Skip to main content


Frequently Asked Questions about Sociology Internships and the Soc 399R Internship class:

1. What are the purposes or goals of the internship?

Sociology internships are intended to help sociology majors integrate the knowledge and skills learned in the sociology degree program with their own life goals and their professional and career interests. This is an opportunity for students to apply what they have learned in sociology classes to a real world professional setting and work experience. Additional course assignments are designed to enhance student internship experience by using sociological perspectives and methods. The internship and assignments are intended to help students achieve the following goals:

  1. Develop a professional sense of the work you will do by identifying personal learning goals or outcomes for the semester.
  2. Learn how sociological perspectives can enhance your understanding of being socialized into work responsibilities in a new organizational setting.
  3. Help you think about the nature of what sociologists have termed "interactive service work", or jobs that require working with people, and other issues relevant to your internship work setting.
  4. Help you think about the kinds of information or data organizations use in order to succeed, whether that information is about individual clients, work processes or organizations.

2. Where can sociology internships be done?

Sociology internships can be either international or domestic. Internship credits in international settings can be earned through either the IAS 399R or Soc 399R courses. Domestic internship credits are earned through the Soc 399R course.

For international internships, contact the Kennedy Center:

Phone: (801) 422-3377

To learn more about Program Evaluation and Assessment Team (PEAT) internships in which students use their sociology training as they work with non-profit organizations to assess their programs, see the PEAT website:

For more information on PEAT internships, contact:

Scott Sanders
Sociology Department
2039 JFSB
(801) 422-5309

For domestic internships, contact:

Karen Christensen Family and Social Services Internship Coordinator
FHSS College, Brigham Young University
Address: 945 SWKT Provo, UT 84602
Phone: (801) 422-3697 Email:

3. What are the prerequisites for enrolling in the Soc 399R internship class?

Students typically do internships during their junior or senior years. The following courses are required prior to starting an internship: Stats 121 and Soc 300 (Methods of Research in Sociology). The Soc 307 (Data Analysis and Presentation) course is recommended but not required. However, if the internship work will involve some data analysis, Soc 307 will be very relevant.

4. What does a sociology (Soc 399R) internship include? How many hours does an intern work at an internship site to earn credits?

The sociology academic internship is typically a semester-long experience with an off-campus, BYU-approved internship provider in which students work a specific number of hours and meet Soc 399R course requirements.

  • The typical internship in fall or winter semester involves one of the following work schedules:
    1. A total of about 42 hours (3-4 hours a week) = 1 credit.
    2. A total of about 84 hours (6-7 hours a week) = 2 credits.
    3. A total of about 126 hours (9-10 hours a week) = 3 credits.

In some instances, students may want to do an internship in either a spring or summer term. Since the schedules for these terms are more condensed, internship work schedules and the Soc 399R class assignments are accelerated.

  • Course assignments enhance internship experience and involve:
    1. Using sociological perspectives to understand more about the internship's organizational setting and related work activities.
    2. Completing several short essay assignments, a weekly journal, and a research or project paper.

Although students typically enroll in 3-6 Soc 399R internship credits in a semester, a total of 9 internship credits is possible. Soc 399R internship credits may be used to meet elective credit requirements.

5. How do I apply for a sociology internship and enroll in the Soc 399R class?

You may contact Lisa Leake who can provide more information about the Soc 399R class. Her contact information is:

Lisa Leake Sociology Department Internship Coordinator
2040 JFSB
(801) 422-7386

The first step for sociology students in getting an internship in place is to work with the internship office in the College of Family Home and Social Services. You will need to contact Karen Christensen, the internship coordinator for the College, and tell her about your specific internship interests. Karen's contact information is below.

Karen helps students from sociology, psychology, and family studies identify specific internship opportunities that relate to their interests and then completes the application process. She will also help to make sure that the internship provider you have chosen meets BYU's requirements.

After you have talked with Karen, she will ask you to complete a short application online (link to the application: She also will send a confirmation form to the internship provider. Once that process is complete, she sends the information to Lisa Leake to approve for the sociology department.

Karen Christensen Family and Social Sciences Internship Coordinator, FHSS College
945 SWKT Provo, UT 84602
(801) 422-3697

The next step is to complete BYU's online Internship Registrations and Management Systems (IRAMS) application- this is for liability purposes for off-campus internships. On the BYU Internship Office website (, go to the "Students" tab ( and click on "Internship Application".

After Karen Christensen and Lisa Leake both approve your IRAMS application, you will be able to enroll in Soc 399R credits for the semester/term when you will do your internship. Once you are enrolled, you can access the course syllabus and other course information on Learning Suite and begin your internship. (Lisa Leake is the instructor for the 399R class.)

6. How does the Soc 399R internship class work? (What are the internship class requirements?)

  1. In addition to working at an internship site off campus, course requirements include: several written assignments, weekly journal entries, a project paper, and several meetings with the sociology internship coordinator. The assignments are designed to coordinate with/support your internship work experiences.
  2. The length of the final project paper varies with the number of credits you enroll in. (For example, for 3 internship credits, the paper would be 12-15 pages and for 6 credits, the paper would be 24-30 pages.)
  3. Information on the course assignments and other information is provided on Learning Suite. Assignments are usually submitted on Learning Suite.
  4. Internship supervisors will be asked to complete an online intern evaluation at mid-semester and again at the end of the semester.
  5. Interns will complete a final online evaluation of their internship experience.

7. Is there financial support available for internships?

Each semester, undergraduate and graduate students who are declared majors in one of the disciplines in the College may apply for a grant of up to $1,600 to help support the costs associated with completing an off-campus internship. Information about applying for an internship grant can be found at: (Click on this link to visit the Mary Lou Fulton Chair website.)

Application Deadlines for Internship Grants

Winter Semester - December 1st
Spring/Summer Semesters - April 1st
Fall Semester - August 1st