- Process of Becoming an Intern
- Internship Registration
- Unlisted Internships
- Alterative Internship Programs
Justice Studies students should begin thinking about the kind of internship setting they would like to work in by the beginning of the junior year, and should begin the process of applying for specific internship opportunities during the semester before they intend to enroll.
- Read the Internship FAQ page, which should answer the majority of your initial questions.
- Download and review the JS 181 course syllabus. When the course goals are understood, it is time to find an internship placement.
Please apply to several internships, as some agencies are competitive.
To find an internship placement
- Review the Internship Opportunities page, followed by SJSU's Internship Opportunities page, and then SJSU Handshake.
- You can also meet with internship faculty advisors, attend internship informational meetings / lectures, peruse SJSU's Internship Resources page, and / or contact agencies directly about the internships they offer.
Students interested in working with agencies that require extensive background checks (such as most federal agencies and many state agencies) should start the application process at least six months to a year before they plan to register. It is the student’s responsibility to find an appropriate internship site in a timely manner. Failure to do so may delay the student’s graduation.
Many internships—including federal law enforcement—may require prolonged application processes, often starting with submitting materials online. Students should begin looking for internships several months (or even years, e.g., see US Secret Service) in advance of signing up for the class.
There are several steps to registering for JS 181.
- During the registration period (typically starting in April or November) for the planned internship semester, prospective interns must fill out the Internship Add Code Application [Google Form]. This application is used to assign students to an internship adviser and to distribute add codes for each advisor's JS 181 course section.
- Submit required paperwork to the Department of Justice Studies. Paperwork may be emailed
- Unlisted internships require approval in advance from Internship Coordinator.
- All paperwork must be complete.
- The deadline for submitting paperwork is Friday of the first full week of classes.
- Students receive email stating approval with an add code and section number, or disapproval and reasons why. Students may not register for an internship section until an add code is received.
- Login to MySJSU and add the course with the add code. If you proceed all the way to step 3 on the
site and see a green check mark, you have successfully added the course.
- Adding the course, however, does not guarantee an internship.
- Students must maintain good relationships with and availability for the submitted internship site.
- Students who do not may be dropped from the class or receive a grade of 'NC' for the course.
After locating an internship (and having gained approval from the Internship Coordinator if seeking an unlisted internship):
- Meet with your internship supervisor, the person to whom one reports at the agency and fill out the following documents:
- Once both documents listed above are signed, submit them via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line, "Internship Paperwork" or drop them off at the JS Office, MH524.
Students may not satisfy the internship requirement with a placement that is not approved in advance by the Department of Justice Studies. Periodically, a student will find an internship placement that is not on the list of approved internships. In such cases, the student must gain approval from the Internship Coordinator or the Department Chair.
Criteria for Unlisted Internship Approval
- The mission and values of the organization must be consistent with those of the Department of Justice Studies.
- The intern will do work that is instrumental to advancing the mission of the organization. No more than 20% of internship time may be used for mundane tasks such as clerical work, observations, or answering phones.
- Students will have the opportunity to complete 120 hours of service within the internship semester or summer session.
- There will be a designated supervisor who will agree to be responsible for overseeing the intern's work, reporting the intern's hours, and evaluating the intern at the end of the semester or summer session.
- The organization will enter into formal agreement over the parameters of each intern's placement.
Request Unlisted Internship Approval
Submit the following to the Internship Coordinator:
- Request for Approval of Unlisted Internship Form [pdf]
- A quality assurance letter on organization letterhead signed by the supervisor at the agency
The quality assurance letter must clearly spell out the mission and values of the organization, the duties that the intern would perform, and guarantee that the internship will meet the criteria above. Only after gaining written approval from the Internship Coordinator or the Department Chair may the student enroll in JS 181 with that placement.
In rare cases, a student may be granted a substitution of the internship requirement. This will occur only when students can demonstrate extensive experience has already been obtained in their area of interest (e.g., having an established career in criminal or social justice, having extensive prior volunteer experience in one's field). Such students may be granted permission to substitute another 3-unit Justice Studies course for JS 181. The substitutions typically involve taking JS 180, JS 184, or another writing intensive course.
Requesting a substitution does not mean that it is approved. Only formal written approval will be accepted as proof of a substitution. Save the written approval for graduation advising. If denied, the decision is final with no appeal.
See John Halushka's Zoom information session for procedures on internship enrollment. To access the recording, enter the following passcode: dC@@3p.Z