The department’s internship program (course GEOG 3930) is an important way to supplement your academic work. Internships are a great way to start building a resume, making connections, and gaining valuable experience. The Geography Department hosts an annual Career Night in the spring. This event provides an opportunity to hear from, and talk to, professionals in various occupations about career and internship opportunities available in the field of geography.
This program offers students the opportunity to apply, and further develop, their skills and knowledge and to gain practical experience by working in a professional capacity for a government agency, research lab, advocacy organization, or other such group that uses geographic approaches and skills to solve problems and develop policies. The experience gained and the contacts made during an internship experience become an invaluable asset in securing employment in the future.
- GPA of 2.00 or above
- Geography major or minor. Distributed Studies majors with a primary area in Geography are also eligible.
- Senior status. Qualified juniors may also be eligible. Check with the internship coordinator if you are a junior and would like to do an internship.
Intern positions secured by individual student
It is acceptable for a student to secure an intern position on his/her own, however, the position must be approved by the Geography Department prior to the 1stweek of class. The student must complete the Credit Internship Application form, obtain the sponsor’s signature, and return the application to the Geography Department at least two weeks prior to the beginning of the semester. The student will be notified of acceptance/denial a few days after submitting the completed application.
Intern positions arranged and secured by the geography department
Such positions are available to all eligible Geography majors provided they have sufficient background skills. When these positions become available, email notification is sent to the Geography Majors listserve. Unless otherwise noted, students apply directly to the sponsoring agency who then selects the student intern at their discretion. When a student is hired by the sponsoring agency for an internship position, a Credit Internship Application must be completed and signed by the student and the sponsoring agency. The completed Application must be submitted to the Geography Department for departmental approval prior to the 1st week of class.
Work requirements and course credit
The student is under the direction of the sponsoring agency. Students must work a minimum of 144 hours to earn three (3) hours of academic credit. Students may do two 3-credit internships, but only one (3 credit hours) will count toward major hours. Intern positions are unpaid – students cannot accept compensation.
Students must submit the completed Credit Internship Application to the Geography Staff. Geography Staff will obtain the required departmental signatures and register the student upon approval by the faculty sponsor and chair/associate chair. The student is responsible for observing the drop/add deadlines as published in the academic calendar. Typically, the student must be registered for GEOG 3930 prior to the 1st day of class for the semester.
Class meeting pattern
A typical class schedule for GEOG 3930 is as follows (week # represents week in the semester of the internship; actual dates will be determined at the beginning of each semester):
- Week 1 - Orientation meeting (all interns) with faculty sponsor to discuss goals, responsibilities, guidelines, etc. Students begin work for sponsoring agency.
- Week 6 or 7 – Progress/status conference between student and faculty advisor.
- Weeks 15 or 16 - Group seminar (all interns) for individual presentations (5-10 min/student); submit Intern Evaluation Form and 5-page written summary.
- Week 16 – End work for sponsoring agency. Final grade assigned.
Internship Evaluation Criteria
The student's grade in the course is based primarily on the work supervisor's evaluation of the student's performance and activities. The Internship Faculty Advisor also considers the oral presentation, written summary, and meeting attendance when assigning the final grade.
Your final grade in the Geography Internship course will be jointly determined by your Internship Supervisor and by the Internship Instructor. Your Internship Supervisor’s evaluation will count for 80% of your final grade. The remaining 20% will be based on the quality of your written and oral presentation summarizing your Internship experience, as well as your attendance at the required conferences and meetings for GEOG3930.
The written summary, due in the final week of the semester, should be approximately five pages (double-spaced) in length and should include the following:
1. Introduction: Give the Instructor an overview of what you hoped to gain from an internship in general terms and what your specific expectations were going into this particular job.
2. The Job: Describe the job as outlined in the original Internship Agreement, i.e., what the job was supposed to entail, your supervisor and organization. Next, explain what you actually do on any given day. It is recommended that you select a day and keep an actual log of what you do, who you talk to, what you talk about, etc.
3. The Product. What did you accomplish? Include examples of your work (or descriptions of your accomplishments).
4. Conclusion: What did you get out of the Internship? How did the work experience contribute to your understanding of Geographic principles? Are you more or less critical of some of the ideas presented in your previous course work in Geography?
In the final week of the semester, each Intern will make a ten-minute presentation on her/his Internship experience. The presentation will be organized along the same lines as the written summary. Visual aids illustrating the job and the product are encouraged.
For more information: Contact the Geography Department at 303-492-2631, stop by the office (Guggenheim 110), contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, or your advisor.