PMASI - Internship Guide

Students pursuing the Professional Master of Arts in Social Innovation are required to complete 3 credits of SI 661 Internship. An internship is usually completed under a supervisor’s direction at an external organization. Students are encouraged to discuss their internship ideas and plans with their faculty advisor. Ultimate approval of an internship placement for SI 661 is made by the Graduate Program Director. Questions about SI 661 Internships may be directed to Dr. Denise Goerisch, Interim Graduate Program Director for Spring/Summer 2022, at [email protected] or (616) 331-8226.


Internships provide supervised work experience through which students can relate social innovation principles and academic work with practice in the field. To earn credit for their participation, students MUST complete the Internship Agreement Form and enroll in SI 661 prior to starting the internship. Students seek out their own placement and can earn between 1 and 6 credits per semester with 1 credit hour equivalent to 50 hours of work. The student, Graduate Program Director, and site supervisor agree on the scope of the internship and its components.

See the SI 661 sample syllabus to review detailed requirements and expectations.

STEP 1: Find an Internship

Form an idea of a project or the type of work you would like to contribute, and then begin contacting organizations with which you are interested in interning. When approaching a company or organization, be sure you are able to articulate what you would like to get out of the internship as well as what you can contribute.

The State of Michigan is a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. As of March 2017, students are allowed to participate in internships in any state.

Explore Organizations of Interest

  • Many organizations and companies post internship opportunities on their websites and social media.
  • Consider browsing postings through sites such as Indeed for actual openings or ideas for projects.
  • Check out the organizations associated with the Social Innovation Program's external advisory council for placements.

Talk to Faculty and Student Peers 

  • Many faculty members are connected within the community and may have ideas of other potential internship sites.
  • Consult with your faculty advisor and the Graduate Program Director for possible leads.
  • Your classmates who have already completed an internship or are working professionals can often make great recommendations and referrals.

Utilize the Career Center

  • GVSU's Career Center offers many internship resources for you to explore- You may schedule an appointment online or by calling (616) 331-3311.
  • Consider applying for the Career Center Internship Award, a $500 scholarship available to undergraduate or graduate students who are pursuing an unpaid, for-credit internship. Note: GVSU employees are not eligible for this award.

Once you receive and accept an offer from an agency to fulfill an internship, follow up with the Graduate Program Director to confirm that the plans meet the criteria for SI 661.

STEP 2: Complete the Online Internship Agreement Form

After securing an internship, log into GVSU's Internship Management System to complete the Internship Agreement Form. You will need to know your site supervisor’s contact information (name, email, phone, and address). Three total credits of SI 661 are required for the Social Innovation MA. You may register for 1-6 credits of internship per semester with 1 credit hour equivalent to 50 hours of work. This includes time spent working at the internship, as well as time spent writing journal entries and a final reflection essay, as outlined in the SI 661 syllabus. 

In the “Description of Internship” field on the Agreement Form, you’ll need to identify key learning objectives for the internship that you and your site supervisor agree to achieve. Learning objectives should include the duties, responsibilities, and activities for meeting each objective. 

Examples of learning objectives:

  • Develop and advance thorough, professional, and culturally-competent patient/provider communication skills 
  • Learn to design staged plans of care for clients and staff members 
  • Produce a spread sheet documenting alternative approaches and strategies to address a specific issue

Meet with the Graduate Program Director to review any additional requirements. Please note that you cannot access your form in the Internship Management System once it has been submitted. If you need to make changes, contact the Graduate Program Director.

STEP 3: Register for SI 661

Once you have submitted the online Internship Agreement Form, it will be reviewed by your site supervisor and the Graduate Program Director. After your internship has been approved (based on the information provided on the Internship Agreement Form), you will then submit a request in Banner for a registration permit to enroll in SI 661.

To initiate the registration permit request in Banner, follow these Instructions for submitting registration permits. Be sure to register for the section number of SI 661 that indicates the correct number of credit hours you intend to complete. Once the override permit has been approved by the IRIS Department, this does not automatically enroll you in the course. In Banner under "Register for Classes" you'll select "Enter CRN" to manually enter the CRN for the appropriate section of SI 661.

STEP 4: Complete the Internship and Required Assignments

Prior to starting your internship, familiarize yourself with common expectations and best practices for making your internship placement a success for both you and the organization. Read through these Helpful Internship Tips. We encourage you to seek out other resources as well.

There is no “class” to attend for SI 661 - you will be learning on the job. Your grade for the internship will be based on the assignments you submit to the Graduate Program Director, as well as your self and supervisor's evaluation. Upon completion of SI 661, you will receive a letter grade (A-F). 

Submitting your Assignments 

Requirements, expectations, and due dates are detailed in the SI 661 syllabus provided by the Graduate Program Director. 


About three weeks prior to the end of the semester, you and your site supervisor will receive an email with a link to your online evaluation. Both of you must complete this evaluation. Please direct any questions or concerns related to SI 661 Internships to Dr. Goerisch, Interim Graduate Program Director for Spring/Summer 2022, at [email protected].

Page last modified June 1, 2022