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Sociology Internships

SOCL 477 Senior Capstone: Internship Experience

SOCL 477 Internship Experience is one of four options for the capstone experience that’s required of Sociology majors.  The four options are:

  • SOCL 476 Senior Capstone: Selected Topics in Sociology
  • SOCL 477 Senior Capstone: Internship Experience
  • SOCL 478 Senior Capstone: Study Abroad
  • SOCL 479 Senior Capstone: Senior Thesis

These options have been identified as high-impact learning experiences. High-impact practices have been shown to increase student engagement, which has important connections to deep learning and student success (Kuh, George. 2008. “High Impact Educational Practices: A Brief Overview” at https://www.aacu.org/leap/hips). In SOCL 477, SUNY Geneseo students have the opportunity to intern with public and private companies and agencies.  Students’ first-hand experiences in professional settings are supplemented with a weekly seminar facilitated by the department’s faculty.  As a capstone experience, the SOCL 477 requires a research paper of 10 or more pages.

Finding an internship site

Students are responsible for arranging their internships.  The department’s faculty can suggest settings that are appropriate to a student’s academic background and career objectives, or direct students to other resources on campus.  Nonetheless, students are encouraged to be resourceful and creative, and tap into their own networks when thinking about possible placements.

A list of internship sites that have hosted Sociology students maybe be found by clicking this link Sociology Internships 

GPA requirements for internships

Students must have a minimum 2.75 GPA to register for internship credit unless they receive a GPA waiver from the department chair.

Tuition costs

Tuition costs are the same as for a traditional course.  Students interning in Fall or Spring semesters typically have no additional tuition charges.  Interning during Summer and Winter sessions carries tuition costs and applicable fees.  It is not possible to receive internship credits retroactively.  That is, students may not request Fall or Spring credit for internships done during Summer or Winter sessions.

How to get started   

Meet with a Sociology department faculty member to share information about the semester you’re planning your internship; possible sites you’re interested in, or have contacted.

When to get started on setting up an internship

Start early.  It is typical for companies and agencies to request a resume and application for their internship slots, followed in due course by an interview.  This process can be time-consuming.  Consider starting early in the semester before you intend to intern to reach out to potential sites.  Making and maintaining contact with possible sites requires persistence and time.

Internship Contract for SOCL 477

The department, the student, and the internship site agree to a contract that includes a schedule of internship hours (see below), and responsibilities expected of the student by the placement site and the Sociology Department.  A faculty member provides the student with a contract template to complete with staff at the internship site.  The contract is ultimately signed by the student, his or her field supervisor at the site, the Faculty member and the chair of the department.

Please be aware that this contract is different from the “Online Internship Agreement” offered by the Career Design Center for internships not associated with SOCL 477.

Internship hours required by SOCL 477

SOCL 477 is a 3-credit course.  This requires 120 hours of internship work over the course of the semester.  In Fall and Spring, this work typically occurs during a 14-week period that does not include finals week, Thanksgiving, Spring Break, and possibly Fall Break.  This distributes the hours at between 8 and 9 hours per week, on average.

Registering for internship credit

Students cannot register for the Internship Program on their own.  When the Sociology Internship Contract is complete, a faculty member will register the student for the course.

The latest possible time to submit a completed Sociology Internship Contract is the first week of the semester.  This time frame is not recommended because it may slow down your financial aid package.  It is preferable to have the contract completed by the end of the preceding semester.

How SOCL 477 is graded

The course grade will be determined by specific academic requirements that are appropriate to the field placement, and are established by the faculty member.

Generally, the following factors contribute to the course grade:

  • a regular journal describing experiences while interning, with sociological analysis of the student’s observations
  • intern evaluation by the field supervisor
  • library research paper of 10+ pages, usually related to some aspect of the internship

Internships as electives

Other than those who opt for SOCL 477, internship credits may not be used for Sociology major requirements.  However, there are opportunities to do internships for elective credit in Sociology or for general elective credit toward your 120 credit-hour graduation requirement.

Internships other than SOCL 477 may be organized through the Internship Office within the Career Design Center.  You may opt to use INTD 395, which is graded as S/U, or SOCL 395, which is graded by a Sociology Department faculty member.

The Associate Director for Internships in the Career Design Center will assist you with these elective options.

Reminder:  the procedure for enrolling in SOCL 477, Senior Capstone: Internship Experience, is different than signing up for an internship through the Career Design Center.