School of Criminal Justice Internships

The School of Criminal Justice allows selected students to complete internships at specified job sites. Upper-division undergraduate students may elect from one to nine hours of CJ 490 if they are approved by the internship coordinator and a job site supervisor unless otherwise specified by a particular organization. Students taking three credits of CJ 490, are normally expected to put in 15 hours at the internship site per week. Credit hours are based on site requirements. Graduate students without prior criminal justice or private security work experience are highly encouraged to complete a CJ 640 internship (see Criminal Justice Master Degree Requirements). No more than six credit hours may be applied to the undergraduate major; no more than three credit hours may be applied to the graduate internship. To apply for an internship, contact the internship coordinator.

Why Should I do an Internship?

  • Interns are winners! 

Want a job after graduation, want a leg up on the competition? Doing an internship can provide you with both.

Interns have the opportunity to get ahead of the competition by showcasing their abilities while still completing their degrees. Interns from the school of criminal justice have received full time job offerings at the completion of their internships on several occasions, or, have been referred to another organization by the sponsoring organization. Some advantages to internships include:

  • Experience which you can show on your job resume
  • Recommendations you can use on your job resume
  • References you can use on your job resume
  • Networking
  • Opportunity to demonstrate what you know, both to a prospective employer, and to yourself
  • The opportunity to test your compatibility with your chosen field
  • An opportunity to grow both professionally and academically
  • The opportunity to work with professionals and community leaders

An internship offers you benefits and opportunities that you can not get any other way so, think about it,

Then, Go Do It!

SCJ Internship Frequently Asked Questions?

Questions and Answers:

  • Am I required to complete an internship?
    • If you are a Legal Studies Major or planning to enroll in the Grand Valley State University Police Academy, you must complete an internship. For regular criminal justice majors, an internship is optional.
  • If I am required, or, I choose to complete an internship, are there any prerequisites?
    • You must have obtained junior status for CJ or senior status for LS
    • For Legal Studies students additional prerequisites include
      • LS 201, LS 324, and LS 426. LS 426 may be taken concurrently with the internship.
  • Does the university place me in an internship?
    • No, it is the student's responsibility to find an organization in which to complete the internship.
  • Ok, how do I go about finding an organization?

There are several ways, friends and or relatives, personal contacts, other students who have found placements, suggestions from instructors, contacting the Internship Coordinator for information on organizations which have taken interns in the past, and of course there is always the old method of knock and talk! Check out the Career Services link to Laker jobs.

When should I apply for an internship?

  • You should begin the process the semester prior to the semester in which you plan to do your internship, for several reasons
  • In any organization the number of interns that can be accepted is limited, and are allotted on a first come, first serve bases.
  • For most Federal organizations, i.e., US Marshall, FBI, Customs, etc., there is a background check requirement, which can take up to six weeks, depending on the agencies work load
  • District headquarters grants approval for applications to the Michigan State Police, after submission of a request form and fingerprints. Again, depending on the workload, this can take several days.
  • Some organizations must plan several weeks in advance, so lead-time is critical.
  • If there are problems, we have time to work them out!

How many hours will I be required to dedicate to the internship?

  • It will depend on the number of credits for which you are enrolled. Because you may enroll for between one and six credits, the required hours will vary. For example, 200 hours are required for three credits. This amounts to approximately 15 hours per week. Legal Studies and Police Academy students must enroll for a minimum of three credits.

What is the application process?

  • The application process is really quite simple
  • Meet the requirements, including any prerequisites that may apply
  • Submit an override request on-line. Go to the CJ home page for this and follow the link to overrides. Fill out the pdf form online, save it, then email the internship coordinator and attach the form to the email
  • You will be notified via email when you can register for the class. Register on-line via Banner.
  • Once you have received permission to register for the class follow the link on the CJ home page for the Internship Management System. There you will fill out the application and agreement form. The forms will be submitted electronically.
  • Your on-site supervisor will receive the agreement form electronically, sign it and send it back.
  • You will receive notification of the time and date for a meeting of all interns via email approximately two weeks prior to the start of the new semester.

I still have questions, where do I find answers?

  • Check the university catalog
  • Call the Internship Coordinator at (616) 331-7338 or, stop into the office located at the DeVos Center, room 289C.

Page last modified August 2, 2020