Undergraduate Programs

Internship Experiences

Psychology 489: Cooperative Education/Internship

Students looking to enroll in PSYC 489 must work in an authorized agency for at least 10 hours per week (20 hours per week for the summer session) and fulfill academic course requirements (attending periodic group sessions/workshops, preparing a final written report, and giving an oral presentation). The work experience must be approved by NIU's Career Services and must receive the approval of the Psychology Internship Director and the Department of Psychology Chair.

Interested and eligible students (see Eligibility Requirements below) should complete the application portion of the course contract and return it to the department’s main office (PM400) for review. Students are required to find and secure an internship before applying for PSYC 489 registration (see Locating and Internship below).  

Students will be notified of application status by the Internship Director. Approved contracts need to be signed by the Internship Director before being filed with the Career Services Office and the Department of Psychology Chairperson. All paperwork must be completed by the second week of the semester for enrollment.

A student handout sheet detailing step-by-step directions for going through the application process can be found here or picked up at the department's main office in PM400.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Junior or senior standing, with a declared major in Psychology (B.A. or B. S.)
  • Psychology GPA 2.5 or higher
  • Overall GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • Work at least 120 hours per semester at internship

Locating an Internship:

The internship is a job search process, and is highly dependent on your specific career interests within the psychology major. Career Services can help you get the basic tools and information you need to start your search. They provide resume assistance, tips for using online listings (e.g., Huskies Get Hired!), and other useful information (e.g., having a phone/email script for professionally approaching organizations).

Call 815-753-1641 to schedule an appointment, or visit Room 220 of the Campus Life Building

More About PSYC 489 Course Sessions and Credit:

We usually meet as a class four times a semester (once a month) for a three hour session. These sessions are usually Friday afternoons and are required for course completion. Everything else for the course is done online through Blackboard (portfolio completion) or by one-on-one appointments with the Internship Director.
Grading for this course is on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis rather than letter grades. This means that, although the credits count toward degree completion (i.e., major requirements and/or general electives), the course is not included in your GPA calculations.

PSYC489 can be taken up to two times (6hrs) for credit. However, only the first time (3hrs) counts toward the psychology major. The following 3hrs counts as a general elective toward graduation. Also, the second PSYC 489 course must be taken with a different internship than the first one.

Students are encouraged to take PSYC 489 during the fall and spring semesters, but summer supervision is available. For more information on summer internship credit and other frequently asked questions, please see this document.

Intern of the Month Awards

Career Services acknowledges outstanding NIU students who have excelled at their career-related work experience. These students receive an award certificate, a $100 check, and their name placed on a plaque in the Career Services office. We encourage all of our psychology majors completing PSYC 489 to apply. See below for our past psychology major winners:

  • 2014: Maria Senf (University of Chicago) and LeSheda House (Kendall County Court Services), & Alex Keedi (Winnebago County Defender's Office)
  • 2011: Katherine Pawlicki (Ben Gorden Center)
  • 2009: Linda Huber (The Prairie Clinic)
  • 2007: Jamie Skinner (Big Brothers Big Sisters of DeKalb County)
  • 2003: Jacqueline Schram (Safe Passage)