Industrial-Organizational Internship

The internship requires students to perform a total of 600 hours of I-O-related tasks.  A maximum of 40 hours/week are allowed to count towards internship hours.  It is possible for students to work part time during internships (e.g., 20 hours/week).

Before beginning the internship, students must complete the Application for I-O Internship form that describes their internship, and includes the following information:

  • Name and brief description of the organization (e.g., products produced/services provided, size, location(s)
  • Name and background of their supervisor (job title, years of experience, education, contact information)
  • Detailed explanation of the tasks that will be performed
  • Expected starting and ending dates

The form must be signed by the student and on-site internship supervisor, which indicates the supervisor's approval of the internship activities.  Next, the internship must be approved by the student's internship committee, which consists of a minimum of two faculty members.  Students are expected to select and get approval of faculty members to serve on their committees. The Chair of the internship committee must be a member of the I-O faculty.  Hours worked are not counted until the internship has been formally approved.

If approved, students must register for an internship course.  In this course, the instructor will be in regular contact with internship students (and their supervisors) to assist students with internship-related issues and ensure that internship requirements are fulfilled in a timely manner.  The internship has 5 primary requirements:

  • 600 hours of work
  • Ensuring the on-site supervisor evaluates the performance of the intern using an Internship Evaluation form
  • Internship presentation
  • Integrated paper
  • Oral defense

The internship presentation consists of a formal overview of the activities (e.g., tasks, projects) that were performed.  These activities need to be described in sufficient detail to provide the audience with an understanding of the work that was performed.  Part of the presentation is a critique of internship tasks, along with suggestions as to how the work could have been executed in a more effective manner, which is consistent with the I-O literature.  The presentation is scheduled after or near the completion of the internship (during the 14 or 15th week of  a given semester).

The integrated paper is designed so that students have the opportunity to incorporate their internship activities with relevant psychological literature, including what was learned in classes. This paper requires students to answer four questions about their experience at their internship site from the following areas:  1) Organizational Psychology, 2) Personnel Selection, 3) Organizational Change & Development, and 4) one from any of the following areas: Training and Development, Legal Issues, Research Methods/Statistics.  Students are given the specific questions at the beginning of the internship.

Each answer has a five-page maximum limit (double-spaced) and must include at least 5 references.  However, it is important to note that only including 5 references will generally not be acceptable to completely answer each question.

Please reference citations within the body of your answer using APA version 6 format, and include a reference section in APA format at the end of the entire paper. You may refer to textbooks and class materials, as well as published research.

Please note that internship papers that are late, incomplete or of poor quality (as judged by the committee Chair) will not be accepted and will have to be resubmitted the following semester.  The final integrated paper is scored on a pass/fail basis.  A passing score is equivalent to a grade of “B” or better.  Pass/fail decisions are made by the I-O faculty as a group after the oral defense.  During the oral defense, students are allowed to elaborate upon and clarify the content of their paper, and answer questions posed by faculty.  If a "fail" decision is made, students may be given the opportunity to revise the content of their paper and/or answers given during the defense.  The type of revisions vary and are chosen by the faculty as a group.  Generally, the revisions are chosen on a case by case basis to best assess shortcomings in the internship paper and/or oral defense.  For instance, the revisions can consist of modifications to existing answers, the answering of supplemental questions, a second oral defense, or other methods to assess knowledge and application of I-O material (e.g., a written examination).  Depending on the nature and extent of the remediation, students may be required to enroll for an additional internship hour and complete the requirements the following term.  Students will no longer be allowed to continue in the program if they received a failing grade after their second attempt.

We highly encourage students to take their completed paper to the Writing Lab for review. Papers that are not professionally prepared (e.g., disorganized, filled with typos or grammatical mistakes, without proper citations) will be ungraded and returned to students for revision.

General internship deadlines are below (specific dates will be posted before each semester):

Initial submission of integrated paper: End of week 11
Faculty feedback on paper: End of week 12
Final, revised integrated paper: End of week 13
Internship presentation, defense: Weeks 14 & 15
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