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Internship Guide 

Christina Hupy - Geography and Anthropoloy Department Internship Coordinator

Geography and Anthropology Internship Blog

What is an Internship?

The internship program in geography attempts to integrate a student's formal study in geography with practical experience in a geography related endeavor. It provides students with an on-the-job learning, not available in courses. Students will be able to apply skills and knowledge gained in course work and learn new skills and information in a practical setting under careful supervision. This experience provides the opportunity to learn about job opportunities and gives students important on-the-job experience that greatly strengthens their resume. Agencies or companies will provide experiences that give students opportunities to learn about the agency's or company's program, to develop new skills and apply existing ones, and to work on meaningful projects rather than doing busy work. Pay or living expenses for the intern are desirable but not expected.

Internships are offered each semester and during the summer.  Students interested in an internship usually locate a position on their own with the assistance from faculty in the Department of Geography and Anthropology. Occasionally, agencies or companies will contact the department requiring student interns.

Internships may be arranged with government agencies, companies, or professionals who have involvement with resource management, land use, cartography, meteorology, and urban/economic development. Here is a list of contacts which provide internship opportunities. You are not restricted to these agencies. You may know of an agency or company in your hometown, for example, that would be appropriate. Most internships do not pay or provide living expenses. However, you may find some that do. The list of contacts indicates whether or not some type of remuneration exists.


Internship Requirements

Students should plan to take Geography 498 in their senior year or the summer before their senior year after they have had sufficient course work in geography.

To meet requirements of the capstone experience, internships must be taken for 3 credits. If taken to satisfy the service learning requirement, the internship requires 30 hours of work. If taken as an elective, an internship can be taken for 1 to 3 credits. A three credit internship requires a minimum of 100 hours of work with the agency or company.

Students must fill out a registration form which requires the signatures of the faculty instructor, the department chair, and the internship supervisor. This needs to be done in advance of registration. Therefore, it is necessary to make contacts with potential agencies or companies in advance so the appropriateness of the internship can be evaluated by the faculty supervisor before registration. The student must also provide the internship supervisor with an evaluation form for evaluation of the student's performance and the student must also fill out a standard student evaluation form of the internship experience, available in the department office, Phillips 257.

If the internship experience is used to meet the service learning requirement, separate forms must be filled out and there may also be additional requirements. Students should contact the service learning coordinator for the necessary materials.

Since the faculty supervisor needs to contact the internship supervisor prior to registration to clarify the responsibilities and activities to be carried out in the internship, it is necessary for the student to provide the name of the appropriate contact. The faculty supervisor will also contact the employer supervisor no later than the midpoint of the internship experience to discuss the student's progress.

The student should keep a journal of the activities, responsibilities, projects, etc., encountered during the internship. This will be used for the completion of a written report and portfolio that:

  • describes the internship duties, activities, projects, etc. 
  • identifies existing skills that were used and new skills that were developed
  • discusses the positive and negative aspects of the experience

If appropriate, the report should include examples of specific projects or activities completed by the student and forms and documents used. The report should be sufficiently detailed and of sufficient length to give the faculty supervisor an in-depth view of the internship experience.

The grade for the internship will be based on this report/portfolio, the internship evaluation by the internship supervisor, and discussions between the faculty supervisor and internship supervisor.


Faculty Supervisor Requirements

The faculty member advises the student on the appropriate internship opportunity.

The faculty member receives the internship registration form from the student. Before signing off on the form, the faculty member consults the internship supervisor to clarify the student's duties and responsibilities to determine the appropriateness of the internship.

If the student is doing the internship with a public agency in order to meet the university service learning requirement, the faculty member must sign off on the service learning agreement form and is responsible for evaluating the student's progress in meeting the objectives and responsibilities of the internship.

The faculty member contacts the agency or company midway through the internship experiences to assess the student's progress.

The faculty member evaluates the student's portfolio and final report according to the criteria explained under Requirements.