Volunteer & Internships

Volunteer, Fieldwork, & Internship Opportunities

The Psychology Department encourages students to complete an internship volunteer or fieldwork experience before graduation. Even if you do not receive credit, professional experience is very important. Both employers and graduate schools mention professional experience as one of the top things they look for in their candidates. 

Volunteer Course Overview (PSY 309)

The PSY 309 Volunteer Experience in Psychology course provides students with opportunities to gain practical experience through interaction with a variety of age groups in a setting related to the field of psychology. This supervised volunteer fieldwork requires 30 hours on site per semester.  

Internship Course Overview (PSY 450)

The PSY 450 Internship in Psychology course is a practical and guided learning experience in the field of psychology, where the student intern's duties and responsibilities are tailored to the needs of the approved site in connection to the student's abilities. Students participate in course activities that connect their experiential learning with their academics. This supervised experience is arranged through Career Services and supervised by the psychology instructional coordinator.  

Students should begin the internship process the semester before taking an internship for course credit. This includes applying for internship positions and consulting with the Department of Psychology Volunteer/Internship Coordinator. 

Students are required to attend the first class scheduled for the 2nd Friday of the semester. There are mandatory class meetings (to be announced during the first class meeting) that students are also required to attend. Course enrollment may be limited, and late approvals could result in a student delaying the experience for a semester if credit for the experience is needed. 

Below are two annotated PowerPoint presentations by our coordinator, Dr. Tobin, that include all of the information you need about volunteering and internships. Please view them before reaching out with specific questions.

Please check this document for up-to-date information on dates, times, and locations for internship information sessions. Note: You must be logged in with your UWL credentials to access the file.

The Process expanding section

Obtaining internship or volunteer credit (Fall, Spring, or Summer)

Fall, Spring, or Summer 

  • PSY 309 Volunteer Experience in Psychology 
  • PSY 450 Internship in Psychology 

*Please be aware that mandatory class meetings (2-6) are associated with PSY 309 and PSY 450. 

Step 1: Decide on the type of experience/credit you wish to obtain - PSY 309 or PSY 450. See comparison chart. 

If you decide on PSY 309 Volunteer Experience in Psychology (prereqs: PSY 100, PSY 212; PSY Major; sophomore standing) - enroll in the course during regular registration.  

If you decide on PSY 450 Internship in Psychology, be sure you meet the prerequisites (PSY 100, PSY 212; PSY Major; cum GPA of 2.30; junior standing; consent of the instructor) and review the remaining steps on the approval and enrollment process (students cannot enroll in the course themselves).   

Step 2:Students should begin the internship approval process the semester before taking internship for course credit. This includes applying for internship positions and consulting with the Psychology Volunteer/Internship Coordinator, Dr. Tobin. 

Step 3: Placement begins with you, the student, logging into Handshake at uwlax.joinhandshake.com. This account is connected to your other UWL login; click on the "University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Login" link to begin. 

Step 4: If you have not already done so, you will need to set up your profile, and you can search for internship sites if you so choose. For specific questions regarding Handshake or the internship search, please contact Karen Durnin (kdurnin@uwlax.edu) in Career Services in 1217 Centennial Hall or 608.785.8570. 

Step 5: After you find a site, interview, and secure your internship, you will need to click on "Career Center" on Handshake, click "Experiences," then click "Request an Experience." Please complete the form in its entirety, and this will begin the approval process. Among other things, the form asks you to list your faculty advisor. This will be our internship coordinator, Dr. Tobin. 

While completing this "Request an Experience," please indicate you would like to take PSY 450 for course credit from the drop-down menu.  You and your site supervisor will need to decide if you would like to take it for 2 or 3 credits.  

Step 6: As part of the Handshake approval process, you will need to attach a 2-page essay regarding your placement. In this essay, please elaborate on: 

  • How the work you will be doing in your internship is directly related to the field of psychology. Elaborate on three psychology concepts that you believe connect to this internship opportunity.  
  • Any relationship you already have or have had with your site supervisor and/or other employees within this particular site. Include the length of time you have known them, what relationship you have, and describe if the relationship is professional, personal, or both. If you do not have a previous relationship with your site supervisor, please indicate this in your essay. 

Step 7: Once you have submitted your "Request for Experience," Career Services and the Department of Psychology Volunteer/Internship Coordinator (Dr. Tobin) will review the prerequisites, determine if it is acceptable, and if approved, Career Services will register you for the course. This process could take up to 2 weeks. Additionally, please allow a minimum of two (2) weeks for the course to appear on your class schedule after the final approval. 

* Please send questions regarding internships or volunteer experiences to the Psychology Volunteer/Internship Coordinator at psyinterncoord@uwlax.edu. 


Popular psych internship sites in the La Crosse area expanding section