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Sociology Internships

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.

Sociology majors who want to earn academic internship credit can apply for Soc 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 Soc 399 prerequisites.

Soc 399 Prerequisites: Must have completed a handful of Sociology courses prior to registering for Soc 399 credit (usually up to at least Soc 300). The Department would like you to have completed enough Sociology courses that you can tie the theories and ideas from the classroom to your real-world experience.

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  • How to find a good internship
    Sociology Department Academic Internship Guidelines



    Sociology 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)



    Sociology 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 – 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)



    Sociology 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
    • Head Start Programs
    • Social Services
    • Homeless Services
    • Community Services
    • Developmental Services
    • Family Services (DCFS, Wasatch Mental Health, UVU Stronger Families, etc.)
    • Residential Treatment Centers
    • Behavioral Therapy
  • The FHSS Internship Office can help Sociology 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 Sociology 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 Sociology Department 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 Sociology majors secure an opportunity and determine that it will fit well with Soc 399 internship guidelines and the student's future goals,they 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 Sociology Department 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 Soc 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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  • Sociology Capstone Options:

    The Sociology Department several different capstone options for students to choose from and you can access those choices at this link: https://catalog.byu.edu/family-home-and-social-sciences/sociology/sociology-bs

    The Sociology major allows up to 6 credits of academic internship credit to count towards Sociology elective credit, but only allows 3 credits of Soc 399 per semester and for a single experience.

    Even if the Sociology major does not REQUIRE students to complete both, we RECOMMEND that all Sociology 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.