be your faculty internship supervisor.

Your faculty internship supervisor does several important things.  First of all, supervisors play the role of your academic “guardian angel” – that is, they look out for you and your academic interests during your internship (to make sure that you are not relegated to the copy room, for example), ensuring that your internship is a valuable learning experience.  They also join with you and your site supervisor to determine the goals and assignments of your internship (which get codified in your internship proposal).  They are regular sounding boards for you, and you will be required to consult with them on a regular basis throughout your internship.  And, last but not least, they assign you a grade based on your site supervisor’s evaluation, your assignments, and their own assessment of your performance in the internship.

Registering for an Internship

You should register for an internship at the same time as you register for the rest of your courses.  There are two forms that need to be completed and submitted and require signatures from  you, your faculty supervisor, and the department chair.  Be sure to get a head start on all of this by meeting with your department advisor early.  (Note, however, that you can be registered for an internship up to and including the first week of classes.  This occurs in highly unusual cases only; last minute decisions to pursue an internship for credit may find you without either a site or a faculty supervisor).

In addition to the form for Records & Registration, a supplemental form for department permission is required in addition to the standard form from Records and Registration.  The supplemental form is intended to clearly define the internship including how many hours will be spend on-site weekly and what tasks you will undertake on your internship.  Your total number of hours should equal the amount of hours for which you seeking credit using the formula that 50 hours = .25 units of credit. If you are seeking an internship to count as a full-unit course, you will need to plan for a 200-hour internship which is a combination of on-site hours and academic assignments.

Also on the supplemental form are what graded component(s) will accompany your internship. This could be a weekly journal about your experience, a reflective paper, a research paper, a poster presentation at the Celebration of Student Achievement or some other relevant assignment that you and your faculty supervisor agree upon. Please include on the form the deadline for submission (set by your faculty supervisor).

The supplemental form must be approved by your faculty supervisor and submitted along with the standard internship enrollment form to the department chair for approval and then will be given to the HSS Dean’s office who will submit with approval to Records and Registration by the end of the first week of classes (earlier is definitely better).

For a copy of the internship proposal form, please click here:    ANT-SOC 399 Internship Proposal Form

TCNJ policy states that “enrollment is limited to upper division program majors or minor with at least a 2.5 GPA in that program.”

Paid Internship Information

While most internships are unpaid, there are occasionally paid internships for students. Often these make more demands on your time and assign lots of routine clerical tasks.  If you choose one of these, your faculty supervisor will be sure to stress to your internship supervisor that this is an educational experience, and that hands-on involvement and thorough exposure to current organizational issues and projects is required.  There is a greater variety of unpaid internships, and these are often more consistently interesting.  As a general rule, non-profit and public organizations have limited funds and cannot pay their interns, while for-profit organizations are more likely to have paid internships.  (Note:  some major for-profit organizations have large intern programs during the summer, which are often very competitive.)

The college policy for unpaid internships is that 1 course unit of internship requires 200 hours.  Paid internships generally require more hours, because we don’t give academic credit for filing or photocopying.  Your faculty supervisor will determine the exact amount of hours you’ll need to complete for a paid internship.

You may or may not be required to write a paper for your faculty supervisor. The specific requirements of your faculty supervisor as to a paper, project report, journal, presentation, or other assignment(s) are at her/his discretion, in consultation with you.  They should be specified in your internship proposal but if you are pursuing an internship for credit, you will be expected to submit a poster slide for inclusion on the department internship poster gallery.

Internships and SOC 499: Unless pursuing a Senior Capstone Thesis (ANT/SOC 493), all anthropology and sociology majors are required to take ANT/SOC 398 Sociology Capstone Internship and ANT/SOC 499 Senior Capstone Seminar in the same semester.  ANT/SOC 398 requires students to complete an internship while ANT/SOC 499 is the seminar class and together they make up the culminating experience for the Anthropology and Sociology majors.  The internship is an opportunity to spend approximately 90 hours on site in an internship of your choosing.  We recommend that students seeking an internship for credit consider doing two different internships if possible to further expand your skill set and prepare you for life after graduation. Students in ANT/SOC 398 will register their class-based internship through a specific link within the Dean’s office portal   here and your instructor will provide you with all the information you need in an informational meeting shortly after registration concludes.