The internship option is a supervised work training program. You spend a minimum of 120 hours (for a three credit-hour internship – shorter internships are available) at an agency or organization, learning what is done there. Generally, you have a supervisor on site and a faculty advisor at NIU, for whom you keep a journal and write a final report. Interns generally meet with their faculty advisors a few times during the term.
An Independent Study more closely resembles a regular class; you choose an area of study and, with a professor who has some expertise in that subject, you read texts, have discussions and complete assignments.
Interns have worked in a variety of settings including Safe Passage Women's Shelter, Girl Scouts, Questioning Youth Center, the NIU's Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, the National Women's Studies Association, and even here in the Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality office.
Finding an internship is your responsibility, and there are many resources available to help you locate a placement that will be both interesting and educational. Once you've decided the kind of internship you'd like, network with Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality faculty; other professors; family; friends; and even the NIU Career Services Counselors for suggestions. Don't neglect the obvious; you can use employer websites, directories, and search engines, too.
Once you've found a placement, you've got to set up the academic side of the internship. You'll need to find a faculty sponsor (usually a Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality faculty member or associate) who is willing to help you combine the academic work you have done (and are doing) with the internship activities. Once you've found a faculty sponsor, complete and the internship proposal in order to get your permit. You need to have this paperwork filled out and returned at least two weeks before the start of the semester for which you'd like to receive academic credit.
Visit our Internships page for information about requirements.
We are always happy to answer questions. Just contact the Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality at 815-753-1038, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop in Reavis 103.