Welcome to the Internship Site for the Department of Psychology at California State University, Fullerton. We attempt to provide experiences with a wide variety of organizations that will enhance your career upon graduation.
UPDATED SEPT. 2023
Psychology 495 F.A.Qs
Q: When should I start to look for an internship?
Given the time difference between registration and the start of a given academic term, you should search at least 2-3 months prior to the start of the Psyc 495 course you registered for. The reason for searching months in advance is that many sites require background and fingerprinting checks. Look for sites that utilize psychological theory or methods. If you do not have an internship secured by the first/second week of the semester you risk being dropped from the course.
You will be dropped from your 495 course is you do not register your site with the CICE (Campus Center for Internships) by the first week of the semester. If you are unsure about how appropriate a site might be, please check with your 495 instructor.
Q: During what semester should I take the internship class?
Take your internship during a semester when your coursework is less intense than usual so that you have time outside of class to complete the internship hours. You must have fulfilled the pre-requisites (three upper-division Psychology courses completed at CSUF and minimum 2.0 GPA in psychology). Typically, students take the 495 course during their final year at CSUF.
Q: What kind of sites count for the 495 course?
Sites that utilize psychological concepts or theories to accomplish their mission (e.g., mental health facilities, educational settings, homes for the elderly, group homes, rehabilitation centers, forensics, work in a psychology professor’s research lab or as a course or committee assistant, or businesses that rely on I/O principles for hiring, training, evaluating employees).
Expect to work with a supervisor or team that offers training and guidance on a regular basis and can provide you with evaluations and feedback. Supervisors should also have a background in psychology, cognitive science, or a related I/O field. Ideally, your supervisor should integrate psychological theory or methods throughout your experience. Students should be active in using some aspect of psychology or social science at their site. Any administrative or clerical work should be limited to 20% of your time at a site. If you feel that this type of work exceeds 20% of your time at the site, please talk with your PSYC 495 instructor.
Q: Can I use my job for an internship?
Given the Graduate Initiative and demand on the Psyc 495 course, your current job may be eligible under the following conditions: 1.You agree to expand your job activities to learn something new, and
2. You get it approved by your 495 instructor. Employers must follow the steps to register with CICE as outlined in the PSYC 495 Instruction Card. If you have been employed for more than a few months at a site, you should arrange with your supervisor to participate in work that expands your use of psychological theory or methods.
Q: Where do I find a list of the available sites?
- The best place to start is Titan Connection, CSUF’s exclusive job and internship portal that connects you with pre-approved sites. You can access Titan Connection through the Career Center’s website at: Titan Connection Academic Internships/. Be sure you filter your search by selecting positions designated as “intern (academic internships/for college-credit)” only.
- You may also assist a school counselor or teacher in the many approved school districts throughout the area. Simply contact the school at which you’d like to intern and ask about opportunities to serve as a counseling assistant or volunteer. You can locate a list of approved school districts at http://bit.ly/ciceapproveddistricts
- Once registration for Psyc 495 is complete, the Psychology Department’s Field Coordinator will also send you a list gleaned from Titan Connection, and other CSUF approved sites that are specifically relevant to psychology. The list will also be posted on the Psych Department’s webpage under internships.
- If you are having trouble finding a site, look for those that are similar to what is listed on Titan Connection and make sure to register it with our campus Center for Internships, CICE.
Q: How do I register my site with the campus Center for Internships (CICE)?
The method by which sites register depends on how you found your internship opportunities.
- If you found an appropriately designated academic internship on Titan Connection (see above), then the site does not need to submit any further information to CSUF.
- If you obtained a position through some other means, please contact CICE first to determine whether the site is in active registration status. If the site is not currently registered, you should complete the CICE Registration Request form at www.fullerton.edu/cice/newsite, or visit the CICE in LH-206 for further instructions.
- If you select a school from within one of the approved school districts referenced above, then complete a Public School Placement Form at www.fullerton.edu/cice/schoolform
Q: What do I do if I want to find my own internship site?
Check with the faculty member teaching your 495 class to see if your site is acceptable. Make sure to register your site or organization with CICE by the first week of classes as mentioned above.
Q: Can I use the research that I am conducting with a professor or work as a course assistant for my internship?
Yes, as long as you are doing psychological research or pedagogy, you can earn 120 hours in the role, and have supervision from the instructor. If you are conducting research or working as a course assistant with a professor for the internship course alone, that is fine. Avoid double counting your 495 work with 494 and 499 in any given semester, however, since this creates inequities.
Q: What if I start my internship and do not like it? What do I do then?
Due to the nature of our campus partnerships, you should consult with your faculty member and CICE before deciding to leave an internship. Students who encounter harassment or feel unsafe at their internship site should immediately suspend their internship activities and reach out to their instructor or CICE. If your request to terminate an internship is approved, you can search for another site and use the hours that you have accrued at your current site to count toward the total of 120 hours.
Q: What if I cannot complete 120 hours during the semester?
If you cannot complete the full 120 hours during the semester, you can apply for an incomplete if your time on site totals 80 or more hours by the end of the semester. You may also find a second site at which you can complete your hours (you will need to register it with CICE). Students enrolled in Winter and Summer sections of Psych 495 should expect to devote 25+ hours per week to their site (for 120 hours).
Q: Can I complete the 120 hours at 2 different sites (60 hours at each)?
Typically, you should have only one site to gain the needed experience in the field of psychology. If a site can only give you limited hours then work first with one site and then the other (e.g., 40 hours at one and the remaining 80 hours at your second site).
Q: Can I do my internship first and then take the course the next semester?
No. Due to issues of liability and university policy, you may not do an internship unless you are concurrently enrolled in the internship course. International internships require students to request registration with CICE at least 3-4 months prior to your anticipated travel. Such placements need to be arranged with the appropriate Study Abroad Programs and your instructor for Psych 495.
Q: Where do I get the Site Supervisor Approval form?
You can find the form outside the Psychology Department office in H830M, from your instructor, or online under the internship tab on the departmental webpage. Please send or give the form to your instructor at the start of the semester to verify that you have found an appropriate site and provide contact information about your site supervisor and yourself.
Q: What if I have two supervisors at my site? Who should do the evaluation?
The person who has most contact with you and can give you the best feedback should give you the evaluation. This supervisor is the one that you meet with regularly to discuss your progress toward agreed upon goals.
Q: What kind of experience (degree/credential) does my supervisor need?
Your supervisor should have two years of experience in a role with the organization that is relevant to the field of psychology AND/OR a degree (BA, MA, or PhD) within the psychological or social sciences.
Q: What can I expect from the class?
You should expect to process your experience with a series of assignments that relate to our departmental SLOs. These assignments will help you reflect on your growth over the course of the semester through journals, exercises and a theory paper. In addition, your course work will help you make connections between methods used at your site, as well as address issues of equity and diversity.
Q: What do I do if my supervisor or site does something that is unethical or engages in harassment?
You may wish to discuss your concerns with trusted co-workers and your professor. Think very carefully about the ethical principles involved and read about your agencies’ guidelines for addressing ethical lapses. You must also report instances of harassment to the CICE at 657-278-3746 ASAP.
Q: What about AB540 students?
Students who are undocumented should email Robert Pierce firstname.lastname@example.org of the CICE (Center for Internships) at www.fullerton.edu/CICE. This office has a list of sites that do not require citizenship and can work with students to find the appropriate fit.
Q: When can I start my internship hours?
You should begin your internship once you have completed the CICE Registration process. Your time on site cannot be counted toward your 120 total until after your CICE registration. Consult the instructions. Also, any training that you do at your site counts toward your 120 hours. Please visit: www.fullerton.edu/cice/placement_instructions
495 Information and Instructions
In order to begin the internship process, you should meet the following prerequisites:
--the completion of three upper-level courses in psychology at CSUF
--a 2.0 GPA
495 Information and Instructions
All sections of 495 entail either online or in-person class meetings and a 120 hour experience at a site that uses psychological theories or methods. For example, acceptable internship sites might involve education, development, research, informal counseling, mental health facilities, social services, addiction clinics, management issues (industrial/organizational psychology) and community outreach programs.
All sections of 495 accommodate students who have an online site with any type of psychological content (e.g. education, aging, research). Sites must utilize general, management or clinical psychology orientations. Clinical placements should not involve 1:1 therapy without proper guidance and training and PPE. Online work is acceptable at group homes, psychiatric hospitals, and counseling sites. If you work with clients using ABA therapy, you need to get clearance from Risk Management or CICE. Sites must use psychological methods or theories to be viable.
Register for Psych 495 as soon as possible after your window opens because classes fill quickly. After you register, we will send you a list of possible sites, and a list of course options. 2-3 months before the 495 class begins, contact an internship site and arrange for your placement. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL CLASS BEGINS TO FIND A SITE.
If you have any questions about this course, please contact Professor Mary Madracki (Internship Coordinator for Psychology) at email@example.com, or email your Psyc 495 Instructor for a copy of their syllabus.