Steps to Obtaining an Internship in Psychology

Fall 2022 Faculty Contact/Supervisor: Dr. Christine McBride (cmcbride@umw.edu)

STEP 1: Identify the internship you want.

  • Visit the Department of Psychological Science website, and review the existing internships which have been pre-approved by the department.
    • If you are interested in doing an internship that is not already approved by the department (don’t assume an internship is approved by our department because you learned about it from a UMW source!), you need to contact the current internship coordinator to discuss your proposal. They will help you prepare an internship proposal which you will then present at a department meeting in order to request approval from the department. This process can take over a month, so make sure you plan ahead!
  • Ensure that you meet the overarching requirements for internships at UMW and in our department. (see the Career Center website for more information about internships at UMW)
    • You must be currently enrolled as a degree-seeking student at UMW
    • You must be a declared psychology major
    • You must have earned at least 12 credit hours at UMW
    • You must have both an overall GPA and a major GPA of at least 2.0 at the beginning of the semester in which you start the internship (Note: some internships may have a higher GPA requirement).
    • You must have at least junior standing (completed 60 credits)
    • You must have earned at least 12 credit hours in psychology beyond PSYC 100
  • Contact the agency supervisor listed on the internship description to determine if the agency is willing to accept an intern for the semester of interest.
    • Note: You will likely have to call rather than email, and you need to be prepared to contact them more than once.
    • Also, you may need to go through screening at the internship site. This could include an interview, background check, providing evidence of medical screening, etc.

Things to note:

  • You must be free on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30-4:45pm for the on-campus internship supervision course
  • Special approval is required if you are seeking approval for an internship for more than 3 credit hours
  • Special approval is required if you want to do an internship with an organization you’ve previously volunteered with or worked for. You will need to specify how this internship differs from your prior work.
  • No more than 20% of your internship hours can be training hours, pending approval of the training as substantive by your on-campus internship supervisor
  • No more than 30% of your duties can be clerical in nature
  • The number of hours at your internship site is tied to the number of credits you will receive for the internship (and some sites will not work with interns who are doing internships for less than 3 credits):
    • 1 credit = 42 hours
    • 2 credits = 84 hours
    • 3 credits = 126 hours
  • You must complete all hours in order to receive credit for the internship; failure to complete the contracted hours will result in a failing grade for the internship
  • You will not receive credit for hours completed before the semester begins and your internship contract has been processed

STEP 2: Complete the internship contract.

  • Get a copy of the UMW internship contract.
  • Complete the “student information” and “faculty sponsor information” sections on the first page on your own, and sign the bottom of the page.
  • Meet with your agency supervisor and complete the ‘internship site information’ portion of the contract on the top of page 2 with your supervisor, and get their signature on the first page of the contract.
  • Meet with the Department of Psychological Science internship coordinator (for the semester in which you will complete the internship). They will verify that you meet the requirements for doing an internship as well as the pre-requisites for that specific internship. They will fill out the “internship evaluation information” section on page 2 and will sign the first page of the contract.
  • Have the Department of Psychological Science chair sign the internship contract. Currently, this position is filled by Dr. Miriam Liss (mliss@umw.edu).
  • Make sure you read and sign the Code of Professional and Ethical Conduct on pages 3-4 of the contract.

STEP 3: Register for your internship (i.e., PSYC 499)

  • The registration process for internships occurs outside of Banner.  Registration occurs by returning the completed internship contract to the Registrar’s Office (2ndfloor of Lee Hall).
    • Your contract must be completed, signed by all parties, and submitted to the Registrar before the end of the add period at the start of the semester in which you are doing your internship.
    • It is preferable that this be done by the end of the previous semester.
  • Internship supervision will take place from 3:30-4:45pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You MUST have this time slot available to meet in order to complete your internship requirements.

For more information regarding internships at UMW, contact the Center for Career and Professional Development at 540-654-5646 or ccpd@umw.edu.