Internship Experiences

Psychology 489: Cooperative Education/Internship

Students looking to enroll in PSYC 489 must work in an authorized agency for at least 120 hours during the semester in which you are enrolled 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.

To apply, complete the application portion of the course contract and return it to the department's main office (PM400) for review. You are required to find and secure an internship before applying for PSYC 489 registration (see Locating and Internship below).

Please review our frequently asked questions.

Getting Started

  • You 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.
  • Download the procedures sheet detailing step-by-step directions of the application process or pick it 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 at the internship during the semester enrolled

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.

Course Sessions and Credit

Eligible students with approved internships may enroll in PSYC 489 by the regular add/drop deadline (second week of classes). This course meets four times a semester (once a month) for a three-hour session. These sessions are usually Friday afternoons and are required for course completion. All assignments are completed online through Blackboard (portfolio completion).

Grading for this course is on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) basis rather than letter grades. S/U credits count toward degree completion (i.e., major requirements and/or general electives), but are not included in GPA calculations. PSYC489 can be taken up to two times (six hours) for credit. However, only the first time (3hrs) counts toward the psychology major. The following three hours counts as a general elective toward graduation and must be taken with a different internship. For more information regarding PSYC 489, please email the psychology internship director.

Intern of the Month Awards

Career Services acknowledges outstanding NIU students who have excelled at their career-related work experience. We encourage all of our psychology majors completing PSYC 489 to apply. See below for our past psychology major winners:

  • 2016: Alexandra Tavlas (Safe Passage)
  • 2014: Maria Senf (University of Chicago) and LeSheda House (Kendall County Court Services) and 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)