The internship program at VCU is designed to provide students with an applied social science opportunity combining practical work experience with academic knowledge. Internships afford students opportunities to explore potential future working environments of interest, prepare students for graduate study, and build their resumes. Employers and graduate schools are increasingly searching for students who have some professional experience in their field. An internship is a great opportunity for students to gain real-world experience and increase their competitiveness.
Internships in the Richmond area are abundant. Examples of internship sites our students have worked at include Equality Virginia, Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Planned Parenthood, Neighborhood Resource Center, Safe Harbor Shelter, and local community gardens. Contact Dr. Katz for a list of internship options or check out ConnectVA for a comprehensive list of organizations in the Richmond area.
Frequently asked questions can be found, below.
Junior and Senior Sociology majors with a minimum 2.7 GPA may enroll in SOCY 493 (Field Internship) for a one-time three-credit course and 150 hours of internship work over the course of one semester. Please contact the internship coordinator to learn more about the sociology internship program: Meredith Katz, Ph.D., at firstname.lastname@example.org
Students who are ready to initiate the internship application process should complete the internship application google form. Upon approval of this form, students will receive a follow-up email in order to arrange a meeting with the internship coordinator. Any outstanding questions or concerns should be directed to the internship coordinator, Meredith Katz, Ph.D., at email@example.com.
Because of the coordination involved, please keep in mind the deadlines while planning an internship with the program coordinator. Plan at least a semester ahead and be mindful of how the internship will impact and/or be impacted by your other coursework.
Students will need to log 150 hours of work at their internship site by the end of the semester. They should utilize the internship time log to keep track of their hours and have their supervisor sign off on this log before the end of the semester. This form must be submitted alongside the student's final paper in order for them to receive a satisfactory mark for their internship credit.
Students are required to provide performance evaluations completed by their internship supervisor at both the mid-point and end of their internship. It is the student's responsibility to initiate the evaluation form process at both points in the semester. To initiate the signing process, students should complete the brief forms linked below, at which time the evaluation form will be delivered directly to their site supervisor's email via VCU's DocuSign system.
There are a number of frequently asked questions about the internship program including details about requirements, examples, and planning. Find these and their common answers below. For a printable copy download the Internship FAQ Document.
A sociology internship is an opportunity for you to get applied experience working in a community organization, governmental agency, or non-profit. Sociology internships provide you with an opportunity to test out a career you are interested in, a way to build experience for graduate school applications, and an overall resume builder. Did you know that internships are the second leading reason (behind networks) why people get jobs?
No. In order to be a novel learning experience and achieve the goals listed above, students may only undertake internships with organizations that they are not currently working for.
Maybe. If you can find a position outside of the Sociology Department and make the case that it is beneficial for your professional development, it may be possible. Teaching assistant positions will not be approved for internships. As with all other positions, the final say on whether a position is or is not acceptable for internship credit is at the discretion of the internship coordinator.
You can do a sociology internship almost anywhere, excluding a student’s current place of employment (in addition, the site must be approved by the internship coordinator). Internships are intended to benefit you and the organization, so as long as there is a good match, Sociology is pleased to support the internship.
Many students do their sociology internships in the Richmond area. However, if you secure an internship in another area and the internship is approved, you may complete your internship there.
Internship sites vary greatly depending on student interests. Examples include working with domestic violence shelters, free after school programs, human rights legislation, homeless shelters, affordable housing, unions, English language learners, and recovery centers. The possibilities are endless.
Sociology internships for undergraduates (SOCY 493) can satisfy 3 credits for your upper level elective in Sociology. You must have completed 18 credit hours in Sociology and/or have junior or senior standing prior to enrolling in an internship. For 3 credit hours, you must intern for 150 hours (roughly 10 hours/week during fall and spring semesters). You must meet with the internship coordinator prior to registering for an internship (you cannot register yourself for an internship—you must have an override).
Sociology internships for graduate students (SOCY 693) complete one three-credit internship (for a total of 6 credits) during their second year of the master’s program. Graduate students must also complete 150 hours of internship per semester, as well as complete a paper each semester related to their internship.
Every student enrolled in an internship is required to complete the 150 hours (3 credit hours) at their internship site. In addition, graduate students are required to write a paper detailing their experiences, linking it to sociological theory and methodology. Students are encouraged to stay in communication with the internship coordinator throughout the duration of the internship and to submit interim and final evaluations from your internship supervisor.
Immediately. If you are interested in an internship, the first step is to think about what areas you may be interested in interning. Are there certain areas of sociology that interest you more than others? Are there certain populations you are interested in working with? Would a specific internship be best for your future plans? If you answered yes to any of these, you should schedule an appointment with the internship coordinator.
Fall Semester: May 1st
Spring Semester: November 1st
Summer Semester: April 1st
Contact Sociology internship coordinator, Dr. Meredith Katz at firstname.lastname@example.org