SOCI 496 (Internship Practicum) & SOCI 499 (Internship) Requirements

Sociology students completing internships for academic credit (including those completing internship hours during the summer or winter breaks) are required to take Sociology 496, a 1-unit Internship Practicum course, during the same semester in which they receive Sociology 499 units for the internship. Each semester a sociology faculty member (Internship Coordinator) will instruct the SOCI 496 (Internship Practicum) course and supervise the SOCI 499 (Internship) contract courses. Every full-time sociology faculty member will be given the opportunity to serve as the SOCI 496/499 instructor before a previous instructor teaches the course a second time.

SOCI 496: Internship Practicum (1 unit) 

This is a concurrent course for students receiving sociology internship credit. Students will learn to view the internship experience through a sociological lens and as a means to explore workplace issues and career options. Concurrent enrollment with SOCI 499 required when SOCI 499 is taken for the first time. May not be repeated for credit. Grade only.

The purpose of the course is to provide the academic link between the internship experience and its connection to sociology through encouraging students to view their internship site from a sociological perspective. It provides internship supervision, as well as guidance for students regarding their immediate experiences in the internship setting and the linkages between that experience and their career goals. 

SOCI 499: Internship (1-4 units) 

For advanced undergraduates in approved internships in organizational settings. Facilitates application of sociological insights to the internship site, while also encouraging contributions to organization’s mission. Concurrent enrollment in SOCI 496 is required when SOCI 499 is taken for the first time. May be repeated for credit for up to 8 units, but only 4 units may be used toward the major. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Cr/ NC only. 

The purpose of the course is to enhance students’ educational experience by allowing them to apply sociological insights to a specific organization, while also making a contribution to the mission of that organization. Students may enroll in the course for 1 to 4 units, depending on the number of hours spent in the field.

The internship site and content must be approved by the course instructor. The policy for approving an internship site will be based on the following criteria: the student’s proposed internship should allow them to engage in a new learning experience of sociological significance. New learning experiences of sociological significance may include current work situations, but only in circumstances in which the student takes on a new project that requires them to engage in an activity that contributes to their sociological knowledge. The internship may be paid or unpaid. Students should be encouraged to seek internships that support their career and graduate study goals. 

SOCI 496 Course Requirements

  • Students will complete two kinds of written work over the semester: (1) ongoing written assignments that report on and analyze the internship experience or related issues and (2) a final paper that is a culmination of the work completed over the semester. 
  • The content of both the ongoing and final written assignments will be designed in consultation with, and at the discretion of, the faculty sponsor and may include: fieldnotes, internship journal, midterm reports, directed reading, analytical reviews, and/or application papers. 
  • Students will give a final in-class presentation on their internship experience.

The instructor will distribute a course syllabus for SOCI 496/499 at the start of the semester. It will provide detailed information on course requirements and grading policies. 

SOCI 499 Course Requirements

Although each internship will have some variation as to the amount and nature of the work to be completed, which is decided in consultation with the faculty advisor, students will be expected to complete at least the following: 

  • For each SOCI 499 unit, students must complete at least 45 hours of work in the field.
    • 1 unit = 3 hours per week, 45 hours total 
    • 2 units = 6 hours per week, 90 hours total
    • 3 units = 9 hours per week, 135 hours total
    • 4 units = 12 hours per week, 180 hours total
  • Students must maintain an Internship Time Log, signed by their field supervisor and their instructor. 
  • At the end of the semester, students will submit a letter from their field supervisor that summarizes and evaluates their work. They may also be required to submit a midterm summary and evaluation of their work. 
  • Students will concurrently enroll in SOCI 496 snd attend and participate in the weekly class meeting.
  • If a student receives permission to take SOCI 499 without concurrently enrolling in the Internship Practicum (due to having previously completed SOCI 496 while enrolled in SOCI 499), in addition to the above requirements, that student must complete at minimum a written midterm report and final report on the internship experience. 

For Students: Finding and Getting Sociology Credit for an Internship

  1. Find an internship setting. Consult the Sociology website and the internship listings at Career Services on the SSU campus, as well as on the Seawolf Jobs website. Look for internship announcements on Handshake (SSU’s job, volunteer, and internship board), the SOCI-Announce listserv, JUMP, and other SSU department websites (for example, see Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies). Contact organizations in fields that interest you to ask if they offer internships. If they do not currently offer them, ask if they are willing to set one up. 
  2. Before committing to an internship, discuss the specifics of the tasks you will be assigned and your own learning goals with the internship site supervisor to make sure it is a good fit. Be sure you understand the commitment that will be required of you by the organization. 
  3. Check with the SOCI 496/499 instructor (the internship coordinator) to confirm the suitability of your internship. This faculty member must approve your internship and will supervise and evaluate your work over the semester. Confirm the requirements for your internship with the instructor, including how many units you will earn and what kind of work you will complete for SOCI 496 and 499. 
  4. Enroll in SOCI 496 (Internship Practicum) after requesting an access code from the instructor. You will be enrolled in SOCI 499 (Internship) by the university after your Internship Agreement has been fully processed and signed.


Department of Sociology
Sonoma State University 
Approved 11/19/09