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Internship Option

General Information

This Option is a natural extension of our “non-thesis” program as it focuses on students who do not intend to continue their education or work in an academic setting. An internship will allow these students to 1) gain job related experience that may help in post-degree employment and 2) see firsthand how sociology can be utilized/applied to these types of settings.

Students will take knowledge gained in coursework and apply it to their internship site. This will involve applying sociological theories, concepts, and methodological tools to "real-world" situations and organizations.

This may include: assessment/evaluation of organization or program(s) within the organization, development and implementation of program(s), or applying sociological principles to organizational setting, goals, or interactions/structure.

This Option will be available to graduate students only and requires additional assignment of relevant readings related to internship site (not required of our undergraduate interns).

Requirements -- 37 hours

  • Students must successfully complete 16 hours of required coursework prior to registering for Soc 694.

    • Soc 500 (Proseminar)
    • Soc 518 (History of Sociological Theory)
    • Soc 519 (Contemporary Sociological Theory)
    • Soc 530 (Statistical Methods)
    • Soc 531 (Advanced Research Techniques)
    • Soc 535 (Qualitative Research Methods)
    • Soc 602 (Comprehensive Examination)
    • Soc 694 (Graduate Internship) - 6 units
    • Soc 698 (Internship Presentation)
  1. Goals
    Apply sociological theories, concepts, and methodological tools to "real-world" situations and organizations.

  2. Restrictions
    The Graduate Internship program is available to graduate students in Sociology who have completed at least 21 Credit Hours of graduate work within the program. Students may enroll in 3 credit hours of Sociology 694 (Graduate Internship). The internship option is intended for students in the “non-thesis” track. Thesis students who choose to enroll in the graduate internship may not use internship credit hours toward their 30 hour requirement for the degree.

  3. Site Selection and Approval
    Students interested in completing a Graduate Internship should identify a faculty member with whom they wish to work. It is the student’s responsibility to identify an internship site and obtain a detailed job description and written approval from an internship site coordinator prior to requesting enrollment in Sociology 694.

  4. Gaining Approval for a Graduate Internship
    Students should submit a completed Graduate Internship Approval Form (signed by the faculty member who will serve as internship advisor), a 2-3 page statement regarding the potential relevance of sociological concepts to the selected site, a job description and letter of approval from a site coordinator to the department chair, and a list of relevant readings to be completed in connection with the internship (if required by faculty advisor). Once submitted, students must schedule a meeting with the department chair to discuss the proposed internship.

  5. Requirements
    • Contact/Work Hours. In general, students should log at least 300 contact/work hours for Sociology 694 (6 Credit Hours maximum). Additional unlogged time will be required for the completion of a daily log, readings, and preparation of final report and presentation.
    • Weekly Log of Internship Duties and Activities. Student should maintain a weekly log which examines the internship site in terms of a Sociological Perspective or relevant sociological literature. Your log should be more than a “diary” of events and tasks. It should reflect on social interactions and organizational features using concepts, theories, and research from your graduate coursework in sociology.
    • Relevant Readings. Internship advisors may require students to complete a set of required readings relevant to the internship site.
    • Written Report. Students will submit a formal report to their internship advisor by the end of the semester in which the internship was conducted. The length and scope of this report will be determined by the faculty advisor, but the paper should compare their experiences to the findings in sociological theories and research reviewed in their previous courses and relevant readings and comment on the relationship (or lack of) between your substantive coursework in at least two of your graduate sociology courses at WIU and this internship experience. The length of the paper is negotiated with the faculty members, but as a general rule, should be in the range, at the minimum, of a peer reviewed journal article (25-30 pages).
    • Site Coordinator Report. A report must be submitted by the student’s site coordinator verifying the accumulation of the minimum 300 contact/work hours, outlining the student’s responsibilities and tasks completed, and evaluating the student’s performance in these tasks.
    • Internship Advisor Contact. Students should be in regular contact (at least monthly) with the faculty member advising the internship.