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Guidelines for Psychology Majors Considering a Psych 399R or 496R Senior Capstone Academic Internship

To find an internship, contact the FHSS College Internship Office:

Karen Christensen
945 KMBL, 801-422-3697
Family and Social Sciences Internships

Application Deadline: First day of classes. Please contact Community & Social Services Internship office if interested in applying after the deadline.


Psych 399R: No prerequisites

Psych 496R: Senior Status (90+ cr) and Psych 307, 308, 309, 310 (cannot take capstone concurrently with final prerequisites).

Start your application for Psych 399 or 496R credit here.

Using your current job as an internship: It is possible to use your current job as an internship, as long as the responsibilities and experiences in your job meet the Psychology Department criteria for academic internship credit: 1. Relate closely to your academic program 2. Prepare you for employment in a closely related field after graduation.

However, the Psychology Department usually discourages students from using current jobs as internships. An internship provides an opportunity to acquire new skills and hands-on experiences in a field closely related to your BS program. If you are working at an organization, you most likely already have had the experiences it offers. Students are strongly encouraged to find an experience for internship credit that is new or different from their previous experience, so that they can broaden their background, increase their opportunities for future grad school admission and/or employment, and become more marketable when they graduate.

Note: If the internship is international or involves international travel, there are extra processes you will need to complete prior to the semester you want to intern. However, you should first start with the Psychology Department online application process at this link. Once you receive department approval, you will need to complete an Individual International Internship Application at the International Study Programs Office and you will need to add the course through the Kennedy Center for International Studies and then visit the International Services Office.

University policy prohibits summer sales positions from qualifying for internship credit.

The Academic Internship

As an academic intern, you will receive psychology-related experience at an internship site and will also engage in academic coursework. Your internship may be a paid or non-paid internship.

Academic Credits

Psych 399R credit is awarded for internships: 0.5–9 variable credits, but generally 3 credits are allowed in one semester. Psych 496R Senior Capstone internship is 3 credit hours. Note: A maximum of 9 total internship credit hours from either Psych 399R or Psych 496R may be taken during your undergrad program.

Work Requirement: You must work a minimum of 45 hours per semester or term to obtain 1 academic credit. This averages approximately 8–10 hours per week for an entire semester. 45 hours per credit is the minimum and not necessarily the ideal. If you are volunteering, it would be good to offer at least 10-12 hours per semester, so that you are on site enough to be given meaningful responsibilities. If you are working, it is likely that you are expected to work at least 15-20 hours per week anyway.

Psychology Department Academic Internship Guidelines

Psychology Academic internship has the following general expectations for an approvable internship experience:

1 – Students must have real, meaningful responsibility (more than receptionist, summer sales, retail sales, custodial, etc.)

2 – Students must be mentored/supervised by someone with a college degree and experience in the specific field

3 – Students must have the opportunity to gain new, marketable skills (not something they have already been doing for a year or more)

Psychology Academic internships are NOT APPROVED for the following conditions:

1 – Students supervising themselves, or being supervised by a student, or by any family member (including in-laws, step-family members, extended family, etc.) – students cannot receive academic internship credit at an organization owned or led by a family relation.

2 – Most Day Care or Preschool experiences unless they are targeting specifically developmentally delayed or at-risk populations.

3 – Direct Sales organizations (Including recruiting, sales, presentations, etc.)

4 – Virtual Experience situations (working/volunteering from your home on your own computer rather than going into an office or other work setting where you have the opportunity to work alongside others and have regular interaction with your mentor)

5 – BYU campus experiences are not approved for Psychology internship credit including student jobs, volunteer opportunities, clubs, etc. Even though these experiences are beneficial to students, one of the main benefits of academic internship is to build your resume with opportunities outside of the campus bubble. Psychology does not allow students to be paid by BYU and earn BYU credit for the same experience.

Psychology Academic Internship credit fits well with a wide range of opportunities. Here are some suggested career paths that provide meaningful internship experience:

· Established for-profit organizations: Marketing, Market Research/Analysis, Human Resources, Customer Experience, Strategy, Operations, etc.

· Non-profit organizations: United Way, Make-A-Wish Foundation, etc.

· Women and Children’s Shelters

· Refugee Communities

· Early Intervention programs

· Drug Addiction Recovery programs

· Residential Treatment programs

· Head Start Programs

· Social Services

· Homeless Services

· Behavioral Technician Services

Psych 399R and Psych 496R Requirements:

  • Online discussion boards
  • Writing assignments
  • Completed work log
  • Self and supervisor evaluations
  • Poster presentation at an open house for friends, family, and other students

Once you have found an internship experience for the Psych 399R or Psych 496R course, please complete the FHSS Internship Application. Once you submit the C&SS Internship Application an auto email will be sent to your internship provider supervisor asking for basic information confirming your internship placement. After the psychology department receives both your application and the provider confirmation, you will receive an email letting you know whether or not your internship application is approved. If approved, the Internship Provider Supervisor will email instructions for the University application. The psychology internship instructor is also available to answer questions regarding requirements for Psych 399R or Psych 496R and the course in general:

Karen Christensen –– Community & Social Services Internship Coordinator
FHSS College Brigham Young University 945 KMBL Provo, UT 84602