Internship FAQs | Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Internship FAQs

How do I start exploring the possibility of doing an internship?

Undergraduates: Read through these FAQs, and the description of our internship program, then fill out the Worksheet for WGS Students Considering an Internship and e-mail it to the internship coordinator.

MA students: Read through these FAQs, and the description of our internship program, then fill out the Worksheet for WGS Students Considering an Internship and e-mail it to the internship coordinator. You may also want to meet with your advisor (the Director of Graduate Studies) to discuss how an internship might best fit into your plan of study – either as an elective if you are pursuing the thesis track or through the internship track.

Can I do an internship/practicum in my first semester?

Undergraduates: No, there are prerequisites for undergraduates.

MA students: Those who choose the internship track complete the internship in their final Spring semester.

Do internship/practicum sites pay for services?

Internship/practicums are unpaid unless specified by the internship/practicum site. At this time, there are no internship/practicum sites who offer paid internship/practicums.

Do I have to do anything for the internship/practicum besides work at my site?

Undergraduates: Yes, there are several assignments. You can contact the faculty advisor or internship/practicum coordinator for more information.

MA students: Those who choose the internship track will register for both WGS 601 (WGS Internship) and WGS 602 (Internship Seminar). These two courses must be taken concurrently.

May I do an internship/practicum in a different area of an agency where I am already employed?

No, the academic and potential legal issues involved could prove problematic.

How many hours do I work each week?

Interns are required to spend 8-12 hours per week for a total of 120 hours at the internship/practicum site by the end of the semester. Students should discuss scheduling specifics with the internship/practicum coordinator and their internship/practicum site supervisor.

If I don’t like my internship/practicum after the first week, may I switch?

No, you are committed, based on the agreements made in the appropriate WGS Internship Contract. If problems arise, you should first attempt to talk to your site superviser. If no resolution is reached, speak to the Internship Coordinator or Faculty Advisor to plan next steps.

How do I register for an internship/practicum?

Undergraduates: Students must see the professor on record for WGS 460 to obtain signature on the Permission to Register form. This form is then taken to the registrar’s office. Students are not able to register for internship/practicums online. During the final weeks of the semester BEFORE the internship, students should fill out the Contract with their site and turn it in to the professor.

MA Students: Those who choose the internship track will register for both WGS 601 (WGS Internship) and WGS 602 (Internship Seminar) during the final Spring of their studies. These two courses must be taken concurrently. Mid-way through the previous fall semester, students will receive further detailed instructions. During the final weeks of the Fall semester before the internship, students should identify thier site and fill out the contract with their site supervisor, to be turned in to the Internship Coordiantor and professor.

How do I pick an internship/practicum site?

Students should email the Program Administrator for WGS at for a list of suggested sites. Most sites on the “Suggested Sites” list have an existing relationship with the WGS Program, though students are also welcome to propose sites they know about. They should consider their interests and career goals before reviewing the list of potential internship/practicum placements. You may wish to discuss your interests with a faculty member or the Internship Coordinator before deciding which sites to approach.

Who contacts the agency about the internship/practicum?

Each student is responsible for contacting the organization at which they wish to intern.

Can I do an internship/practicum during the Summer?

Summer internship/practicums will only be approved by the WGS Internship/practicum Coordinator and/or Director under exceptional circumstances.

Is there a contract between the student and the internship/practicum supervisor?

The student, the faculty supervisor, and the site supervisor complete the appropriate WGS Internship Contract for WGS 460 or WGS 601.

How should I go about filling out the contract with my internship/practicum site supervisor?

You should make an appointment to meet with your site supervisor in person. The main part of your conversation addresses the questions on page 3 of the appropriate contract. It is most helpful if the intern and site supervisor both read and think about the questions before meeting. Often initial conversations begin by getting to know each other, then exploring the organization’s needs and the student’s skills and interests, then narrow in on what area of work is the best fit for all concerned. Based on figuring out this “match,” the student and site supervisor can begin to specifically answer questions #1 (Position Description) and question #2 (Educational Objectives). It is the students’ responsibility to type up the notes that answer the questions on Pg. 3. The student may want to e-mail a draft to the supervisor for final edits and confirmation before turning it in. We encourage the questions to be discussed and explained in as much detail as possible, so that both student and supervisor are clear on their expectations of each other and of the experience.

What forms need to be signed?

Undergraduates: Permission to Register: You can obtain this form either from the Registrar or here on our website. It is in triplicate and requires the signatures of the Internship/practicum Coordinator, WGS Department Head and, for graduate students, the Graduate Dean.Undergrads also need to fill out the appropriate contract with their site.

Undergrad & MA Students: WGS Internship Contract: This form details the expectations of both the student and the supervisor for the internship/practicum, lists the learning objectives and the methods of evaluation:.

Will I be expected to do a project?

Yes, we expect students to do an internship/practicum project. Please see the appropriate contract for more details.