Undergraduate Internship Course

Internship Director: Dr. Helen Rose Ebaugh 

Sociology Department, PGH 496 

713 743-3952

The Sociology Department at the University of Houston offers an undergraduate internship in an effort to enhance the sociological education of students and provide them with experiences and skills that may improve their employment opportunities after graduation. The Department hopes that the internship will serve to demonstrate to community organizations and agencies the skills of our students and their potential value as employees.

  • Role of the Internship Within the Curriculum
  • The internship is a three credit hour course at the 4000 level. We conceptualize courses at the 4000 level as capstone experiences that build upon and enhance the rest of students’ sociological curriculum. The internship is a practical, community-based educational experience that provides seniors the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills that they have learned in their other sociology courses. In some instances, an internship gives students the opportunity to “try out” a particular field before applying to a graduate program or particular job. On occasion, an internship develops into a job either in the agency in which the student has interned or in another organization that was part of the student’s networking experience.

  • Role of Internship Director
    1. The Internship Director will develop ties with groups, agencies, and corporations in the community that may serve as sites for the placement of interns. She will collect information on specific internship settings available at any given time to undergraduate students. She will also attempt to develop placements in response to specific requests by individual students for a given type of internship experience. Students will be supervised in the agency by a field supervisor. 
    2. The Internship Director will serve as the faculty supervisor for all interns (except when specific arrangements are made to have another faculty member supervise a student) and will work with the student to have a meaningful experience that relates to the sociology she/he has learned in previous courses. She will also supervise the final internship paper that the intern writes at the completion of the internship. 
    3. Should problems arise between the field supervisor and the student, or within the agency in general, the Internship Director should attempt to resolve them. 
    4. The Internship Director will hold mandatory organizational meeting during the semester. During this meeting, the students will be briefed on the intern options for the current semester. Each student will then select a host agency that provides intern activities reflective of the student’sinterest. During this first class meeting, students will also receive a schedule of class meetings and requirements for the semester. At the required second internship meeting, interns will share experiences of what they are learning in their particular placements. Failure to attend any of these meeting without the director’s approval will be factored into a final grade. Attendance will be taken each time.
  • Dr. Helen Rose Ebaugh serves as official Undergraduate Internship Director. Her role as Internship Director is defined as follows, with the understanding that she may want to expand upon or change this role as needed.

  • Structure and Content of the Internship

      The following describes how the internship experience should be conducted. 

    1. Prerequisites: Internship students must be sociology majors, have senior standing, have completed two courses from the following: SOC 2400, 2401, or 3300 and nine additional advanced hours in sociology. All students must receive consent of the Internship Director before enrolling in the course and the Internship Director has the right to decline admission to the student. 
    2. Number of Hours in the field: Interns should devote a total of 96 hours in the field to earn 3 credit hours. It is up to the field supervisor to determine with the student the precise scheduling of the 96 hours
    3. Type of Field Experience: Given the enormous diversity of potential field placement opportunities, it is impossible to specify the desired nature of the field experience. However, there are certain kinds of activities that collectively should comprise at most a very minor component of the time spent in the field: routine clerical, secretarial and errand-running jobs: routine, repetitive coding or entry of data into computer: or any other low skill-level, routine tasks. Students should usually be exposed to a diverse set of experiences, rather than repeating the same kind of activities for the entire internship. The aim of the internship is to provide a meaningful educational experience within a work setting. In the event the student is already employed by the host agency, the scope of the work must exceed his/her normal job duties. 
    4. Internship Contract: At the outset of the internship, the field supervisor and student shall agree upon the nature of the experience the student is to have, the obligations of the field supervisor to the student, the obligations of the student to the agency, and expectations concerning the student’s performance. Failure of the student to follow through on any component of the contract may result in an “F” for the course grade. A copy of the contract must be provided to Dr. Ebaugh, the Internship Director, for her files.
    5. Written Products: There will be two written components to the internship. First, the student is required to keep a field journal. Second, all students must submit to Dr. Ebaugh a final paper (approximately 20 pp. in length). 
    6. Grading: A student’s grade is based on his/her performance on the following: 1) fulfilling, on time, class requirements listed in the schedule handed out during the first class meeting; 2) completion of 96 hours in the field; 3) evaluation provided by the field supervisor; and 4) submission of journal and final paper.

Requirements for enrolling in internship

  • Sociology major or minor
  • Senior Standing
  • GPA: 2.5 in the major or minor
  • Completion of SOC 3300, SOC 3400, SOC 3401 (one may be taken along with internship)
  • 9 Advanced Hours in Sociology
  • Consent of Instructor

Sample of Agencies

List of Agencies/Companies in which students intern

  • Community in Schools
  • Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston
  • East End Life Center
  • Search Homeless Project
  • Mayor’s Office, City of Houston
  • District Attorney, Harris County
  • Office of the Attorney General of Texas
  • Project on Drugs, Alcohol and Aids Research, UH Center
  • Crossroads: A Crime Prevention Agency
  • Rose of Sharon Baptist Church: Senior Citizen and Youth Programs
  • Greater Houston Partnership
  • Texas Children’s Hospital
  • Star of Hope Mission
  • Catholic Charities: Refugee and Resettlement Program
  • Harris County Department of Education
  • YES School
  • All About Seniors
  • Ripley House: A Neighborhood Center
  • Aspiring Youth of Houston
  • Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • The Messinga Group: Promoter of live music events
  • The Children’s Assessment Center
  • Museum of Fine Arts
  • Children’s Museum
  • M.D. Anderson Cancer Research Center
  • Alliance for Multicultural Community Services
  • Head Start
  • DePelchin Children’s Center
  • UH Center for Immigration Research
  • SERG: UH Center for Educational Research


Procedures for enrolling

  • Come by to see Landis Odoms, Undergraduate Advisor, to establish that you meet the requirements to enroll in Soc 4374 and to complete a Special Petition form. Only Landis can enroll you in the course. 
  • Stop by or make an appointment ( to see Dr. Ebaugh, Internship Director, to discuss an internship placement that would be appropriate for you.  
  • Attend a class meeting approximately one month prior to the start of the semester at which time orientation to the internship will be given and internship placements will be made.  
  • Attend the scheduled internship meeting the first week of the semester, as well as the additional two group meetings throughout the semester. 
  • Email fieldnotes to Dr. Ebaugh every three weeks throughout the semester. 
  • Write a final paper that relates sociological concepts to your experience in your placement agency.