Internships and Independent Study

How to Get Involved with an Internship

The Psychological & Brain Sciences Department sponsors clinical internships for credit with an S/U grade. An internship is an opportunity to work as a volunteer at a mental health care facility or other institution in which interactions with clients, inpatients, or subjects in clinical research. Internships are supervised by a clinician or professional staff member. Internship experiences may include activities such as sitting in on individual or group therapy sessions, interacting with patients informally, observing assessments, participating in treatment team and supervision meetings, and assisting with scoring of psychological tests and report writing.

The department maintains a list of Internship Opportunities for internship sites that have requested that we advertise opportunities to our students. However, there are many other opportunities available that require students to take the initiative to contact sites (e.g., clinics, hospitals). Some mental health facilities have internship or volunteer coordinators, who are a good first contact. In the past, students have interned locally at organizations such as the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Sheppard Pratt Hospital, and Mount Washington Hospital. Students can also complete internships at sites that are outside of the local area.

Internships must be sponsored by a full-time faculty member in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences. Students should come to a mutual agreement with the internship site regarding the student’s responsibilities, time commitment, attendance expectations, what you will gain from the experience, and what you will offer your internship site. After locating an internship opportunity, students should meet with a faculty sponsor. The student and faculty sponsor will review the agreement that between the student and internship site, as well as the faculty sponsor’s expectations and the written requirements of the internship (i.e., a journal of observations made at the treatment facility). To register for an internship, the student will submit the signed Undergraduate Research/Independent Study/Internship form signed by the faculty sponsor, in addition to an Add/Drop form as appropriate, to the Registrar’s Office.

Internships contribute significantly to the development of your professional identity. You represent yourself as well as JHU Psychological & Brain Sciences, as the institution and department at your internship site. The utmost professionalism is expected in all capacities at all times.

Internship/Independent Study Guidelines & Grading

Please be advised that the Psychology Independent Study experience does not follow the protocol of the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences. In Psychological & Brain Sciences, Independent Study serves as a complement to the Internship offering. When involved in an internship, you will register for both offerings to receive a possible 1-3 credits total, and S/U grade for each offering.

Internships can range from 1-3 credits. For each credit, 40 hours of work (approximately 3 hours per week of the semester) is required. Therefore, a student earns 1 credit for 40 hours in a semester (about 3 hours per week), 2 credits for 80 hours (about 6 hours per week), and 3 credits for 120 hours (about 9 hours per week). You may find that your hours worked vary per week; it is your responsibility to accurately record your time throughout the semester on your timesheet, for review and approval by your faculty sponsor at the end of the semester. Students and faculty sponsors should agree upon a number of credits and hours at the beginning of the semester.

All students involved in an internship will submit a Summary Report of Independent Work, daily journal, and timesheet, in addition to other post-completion documents as noted below or as agreed upon by the student and faculty sponsor.

Your JHU faculty sponsor must receive each of these items no later than 5:00PM on the last day of Reading Period in the semester during which you complete the research experience. Unless an alternate arrangement has been discussed prior to the deadline, late documents will not be accepted, resulting in a possible Unsatisfactory grade with no credit awarded.

Required Documents for Internship Credit

  1. Students must complete and submit the white Summary Report of Independent Work form (available from the Registrar’s Office) to the faculty sponsor. Based on feedback from the internship site and a review of the student’s journal and timesheet, the Homewood faculty sponsor will complete the “Faculty Supervisor’s Comments” section, assign an S/U grade, sign the form, and submit it to the Registrar’s Office for final grading. The Office of Academic Advising will retain a copy of the Summary Report of Independent Work in the student’s academic file.
  2. Student will keep and submit a daily journal of observations.
  3. Students will submit a complete timesheet documenting all time spent participating in and completing the written requirements of the internship experience in that semester. The student’s supervisor at the internship site will sign the student’s timesheets for approval by the JHU faculty sponsor.

Questions regarding internships should be directed to Dr. Alison Papadakis, the department’s Director of Clinical Psychological Studies.