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School of Family Life

Internship experience is beneficial to you as you determine the right career path and these experiences will give you the opportunity to gain new, marketable skills. That being said, it is not necessary for you to be registered for academic internship credit for every experience you have. The main thing is that you are gaining experience, and if you are involved in important volunteer or paid experiences each semester, the capstone credit piece will happen at the right time for you. If you would like to explore different opportunities available to you to gain experience, email the FHSS Internship Office (fhssinternships@byu.edu) to schedule an appointment with Karen Christensen, Social Service & Community Internship Coordinator. Currently, Karen is working from home and taking phone or Zoom appointments.

SFL majors who want to earn academic internship credit can apply for SFL 399. It is offered every semester and students should plan to take it during their junior or senior year of the program after completing the SFL 399 prerequisites.

SFL 399 Prerequisites: Must have completed at least 9 credits of upper division SFL coursework prior to applying for SFL 399 internship credit.

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  • School of Family Life (SFL) Academic Internship Guidelines



    School of Family Life (SFL) 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)



    School of Family Life (SFL) 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, stepfamily members, extended family, etc.) – students cannot receive academic internship credit at an organization owned or led by a family relation.

    2 – Direct Sales teams (Including independent contractors, recruiting, sales, presentations, etc.)

    3 – 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)
  • The FHSS Internship Office can help School of Family Life (SFL) majors find meaningful internships that provide rich experience and the opportunity to apply theories and ideas from the classroom while gaining real-world experience. Work and volunteer experiences can be the best way to determine the right career direction after completing your broad School of Family Life (SFL) major. Our staff is available during normal office hours (8 am to 5 pm) and by appointment to counsel with interested students and help them secure appropriate internships to ​match their future educational and career goals. We maintain a database of internship opportunities in a wide range of disciplines that are served well by So​​​cial Science majors. The FHSS Database is not all-inclusive, but does provide a good starting point in your search for meaningful experiences. Always consider your own network and how family and friends may be able to help you connect with good organizations that would provide meaningful experience as well.

    Karen Christensen, MBA, directs the Community & Social Services Internship Program. She maintains contacts with internship providers and cultivates new internship opportunities for students. She also monitors the quality of internships offered by internship providers to meet the standards set by the FHSS College Internship Committee. Questions may be directed to: karen@byu.edu

    Students can complete internship experiences as either volunteer or paid employment positions, and with or without academic credit. Karen can help you determine the best course of action regarding internship opportunities for you. Academic credit for internships is offered through the individual departments (Psych 399/496, SFL 399, and Soc 399) once your internship has received approval. Please contact the C&SS Internship Office (fhssinternships@byu.edu) for any questions regarding internship opportunities, credit requirements, time commitments, and all other internship logistics.​
  • The School of Family Life (SFL) has a college internship application that should be submitted and approved prior to completing the University IRAMS application.

    It is best to start looking for a meaningful internship in the semester before you want academic internship credit. Once SFL majors secure an opportunity and determine that it will fit well with SFL internship guidelines and the student's future goals, you should fill out the Family & Community Services Internship application at this link: http://fssinternships.byu.edu/Application/application.aspx

    As soon as the application is submitted, an auto email will go to the proposed internship supervisor asking that the Provider Confirmation form be completed. It is always a good idea to give the supervisor advanced notice to watch for an email from ‘karen@byu.edu’ and ask if there are 5 minutes available in the next day or two to complete the Provider Confirmation form. Once the School of Family Life receives both of these application components (student app & provider confirmation), the student will receive an email with an approval or denial decision regarding the internship proposal, along with instructions for part II (IRAMS Application) of the internship approval process.

    The student then submits the IRAMS application. Once final IRAMS approval is given, the student receives a final approval email from the University Internship Office informing the student that approval has been given and the student can now register for SFL 399. This should be completed prior to the add/drop deadline.

    If you have any problems with this process, please contact the FHSS Internship Office at fhssinternships@byu.edu or 801-422-2168
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  • School of Family Life Capstone Options:

    The School of Family Life (SFL) has 3 different capstone options for students to choose from depending on emphasis:

    • SFL 399 - Academic Internship Capstone Credit
    • SFL 403 - Research Capstone Credit
    • SFL 490 - Advanced Issues in Human Development (Human Dev majors only)
    • SFL 498 - Family Life Education: Integrating Theory, Research, & Practice (Family Studies majors only)
    SFL majors are required to complete 3 credits in one of the capstone options in order to graduate.

    Even though SFL majors are only REQUIRED to complete one of the options, we RECOMMEND that all SFL majors get experience in BOTH research and internship to be more prepared and marketable after graduation. Having both experiences will also strengthen your graduate school applications, in addition to helping you know which career direction is best suited for you.