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WGSS | Internships

Questions?

  • Women's, Gender / Sexuality St
    202-885-2981
    Fax: 202-885-1094
    wgss@american.edu
    Mary Graydon, Room 327

Mailing Address

The internship requirement for the WGSS major or minors is the highlight of four years of interdisciplinary study in gender issues and feminist theory. WGSS-125, Gender in Society, OR permission of the WGSS program director, is a prerequisite for registration for an internship.

WGSS majors and Women's and Gender Studies minors are required to complete 3 credits of WGSS internship. Sexuality and Queer Studies minors and WGSS Graduate Certificate students may choose to complete a WGSS internship to fulfill partial program requirements. All enrolled AU students who meet minimum requirements – not only WGSS majors, minors, or certificate students - are welcome to enroll in a WGSS internship for academic credit if they have completed the required prerequisite or receive permission of the program director.

The Office of the Registrar and the AU Career Center provide resources for students considering an internship, including information on credit requirements. You can find that information on the following webpages:

For more information on registering for a for-credit academic internship, please visit the following pages :

AU Career Center, Internship Basics

AU Career Center, Academic Credit Guidelines for Internships

AU, Office of the Registrar, Internship Registration Information

 

Internship FAQ's

Can any student at AU register for a for-credit internship?

No, only the following students meet the minimum requirements to register for a for-credit internship:

  • Sophomores, juniors, and seniors with a minimum 2.0 GPA
  • Transfer students who have studied at least one semester at AU (at least 12 credit hours) and have earned a minimum 2.0 GPA
  • Graduate students for whom the internship is identified as a course on the Program of Study.

Are All WGSS students required to complete an internship?

All WGSS Majors and Women's and Gender Studies minors must complete 3 credits of internship. Sexuality and Queer Studies minors and WGSS Graduate Certificate students may choose to complete an internship to fulfill program requirements. 

Can I get paid for my internship work while earning academic credit?

Yes! WGSS encourages students to seek out paid internships. You are permitted to earn academic credit while you are earning a stipend or wage.

Do I have to register for 3 credits of internship all at once to fulfill my internship requirement?

Most students fulfill the WGSS internship requirement by completing one (3) credit internship, but there is also the option to complete one (2) credit + one (1) credit internship, or three (1) credit internships. 

How many hours a week do I have to work to earn internship credit?

To view the guidelines for earning credit hours, visit the Career Center's website.

What does "Average Weekly Hours" worked mean?

The hours listed in the chart above represent an average number of hours per week. This means that you are not required to work this exact number of hours per week, but your total number of hours worked per week over the course of the semester must average out to 14 for a 3 credit internship, 10 for a 2 credit internship, 7 for a 1 credit internship, etc.

For example, your internship might require significant training before you begin work. If you are completing a 3 credit internship, you'll need to work 196 hours total. If your training lasts for 40 hours, then you'll need to complete an additional 156 hours of work. If you work for 14 weeks, this would be approximately 11 hours a week. Please note: Internships are for a minimum of 12 weeks.

Am I limited to 3 hours of for-credit internship during my course of study at AU?

Undergraduate students may earn and count a maximum of 12 internship credit hours toward your 120 credit hour degree program. Graduate students may count no more than 6 credits of internship toward fulfilling their graduate program(s).

Could I count 12 hours of internship toward my WGSS major or minor?

A maximum of six internship credit hours may count toward your undergraduate major.

I'd like to complete an internship for credit, but I don't know how to start looking for one. Is there help available on campus?

Yes, the Career Center offers support to students seeking an internship. For assistance landing an internship, schedule an appointment with your career advisor or utilize online resources, including AU CareerWeb and Resume Builder.

Can I intern anywhere? What sort of work are interns expected to do in order to receive academic credit?

WGSS internship placements should relate to our field of study, and for-credit internships must be 85% substantive (no more than 15% administrative or clerical). Making coffee, copies, or picking up the boss's dry cleaning do not count as substantive work experience, and no more than 15% of your time should be devoted to filing, copying, mailing, data entry, or receptionist duties. There is also a formal syllabus and internship course that students must complete.

Once I find an internship, what do I need to do in order to register?

Once you have secured a position, you'll need to complete an internship registration form, and an Internship Consent and Release form. You can fill out the forms electronically if you have an electronic signature file that you can upload. If not, you'll need to print the form in order to sign it. The Registrar's Office will not process unsigned forms.

 Undergraduate Students:

  • If you are registering for an off-campus internship enter the following course number: WGSS 491.001.
  • If you are registering for a WGSS internship related to the AU Wellness Center PEERS program, enter course number: WGSS 491.002. List WGSS Program Director Lauren Weis as your faculty supervisor and PEERS Program Director Daniel Rappaport as your internship site supervisor.
  • Graduate Students: Register for WGSS 691

Where do I find the internship registration forms?

They are linked on the right under "Internship Registration Forms."

These forms are confusing, what do I need to make sure is correct in order to register?

Please make sure you've signed both the internship registration form and consent form (you may print and sign a hard copy, or sign the pdf with an electronic signature file if you have one), and have completed all requested information. For internship dates, use the first and last day of classes for the semester. Please note: The average number of hours per week is calculated based on 14 weeks of work, so if you're working fewer than 14 weeks, you'll need to increase your total number of hours per week to reach the minimum required number of total hours for the semester.

What do I do with the forms once I fill them out?

Once you've completed the forms, please email both forms to WGSS faculty advisor Dr. Lauren Weis at weis@american.edu for approval. [If you're working with hard copies scan both – you can scan for free at the library and email the scan]. Dr. Weis will sign the internship registration form if complete, or follow up if more information is required.

In addition, you'll need to secure the signature of your internship site supervisor and your academic advisor. For undergraduate students this is the academic advisor assigned by your school or college's academic advising office. For graduate students, this is your graduate program advisor in your primary program of study.

The Registrar's Office must receive your paperwork by the registration deadline (generally the last day of drop/add). You'll need to get your signed and completed forms to Dr. Weis at least a day or two in advance of the registration deadline in order to ensure that your registration is processed in a timely manner. There may be some wiggle room with this deadline if you secure an internship late, but this requires special approval from Dr. Weis and from the Registrar's Office.

I've registered for a for-credit WGSS internship, what do I do now?

If you have any additional questions about internship registration please contact your Academic Advisor, The Career Center, or Dr. Weis. Once your registration is processed you will be enrolled in the internship course and the course Blackboard site. Please check the Blackboard site for the course syllabus and requirements after the final internship registration deadline.