Psychology Internship And Practicum (Psych 3785/3787)

The Psychology Internship/Practicum is a course that is designed to give you experience in the work-world and, as such, is unlike most other courses you will take.  You will have dual responsibility: to provide the best service possible to your agency/school/company (you will be, in some sense, an ambassador for Temple and for the Department), and to communicate regularly with me.

This course is called Internship (Psych 3785) the first semester; if taken a second semester (at either the same or a different location) it is called Practicum (Psych 3787). You can receive anywhere from 1-12 credits per course. Credits are determined by how many hours you would be working at the internship site.  PLEASE NOTE that these credits can fulfill upper level CLA requirements for graduation but CANNOT BE APPLIED TOWARD THE MAJOR REQUIREMENTS. Also, note that this is one of the rare classes you cannot retake in a following semester and have the most recent grade supplant your prior grade in terms of your GPA calculation (thus, take your internship seriously!).

To gain an internship, you are asked to review the list of pre-approved sites, or consult with CLA on the College list of sites. Choose sites that represent the type of work experience you would like. You contact the site, identify yourself as a Temple undergraduate majoring in Psychology, and ask if they have an internship available for the semester in which you are interested.  If yes, they may want to interview you in person, or via phone. You should always be prepared with questions to ask them.  If you do decide to take an internship, then you must make a registration appointment with Nicole Pileggi (, as this is by special authorization only. You must bring to that meeting the name of the site, and the supervisor’s name and contact information. You must also update Nicole Pileggi should the supervisor’s name and/or contact information change during the course of your internship.

In addition, if there is any potential conflict of interest between yourself and your supervisor, it needs to be documented at the start of the semester. Sample conflicts of interest are as follows: your supervisor is some (by blood or marriage) relative to yourself; your supervisor is a friend of your family; or you have had some form of romantic relationship with your supervisor. Such conflicts of interest may be easily navigated in some cases but in others may prevent you from working with that supervisor. By contacting Dr. James at the start of the semester regarding such conflicts of interest we can discuss how best to serve you in PSY 3785/3787. Failing to report such known conflicts of interest to Dr. James will result in a failing grade.

The requirements for the course are as follows:

  1. Excellent performance in your job and meeting or surpassing the minimum hours required as dictated by the number of credits you are enrolled.
    A. Not counting the last week of classes, which is also the first week of finals, there are 14 weeks in the semester in the fall and spring semesters (15 calendar weeks if you include spring break/fall break).
    B. You are expected to be at your internship approximately 3.5 hrs (3 hrs & 30 min) on average, each week for each credit of class (PSY 3785 or PSY 3787) you are enrolled in for the fall or spring semesters. As there are not classes over spring and fall breaks you are not required by Temple to be at your internship over those breaks but you are permitted to do so and may need to make up for lost time if you started the internship late or will miss time later in the semester.

Note that summer semesters can be either 6 or 12 weeks.  If on a 6 week (“summer 1 or summer 2”) summer internship, you will need to take an average of 7.5 hrs (7 hrs & 30 min) a week per credit.  If on a 12 week (“summer 1 or summer 2”) summer internship, you will need to take an average of 3.75 hrs (3 hrs & 45 min) a week per credit.

C. Thus, if you are enrolled in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 credits you need to have at least 45, 90, 135, 180, 225, and 270 hours, respectively, completed by the end of the semester and need to plan accordingly. Should you be short of this requirement you will lose 1% from your final grade for each hour you are short.

As a conscientious intern, it is your responsibility to track and project your progress towards meeting your minimum hours by semester’s end and if need be, work with your intern site supervisor to ensure this goal is met.

2. Meetings with Dr. James during the semester. You are required to meet with Dr. James twice a semester:  roughly late in the first half of the semester and also toward the end of the semester (I will send notices regarding this).  Because of the condensed format of summer 1 and summer 2 internships there will be only a single required meeting around mid-semester (which can be in the form of a phone meeting if one is at a distant internship site).  All are welcome to stop in during my posted office hours or schedule an appointment to meet via email.

3. Bi-weekly reports (designated BWRs) during the fall and spring and weekly reports in the summer 1 & summer 2 semesters will be uploaded to their course-designated online links. Each report MUST begin with:  Your name; the number of credit hours of internship credits for which you are enrolled; your internship site & supervisor’s name; the number of hours you logged at your internship site during the current report; the total time to date spent at your internship site so far this semester. For example:

Peter James
3 credits
TU psychology department – Dr. Peter Marshall (supervisor)
18 hrs this report period
18 hrs total this semester (as this is the first report)
The other new interns and I completed our training this week and began to …

The content and bulk of the text for your reports is flexible. All should include at least a summary (if not specific details) of your internship experience for the current reporting period but this does not need to be the bulk of the text of any single report.

The reports minimally need to be 500 words each and should give me a good idea of what you have been doing and any new skills or experience you are gaining.  If a report is under 500 words, it will receive a zero grade.  Additionally, reports can be about what you expect to happen moving forward, for example, when you set an appointment to speak with your supervisor about your last day and if there will be an exit interview. Basically, if it is something you feel is notable (good or bad) about your internship, then it is apt for your report. Due dates for posted updates can be found on the blackboard site.

  1. A final paper centered on your work internship experience. Separate guidelines for that paper are online under course content. The reports you submit over the semester can be a valuable resource for you to construct this final paper.
  1. Your grade will be determined by your work evaluation (49%), your journal entries (21%), semester meetings with Dr. James (totaling 10%) and your final paper (20%).

Peter James, Ph.D.
Associate Chair, Psychology Department
Weiss 617