Anthropology majors can earn credit in ANTH 4390 (Internship) by completing a one-semester spring, summer, or fall internship at an organization of their choice after working with the Department’s internship coordinator, Dr. Neill Hadder, to obtain placement. Graduate students in Anthropology likewise can earn credit for ANTH 5395. ANTH 4390/5395 can be repeated once for credit.
Internships consist of 120 or more work hours for the semester, are usually unpaid, and provide a genuine apprenticeship experience with flexible scheduling in order to accommodate a student’s other typical commitments. Internship students participate in a discussion group with other interns, submit a weekly journal, and write a final internship report that puts their experiences into an anthropological perspective. Many of our former interns have continued at their organizations long after completing their requirements, either as employees or simply for the added experience.
Why Pursue an Internship?
- An internship allows you to explore a specific career before graduation and find out if it is right for you.
- An internship can help you overcome the paradox that employers won’t give you experience unless you already have experience!
- Internships can offer the opportunity to learn research and technical skills that supplement academic courses.
- Internships help build a professional network that includes potential job leads at other organizations, in addition to the internship site supervisor (who can provide letters of recommendation).
- You can have experiences you probably would never otherwise have
- You can take the mystery out of the process of applying for a professional job (finding an internship follows much the same process)
- Several of our former interns have even been hired after graduation by their internship sites or have found professional work through their internship contacts.
Eligibility for Internship Credit
To earn internship course credit, students register for ANTH4390 (or 5395 for graduate students) and pay tuition just as with any other course, but the internship coordinator will first need to issue an override to let you in. Therefore, you must have a solid internship in place before the period for schedule changes ends at the beginning of the semester.
At a minimum, all the following must be true when registering for ANTH 4390 Internship:
- you must be a declared anthropology major at Texas State with a 2.5 or higher GPA for your anthropology classes
- You must have completed ANTH 1312, 2414, and 2415 (one of these can be taken alongside the internship).
- You must normally be a junior or senior (see below).
- You must have worked with the internship coordinator, who issues the override that allows you to register for the course.
Graduate students seeking credit for ANTH 5395:
- must be anthropology graduate students (exceptions are occasionally made for non-degree-seeking graduate students who hold an anthropology degree).
- must obtain the approval of her or his thesis advisor, who determines whether particular internships are appropriate for a given student’s program of study.
- generally produce a conference poster or similar professional product as an internship outcome
Although some organizations do require that interns be enrolled in an internship course, others only stipulate that interns be a current student, and still others offer volunteer opportunities that are open to anyone. If you do not enroll for internship course credit, you will not be pursuing an internship through the Anthropology Department. The internship coordinator can help you understand all your options.
“Are there exceptions to the GPA policy?”
Internship course credit is available only to students who are already on track to graduate on the strength of their academic classes. So, you need a 2.5 average in your anthro courses before you will be permitted to register for ANTH 4390. The only exceptions to this policy are the following:
- the internship coordinator receives notification from a Liberal Arts advisor that you absolutely require ANTH 4390 in that semester in order to graduate, and no other alternatives for fulfilling your degree requirements have been recently available; or
- you have obtained an exceptional internship under unique circumstances and the internship coordinator decides it is in the Department’s interest for you to be part of the internship program.
“I’m not a junior yet. Can I still intern?”
It’s important that you have enough background in anthropology and in your minor to have a good idea of what your interests are. Also, your transcript needs to show enough evidence of your academic performance to make us confident you will represent the Department well as an intern (otherwise, it threatens the ability of future students to obtain placement at that organization). Finally, since internships offer you professional contacts, you should be nearing graduation in order to maintain those contacts and take advantage of them to find a job. However, in some situations, it’s appropriate to pursue an internship earlier:
- Perhaps you are a returning student with a strong focus in one area.
- You already have a background in the field of the internship.
- you’ve already obtained an internship.
- You convince the internship coordinator or other Anthropology faculty that you know what you want and will do a good job.
- The internship you want is one that doesn’t require significant experience and can benefit from your help.
IMPORTANT: You must begin working to obtain your internship placement during the semester prior to the one in which you want to intern. internships in some areas (especially forensics and bioanthropology) are competitive.