Undergraduate Psychology - Seattle Pacific University

Undergraduate Psychology
Seattle Pacific University
3307 Third Ave. W., Ste. 107
Seattle, WA 98119
Phone: 206-281-2918


Living Well Initiative






Common Questions


What is a psychology internship?

It is a course, PSY 4940 Internship in Psychology, designed to integrate practical experience in the workplace with academic theory. It will enable you to participate in a psychological setting in a “hands on” capacity by actually working in that setting. It will allow you to apply learned concepts and methods while under the direction of faculty and on-site supervisors. It will allow you to explore career options or to obtain career-related professional work experience before graduating.

Why is a psychology internship helpful?

It will provide "experiential learning"—fleshing out and extending beyond classroom theory and knowledge. It often will offer you the opportunity to serve the community. It will provide you with invaluable experience for today’s job market. It will provide a boost for students interested in applying for graduate school. It will help you develop confidence in professional interaction. It will help you earn credit and help you fulfill psychology course requirements. In some cases it may even allow you to earn money.

When am I eligible for a psychology internship?

You may participate in the internship program as a junior or senior psychology major, after completing at least one quarter (12 credits) as a matriculated student at SPU. However, the internship is designed to be an advanced experience that builds on course preparation in psychology. For example, if you are seeking a placement working with the mentally ill, you should have successfully completed PSY 4460 Abnormal Behavior. If you are seeking placement in a social service agency, SOC 4310 Foundations for Social Service and SOC 4380 Social Service Organization are highly recommended.

What are the criteria for an internship site?

An internship setting and the activities you perform there must be psychological in nature. Your work must be overseen by an on-site supervisor, who has successfully completed graduate training in a relevant psychological field. Also, this supervisor must agree to provide ongoing formative evaluations and a formal final evaluation of your work. Finally, the site must provide at least five hours of experiential learning per week.

What kinds of psychology internships are available?

There are literally dozens of different “kinds” of internships in psychology. They can be related to counseling or social services, human resource programs in organizations, psychological interventions in educational settings, evaluation research programs, and so on. A listing of several internship sites appears later in this handbook. Others can be found in the Center for Career and Calling. If you do not find one that fits your interests, the Center for Career and Calling and the Department of Psychology will work with you to find one that does.

What if I am already working?

You may be able to turn your present position into a psychology internship experience. Make an appointment with a career counselor in the Center for Career and Calling. Please note, however, that you may not receive credit retroactively for work already completed.

Are internship sites competitive?

You may or may not be competing with other students to obtain a position in any particular site. A career counselor can assist you in putting together a resume and preparing you for a professional interview.

How many credits may I earn in an internship?

You may earn from 1-5 credits of psychology internship per quarter. Academic expectations and number of on-site hours vary with the number of credits taken; however, the minimum hours at any internship site are five hours per week.

5 hours a week = 1-2 credits

7.5 hours a week = 3 credits

10 hours a week = 4 credits

12.5 hrs a week = 5 credits