Undergraduate Internships

Many Sociology majors have found the Internship Experience to be excellent preparation for their subsequent careers. You can do an internship as one of your five sociology electives, or as your Capstone course. In either case, a sociology internship involves earning 3-6 academic credit hours (under Sociology R494) by working in an organization where you can apply or gain practical insight into sociological concepts, theories, and knowledge. Some internships are paid; others are not. All involve working a minimum of 10 hours per week (for 3 credits) to 20 hours per week (for 6 credits) for the entire semester in a placement located by the student and approved by the Department of Sociology.

Who can do an Internship?

Any IUPUI sophomore, junior, or senior with a minimum overall GPA of 2.5 and a Sociology GPA of 3.0 can do a Sociology internship. You must also

  • be a declared major or minor in Sociology.
  • have completed 12 credit hours of Sociology courses (6 of which must be taken at IUPUI) in subjects related to the internship placement. The Sociology Advisor and/or the supervising faculty member will determine whether the Sociology courses you have taken are sufficiently related to the internship placement.
  • have a schedule which permits you to schedule 4-8 hour blocks of time during the regular week to work at the internship organization. Plan to work at the internship site 3 hours per week for every 1 credit you receive.

If you intend to use the internship as your Capstone, you must meet all of the above requirements. In addition, you must also be a second semester junior or a senior and have completed – at the very least – Theory, Research Methods, and at least 4 of your 5 electives. Note that, if you do an internship as a Sociology elective, you cannot change your mind later and have it count for your Capstone Experience.

How do I set up an internship?

Follow the nine steps to arrange your internship:

Check to see if you meet the academic prerequisites listed above.
Check out the internship information on the Career Center webpage. 
  • Determine what you are interested in. It is helpful to take stock of the sociology courses you have taken, your particular interests and abilities, and your career goals. An excellent resource is service-learning placements from other sociology courses. Often these placements are interested in interns as well.
  • Attend one or more job fairs listed on the Career Center webpage.
  • Consider asking friends, family, neighbors, etc. Make sure that everyone in your life knows that you are seeking an internship. Let them know what specific kind of work you’d like to experience. Arm them with your resume for information and distribution.
Visit your Sociology Advisor and fill out an Internship Interest and Eligibility Form. You must do this step before doing steps #5-9. This form can be downloaded from All internship forms are also listed on the bottom of this page.
Decide on a subject for the internship and locate a faculty internship advisor. This should be someone who has taught you in class and knows your interests and capabilities, and who is also somewhat familiar with the area of your internship.
Locate an internship opening, arrange an interview, and with the job supervisor, complete the Internship Proposal Form. Have the job supervisor sign the Internship Proposal Form. You should provide the supervisor an unofficial copy of your college transcript, so they know what relevant courses you have taken.
Meet with your faculty internship advisor to finalize the academic component you will submit at the end of the internship, how often the two of you will meet, deadlines throughout the semester, etc. The academic components should include:
  • Keeping a weekly electronic journal of your internship experiences,
  • Keeping a portfolio of any tangible items (e.g. training materials, reports, webpage designs, etc.) you produce in the course of your internship,
  • Writing a paper evaluating your internship.
Have your faculty internship advisor sign the Internship Proposal Form.
Go with your faculty internship advisor for the internship to see Susan Vieth, the Sociology office manager, who will assign you a section number for the internship.

Examples of internships students have taken:

  • Emma Hall. Exodus Refugee Services. Advisor: Carly (Spring 2020) 
  • Amy Gooderum. Exodus Refugee Services. Advisor: Carly (Summer 2018) 
  • Kristina Willis. Big Brothers Big Sisters. Advisor: Carly (Fall 2017) 
  • Cindy Rodriguez. MLK Community Center Indianapolis. Advisor: Wan-Ning (2013) 
  • Michelle PaloumpisMadision House Autism Foundation (MHAF). Advisor: Kenzie Latham-Mintus (Fall 2020) 
  • Lauryn Flynn. The International Center. Advisor: Kenzie Latham-Mintus (Fall 2019) 
  • Owen Yonce. Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). Advisor: Kenzie Latham-Mintus (Fall 2018) 
  • Abigail Hadley. School of Medicine, Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics “Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI).” Advisor: Kenzie Latham-Mintus (Spring 2018) 
  • Stephanie Graves. Jouney Support Services. Advisor: Kenzie Latham-Mintus (Summer 2017) 
  • Melissa Yarger. Hamilton Heights Youth Assistance Program (HHYAP). Advisor: Kenzie Latham-Mintus (Spring 2017) 

Undergraduate Internship Documents:

  • Undergraduate Internship Information and Forms
    • SOC-R494 Student Interest Form
    • SOC-R494 Student Proposal Form
    • SOC-R494 Student Guidelines
    • SOC-R494 Employer Guidelines
    • SOC-R494 Faculty Guidelines
    • SOC-R494 Final Paper Guidelines
    • SOC-R494 Consent Form
  • Undergraduate Internship Evaluation Forms
    • Student MIDTERM Evaluation of Internship Experience
    • Student FINAL Evaluation of Internship Experience
    • Employer MIDTERM Evaluation of Internship Experience
    • Employer FINAL Evaluation of Internship Experience

Graduate Internships

All M.A. students pursuing the internship option are expected to participate in an internship in an organization, school, business, or government office (collectively “an agency”) in a research or policy capacity. The internship option is designed to generalize theory and research skills acquired in the classroom to the reality of the work situation. At a minimum, students will work in an agency for 8 hours a week for 14 weeks, prepare a weekly journal of activities, and complete a project that provides specific skills that benefit the student in the labor force, as well as provide a needed service for the agency. The outcome of the internship is a final paper reflecting the internship experience, and presentation of a summary to the Internship Committee or at a public forum. Some internships are paid; others are not.

Specific Requirements:

Select a Faculty Advisor (Internship Committee Chair): This person must be a member of the Sociology Graduate Faculty. 
Select an Agency: Students are responsible for locating an internship opening, with help from the sociology faculty. A good step is for the student to take stock of their particular interests, abilities and career goals before choosing the focus and site for the internship. The Sociology Department maintains a listing of agencies that often seek interns. This list is available through the graduate program Web site and from the Director of Graduate Studies. In some cases, a student may use their own place of employment for the internship site; however, the student must then complete duties that are in addition to their current duties (normally a minimum of 6 additional hours a week). 
Internship Committee: After you have identified your Faculty Advisor and an agency, you must select one additional faculty member to serve on your Internship Committee.
Complete the MA Internship Agreement Form (Appendix D): This form is designed to clarify the expectations and responsibilities of the student, the agency, the Faculty Advisor and second Internship Committee member, and is completed by each of these parties after an agency is selected. Normally this form is completed at least one week prior to the beginning of the semester in which the student plans to enroll for internship credits. Your form should be no longer than 2-3 pages and must be typed. (Job Supervisors may also add a copy of the job description, instead of completing their section of the form). Once approved by your Internship Committee, make 4 copies: provide the original to the Director of Graduate Studies, one to each of your committee members, one to your internship agency, and keep one for yourself.
Begin Internship. Once you receive final approval from your Internship Committee, register for SOC R594 and begin your internship. Remember, you cannot begin the internship until it is officially approved in writing on the Internship Agreement Form.
Keep a Weekly Journal of Activities: You must maintain a weekly journal of your internship experiences that includes the date, hours spent on the internship that week, details about your activities, and a brief statement that reflects on the sociological relevance of your placement. Journal entries are submitted to the internship chair every 1-2 weeks. While the specifics of your journal will be decided by your advisor, normally journals follow these guidelines:
  • Journals should be typed.
  • Include date, hours spent on internship that week, and details of activities.
  • Be specific. Give details as though you were explaining your activities to a friend.
  • Spell it out. Don’t assume your reader will understand abbreviations and slang terms.
  • Include insights gained from your observations that will relate to your final paper.
  • Include reflections on the sociological relevance of your experience
  • Write an entry every week.
  • An entry will be approximately 1-2 pages
At the end of each month, total the number of hours you spent on your internship. This will save you and your Job Supervisor time at the end of the internship.
Distribute Midterm and Final Evaluation Forms. Internships will normally be evaluated at the midpoint and end, by students and work supervisors, using forms provided for this purpose on the department Web site (and shown in Appendix D). Students are responsible for distributing the forms to their work supervisors, along with an envelope that can be used to mail the evaluation directly to the Internship Faculty Advisor.
Complete an Internship Project and Paper: The internship requires completion of a minimum of a 5000-word paper (approximately 15- 20 double-spaced typed pages) at the conclusion of the internship. The format and content of the paper must be planned in consultation with your Internship Committee. Normally, this paper takes one of the following forms: a research report on a topic of interest to the agency; a research grant proposal for the agency; or a critical reflection on the sociological relevance of your placement. Provide a complete copy of your internship paper to the Internship Committee chairperson at least one week prior to the last day of classes. After the committee chairperson approves this final draft, you may then ask the second member to read the paper for his/her approval, normally on the last day of classes. Both members of your Internship Committee must approve your internship paper.

Summary of Rules Regarding Graduate Internships

  • A student normally must complete 18 graduate credit hours prior to enrolling in an internship
  • Internships must have a social science research component where the student can apply and/or learn methodological skills.
  • There may be a mid-internship site visit or phone conversation between an IUPUI Internship
  • Program representative and/or your internship advisor.
  • No more than 6 internship credit hours may count towards your degree.
  • A student must work for a minimum of 8 hours a week for each 3 Internship credit hours enrolled (this requirement is reduced to 6 hours if the site is the student’s pre-existing place of employment).
  • Students who intern in their own place of employment may count no more than 3 Internship credit hours completed in their place of employment towards their degree.
  • A student who chooses the thesis track may also enroll in up to 6 internship credit hours as electives or general on area courses. In these cases, students only need to have one Sociology faculty advisor to supervise and approve the course work.
  • If the internship of a thesis-option student involved original research work, this may be used as part of a thesis, subject to the approval of the student’s Thesis Committee and the Institutional Review Board

Past MA Internships

  • Michael Range. BU Wellness Network. Chair: Carrie Foote 
  • Ashley Jackson. Damien Center. Chair: Carrie Foote 
  • Schuyler Chadsey. Never Alone Project. Chair: Carrie Foote 
  • Sara Bunner. HIV Modernization Movement-Indiana. Chair: Carrie Foote 
  • Elizabeth Adams. Broadway United Methodist Church Internship. Chair: Pat Wittberg 
  • Marissa Huth. Social Science Survey Research Center Internship. Chair: Carrie Foote.  
  • The Indiana Coalition to Improve Adolescent Health Internship. Jeren Miles. Chair: Devon Hensel. 
  • Ebenezer Akinola. Presidential Campaign Internship. Chair: Peter Seybold 
  • Nichol Kirby. Wishard Hospital Emergency Department HIV Program Internship. Chair: Carrie Foote 
  • Kelley Sturgeon.  Syphilis Outreach at Marion County Minority Health Coalition. Chair: Tamara Leech 
  • Shola Jhanji. Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis. Chair: Peter Seybold. 
  • Ashley Botchis Adams. Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis. Chair: Linda Haas 
  • Matthew Portner. Amputee Veterans Research - Polis Center. Chair: Carrie Foote 
  • Barry Barker. Attitudes Toward Smoking and Smoke-Free Legislation. Survey Research Center.  Chair: David Bell 
  • Robert Janik. Amputee Veterans Research - Polis Center. Chair: Carrie Foote. 
  • Sam Allen. Indianapolis Public School Mentor Assessment Internship. Chair: Peter Seybold 
  • Kyle Henderson. HIV Testing Evaluation Study: Policy Resource Group. Chair: Foote 
  • Gara Burnett. Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis. Chair: Lynn Pike 
  • Sarah Lynn. HIV Needs Assessment Internship with ISDH. Chair: Carrie Foote 
  • Ben Drury. Medical Monitoring Project Internship with ISDH. Chair: Carrie Foote  
  • Sam Jones.  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service Internship. Chair: Carrie Foote 
  • Sarah Hossler. Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis. Chair: Linda Haas 
  • Sarah Hampton. Presidential Campaign Internship. Chair: Lynn Pike 
  • Rachel Katterjohn. Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis. Chair: Linda Haas 
  • Elisa L. Lloyd. MATEC-Assessment Outcome of Care and Medical Providers. Chair:  Suzanne Steinmetz
  • Wyndy Smelser. G&S Research - Operations Team. Chair: Carrie Foote 
  • Tanya Gilbert. Internship: Mary Rigg Neighborhood Internship. Chair: Carrie Foote  
  • Merih TzeggaiSPEA's Health Policy, Center for Urban Policy and the Environment. Clarian Health Partner Project. Chair: Eric Wright 

Graduate Internship Forms