What Kind of Internship is Helpful for a Psychology Degree Major? - Online Psychology Degree Guide (2023)

Have you finally decided that you want to major in psychology? If you know that you want to be a psychology major, but you are not sure what you want to do with your degree, completing an internship can help you decide what type of career you want to pursue and what environment you would enjoy working in. You can pursue a variety of different psychology-related professions from being a vocational counselor to working in the field of sports psychology, but what is interesting to one student may not be interesting to the next. Not only do many degree programs have an internship requirement that must be satisfied before you can graduate, being an intern can truly help you identify the career path that is best for you.

There are several different internship opportunities posted by health care centers and organizations on an annual basis. While it is important to apply for these opportunities well in advance so that you can compete with other students, you need to identify which internships would be best when you are earning a degree in Psychology. The best internship opportunity is one that will familiarize you with the work environment, your obligations, your responsibilities, and the work hours you will have in the field. Read on to learn about the types of internships that Psychology Degree Majors often apply for.

Types of Internships You Can Apply For

Applying for an internship at the Department of Psychiatry with your university may seem like an obvious choice when you want to become a psychiatrist or a psychologist, but there are other less competitive options when you do not plan on pursuing a PhD. In addition to the psychology internships that are available for graduate students, there are also other opportunities that will prepare undergraduates for the real world or graduate school. You can work for a government agency, a school, or even in a private clinic to gain skills that you will use as a psychology professional. Continue reading to learn about some of the various types of internships that may be available in your area.

Working in a Mental Health Facility and Becoming a Patient Advocate

(Video) INTERNSHIPS 101 for Psychology Majors

As an intern for psychology major working in a mental health facility, you’d have the amazing opportunity to advocate for people who may not be able to speak up for themselves. Sadly, many individuals in mental health facilities don’t have anyone on their sides, and doctors and nurses are often too overwhelmed to attend to each patient’s needs. As an advocate, you could work closely with different patients to determine which treatment options, changes in their personal lives, and resources could make a big difference in the patient’s life.

Working in a High School or College Setting to Consult Students on Career and Degree Options

If you have a passion for helping young people, you may be interested in working in a high school or college career center. As a career counselor, you can mentor high school or college students to help them find a career path that motivates them. After discussing various career options, you would also need to explain the educational and degree requirements to achieve each position the student may be interested in.

Working with a Vocational Counselor at a Vocational School

Finding an intern for psychology major with a vocational school can help you decide if being a vocational counselor is a career path you’d like to pursue. As a vocational counselor intern, you’ll assist with interview and testing individuals to help them find the right job to match their interests and abilities.

Working with Professional Sports Teams to Become a Sports Psychologist

Sports psychologists look for ways to help athletes improve their performance in their sport by improving their psychological well-being. Finding an internship position with a professional sports team and working alongside sports psychologists will help you see the important role the mental well-being plays in helping athletes perform at peak levels.

Working in a Private Practice to Learn About the Environment and Duties

Environmental psychologists have an important job. They look at the interactions between different groups of people as well as how people are interacting with and effecting the environment. An environmental psychologist conducts research to help politicians enact policies that will have a positive impact on our climate, environment, and interactions with individuals from other cultures. An intern for psychology major working with other environmental psychologists will be able to gain invaluable hands-on experience. You may help with conducting research or drafting policy proposals.

(Video) Internships 101 for Psychology Majors

Working with Lawyers in a Criminal Justice Department to Become a Forensic Psychologist

Another intern for psychology major that you may want to consider is to work at a local criminal justice department and the forensics unit. A forensics unit is responsible for analyzing crime scenes and other evidence to find evidence to prosecute a case. As an intern, some of your duties may include assisting the scientists and writing up reports, conducting research, assisting with analyzing evidence or determine motives, or other administrative duties.

Working as a Social Work Intern with Families and Children in Need

Social workers serve a critical purpose. They work closely with families and children to make sure their needs are being met and teach them strategies to overcome challenges they may be facing. If pursuing a career in social work is something you want to do, finding a position as a social work intern can help you gain knowledge and experience for your future career. You will have the opportunity to work with children and their families and make a real difference during your time as an intern. You may also gain experience writing up reports, devising your own solutions to share with families, and working as a team to develop the best approach to various situations.

Working as a Research Assistant

Many psychology careers involve conducting research of one kind or another. Since there are so many researchers, you may be able to find an internship as a research assistant. As a research assistant, your internship duties may include assisting with studies, interviewing participants, and writing reports about the findings. Getting the opportunity to work with experienced researchers can help you learn more about what the position entails and allow you to decide if it is something you want to pursue after graduation.

Working as an Intern in a Child Development Facility

As an intern in a child develop facility, you can gain valuable experience working with children of all ages. This position could benefit a future career if you’re interested in becoming a teacher or cognitive development researcher. Some of your duties as an intern may include observing children for research, conducting cognitive assessments, performing research, and meeting with other researchers to discuss findings and next steps.

Working as a Psychology Teaching Assistant with a Professor in the Department

If you think you may be interested in becoming a professor yourself one day, consider applying for a teaching assistant position. As a TA, you will assist the professor with a variety of his teaching duties including giving lectures, facilitating smaller group discussions, grading papers, and meeting with students during office hours to offer support and guidance.

(Video) INTERNSHIP Experience & Guide During Psychology Degree.100% unpaid internships |Clinical Psychology

Working as a Human Resource Specialist Intern

Many psychology majors end up working as a human resource specialist. These individuals are an integral part of an organization’s hiring team and help find the right candidate for each opening. They also work to make sure new hires receive the training and support needed to succeed in their positions and handle work place disputes. As an intern, you may screen applicants to look for potential matches to the needs of the company, follow up with an applicant’s resources, organize resumes to present to the hiring team, and conduct orientation sessions for new hires.

How to Get Selected for an Internship

Your job is to distinguish yourself from other students applying for the same internship as you. If you want to be selected, make sure to apply early. Most of the time, applying 6 months to a year in advance is necessary. The organization offering the internship will often work with your school schedule to set a start date that works best. Make sure that you let the organization know you are passionate about the field of psychology, and focus on your student accomplishments.

Even if there is one position you are most interested in, take the time to apply for several opportunities. You may not get your first choice, and it is important to have some backup options. Before submitting an application and setting up an interview with any organizations, complete research about the position and the organization. This will help you be more prepared to explain why you are interested in the position and can make you stand out against the other applicants for the position. Finding the perfect opportunity is like finding the perfect career, it will take time and effort.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do psychology majors need internships?

While an internship may not always be a requirement for graduation for a psychology major, it is still a good idea to pursue an internship. Internships offer the invaluable opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a field they are interested in. This experience can either help solidify the student’s interest in the field, or help them realize that they may want to look for work in other areas. Finding this out while you are still in college will make it much either to transition to a different field within psychology, or even a completely different career path, than would be possible after graduation.

As an intern for psychology majors, individuals will also form professional connections that could prove to be very lucrative for their futures. For example, if you make a good impression and prove that you are a dedicated worker, you may be able to use the individuals you worked with as a reference, or even apply at the same organization you interned with. This can certainly give you a head up over other potential candidates.

Do psychology interns get paid?

Yes, many internships for psychology majors will be paid positions, but there may also be some unpaid internship opportunities. While finding a paid position may be a huge benefit now, keep your long-term goals in mind and look for a position that will help you achieve them.

(Video) Internship in Psychology I Learn Psychology

What do you do in a psychology internship?

The exact duties of a psychology internship can vary greatly from one position to another. Some internships may involve more research and writing, while others may offer more hands-on work or opportunities to work with patients.

How long is a psychology internship?

The length of an internship can vary, but in most cases, they last for between 10 and 12 weeks.

How can I find a psychology internship?

There is no one right way to look for an internship. You will likely need to consult a variety of different resources and dedicate some time to performing a search to find a position that both interests you and helps further your career goals. Try some of the following options to help you find the right internship position:
• Consult internship finder websites
• Look at career builder websites for internship positions
• Attend job fairs
• Network with other individuals and ask for recommendations
• Consult with your professors for ideas
• Bring your resume to different organizations where you would like to intern

How do I make a good impression during an internship?

You should think of an internship as a multi-week job interview. Taking steps to make the best impression possible will not only help you with the internship itself, but it can also help prepare you for future success. When you make a good internship, the individuals you are working with will be much more likely to recommend you to a potential future employer or even consider hiring you after you graduate.

Keep these tips in mind to make the best impression possible during your internship:
• Research the position and your duties
• Show up prepared for work each day
• Go above and beyond your assigned duties
• Be on time, or even earlier each day
• Dress like a profession
• Get to know your boss and co-workers
• Remove anything from your social media accounts that doesn’t look professional

What careers do psychology majors go into?

There are many different career options open to psychology majors. Some careers may only require an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree, while others may require a more advanced degree. Some possible career options you can consider as a psychology major include:
• Administrative services manager
• Management analyst
• Career advisor
• Guidance counselor
• Human resources specialist
• Teacher
• Police officer
• Correctional officer
• Social work assistant
• Psychiatric technician
• Community services manager
• Market research analyst
• Public relations specialist
• Health educator
• Sales manager
• Patient advocate
• Victim advocate
• Sports psychologist
• Environmental psychologist
• Clinical psychologist
• Professor

(Video) 3 Months Online Psychology Internship Program

There are a lot of different internship options when you are a psychology degree major. Consider what career you will find fulfilling, look for opportunities that are relevant, and gain experience while you improve upon your resume for the future. The skills, knowledge, and connections you can gain during an internship can prove to be invaluable after your graduate and begin your search for a full-time career.

Related Resources:

  • 5 Internship Opportunities in Clinical Psychology
  • 5 Internship Opportunities in Developmental Psychology
  • What Kind of Internship Should a Forensic Psychology Major Get?
  • 10 Most Affordable Counseling Psychology Online Programs
  • 10 Most Affordable Developmental Psychology Online Programs
  • 10 Most Affordable Online Industrial Organizational Psychology Programs
  • 10 Most Affordable School Psychology Online Degree Programs


What work experience is good for psychology? ›

Working as an assistant psychologist or research assistant psychologist is the best starting point if you wish to become a Clinical Psychologist. You can find work experience in different settings such as: hospitals. local clinics and health centres.

How do you get experience as a psychology student? ›

Here is a guide to some of those ways:
  1. Assistantships. Many graduate programs in psychology will offer assistantships for graduate students. ...
  2. Internships. ...
  3. Volunteering. ...
  4. Post-Doctoral Programs.

Why are internships important for psychology students? ›

Internships and practicums offer practical experience for psychology students and recent graduates. Both of these roles help students learn the ins and outs of working in the field, including what it's like to apply theories they learn in class to real people in crisis.

Why internship is important in psychology? ›

It helps you get practical exposure for the field you will work in future. It also gives you a chance to check if you would be happy to continue with that career in a full-time role or not. This internship also helps students in colleges and school to make decisions about their future education in a more holistic way.

Is it hard to find a job in psychology? ›

Yes, psychology is difficult to find a job if you have only a Bachelor's Degree. You will need at least a Master or PhD to practice and get a job. When choosing a college career, your final decision sometimes depends on the job options you will have in the not too distant future.

Is a psychology degree worth it? ›

The short answer is yes. A bachelor's degree in psychology sets you up for success whether you enter the workforce immediately or continue to graduate school. Continue reading for our complete breakdown. Psychology is a fascinating science.

What counts as clinical experience in psychology? ›

Your volunteer or paid clinical experience must be with clinical populations in a mental health setting. This does not mean you are providing psychotherapy; it does mean that you are working around populations with psychological distress or psychopathology.

What skills do psychology students have? ›

Because Psychology is so diverse in its focus and research, it also prepares students for a wide variety of careers. It helps students develop universally useful skills like communication, critical-thinking, and a proficiency with statistics and data.

How can I improve my psychology skills? ›

Practice Your Skills

Like any other skill, your psychological skills can improve with practice. And you don't have to wait for high-stakes situations to practice. Use these psychological skills in a variety of situations--sales meetings, performance reviews, cold calls, or everyday projects.

What do you gain from a psychology internship? ›

In your psychology internships you'll gain skills in writing, teamwork, organization, accountability, and problem-solving among many others. Internship opportunities for psychology students can foster great exploration of the field, since there are so many paths in psychology to consider and understand.

Whats the difference between practicum and internship? ›

The difference between an internship and a practicum lies is that the first is a paid, hands-on work experience, while the second is an unpaid, hands-off work experience.

What are good goals for an internship in counseling? ›

Goal One
  • Interns will develop competency in the provision of individual psychotherapy. ...
  • Interns will develop competency in group therapy. ...
  • Interns will develop competency in intake assessment and diagnosis. ...
  • Interns will develop competency in crisis intervention. ...
  • Interns will develop competency in outreach and consultation.
11 Jun 2022

What is the importance of internship program? ›

Internships provide exposure to the real world

You can learn how to apply the knowledge you have acquired during an internship to your future workplaces. In addition to this, it is an excellent learning curve for young graduates and students while meeting new people and making connections in the professional world.

What is the difference between a practicum and internship in counseling? ›

While a practicum helps students develop understanding, an internship helps them understand how to implement that understanding in the real world. Internships can require as much work as a full-time position within the field, though some may demand less. Students receive academic credit for the internship.

What do you mean psychology? ›

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behavior. Psychologists are actively involved in studying and understanding mental processes, brain functions, and behavior.

Which field of psychology pays the most? ›

Psychiatrist positions are by far the highest-paying jobs for psychology majors. The average salary is $217,798, according to PayScale.

Which course is best in psychology? ›

Here are the best Psychology courses at the master's level/after graduation:
  • MSc Clinical Psychology.
  • Master of Psychology.
  • MA Counselling Psychology.
  • MSc Behavioural Science.
  • MSc Developmental Psychopathology.
  • MA Developmental Psychology (Research Methods)
  • MA Ed Curriculum, Instructional and Educational Psychology.

Why did I choose psychology as my major? ›

A degree in psychology opens up many opportunities to have a positive effect on someone's life. For example, as a practitioner in the field, you may help people overcome the effects of trauma, deal with a mental illness, face a mental health crisis or achieve personal goals.

How hard is psychology major? ›

Psychology is one of the more difficult degrees and many of your assignments will require you to cite your sources and will require you to back up a lot of the arguments that you have.

Is an online psychology degree worth it? ›

An online bachelor's degree in psychology is worth it. The online bachelor's in psychology is a convenient and flexible way to earn a valuable degree. The online bachelor's degree in psychology can lead to jobs in counseling, human resources, mental health, and more.

Is psychology a good degree in 2022? ›

Yes, psychology is a good major for many undergraduate students. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting 5% job growth in life, physical, and social science occupations over the next 10 years. You might choose a psychology major as a stepping stone toward a career as a professional psychologist.

What is the difference between a clinical psychologist and a psychologist? ›

A typical distinction is that general psychologists focus on healthier people, while clinical psychologists focus on people with more serious mental health issues. Other experts have suggested doing away with the distinction between “clinical” and “general” by blending the two together.

What are examples of clinical experience? ›

Let us now break down a few types of clinical experiences that we think are worthwhile.
  • Medical Scribing. Medical Scribes provide administrative assistance to physicians by recording patient histories. ...
  • Physician Shadowing. ...
  • Volunteering at Healthcare Facility, Clinic, or Hospice. ...
  • Paid Positions.
29 Apr 2019

How many years does it take to be a clinical psychologist? ›

To become a clinical psychologist, you will need an undergraduate degree (four to five years of college) plus a doctorate degree (four to seven years of graduate school). For this specialty area, most people will spend between eight to 12 years in higher education.

What do you need to be good at to be a psychologist? ›

Top 10 Skills Every Psychologist Needs
  1. Communication. Communication is important in any field but in psychology, it is paramount and is the hallmark of what a psychologist does. ...
  2. Patience. ...
  3. Ethics. ...
  4. Problem-Solving. ...
  5. Research. ...
  6. Commitment to Learning. ...
  7. Organization. ...
  8. Emotional Stability.
22 Nov 2020

What interests should a person have for psychologist? ›

8 signs you're perfect for a career in psychology
  • You have a curious nature. ...
  • You're the friend everyone feels they can confide in. ...
  • You're a good listener. ...
  • You enjoy helping and working with people. ...
  • You're open-minded and non-judgemental. ...
  • You're a confident communicator.

Is psychology a soft degree? ›

For example, social sciences such as psychology and sociology use mathematical models extensively, but are usually considered soft sciences.

What are hard skills in psychology? ›

Hard skills are learnable abilities that can be easily measured or assessed. You acquire these skills through education and refine them through practice and repetition. These hard skills often stem from a shared knowledge base and correlate with core competencies specific to your discipline.

What are the 5 mental skills? ›

5 Mental Skills That Successful Athletes Have in Common
  • A Positive Attitude.
  • A Sense Of Motivation.
  • Emotional Control.
  • The Power of Concentration.
  • Clear Goals For Improvement.
25 Jun 2019

What are the five mental skills? ›

At Condor Performance we regard the five most common mental skills of performance as being motivation, emotions, thoughts, unity and focus. Think of emotions as being rather similar to dribbling a soccer ball.

What is practicum in Counselling? ›

Counseling practicum is defined as clinical experience being supervised and aimed to enable trainee counselor build and expand basic skill of counseling and integrate professional knowledge (Education and Technical Training Committee and Board of Counselor, 2003).

What do you do during a psychology internship? ›

Psychology Intern Job Description

Performs supervised individual and group counseling, supervision, crisis intervention, and consultation/outreach. Provides psychological assessments, intakes and appropriate referrals. May perform other related tasks that are a part of the agency's operation.

How can I get an internship? ›

Here's a recap of how to get an internship:
  1. Use internship finders, internship websites, and regular job sites to find internships. Also definitely check your school's internship website.
  2. Take advantage of social media. ...
  3. Go to job fairs at your school and others. ...
  4. Network smarter. ...
  5. Tailor your resume and interview style.

What is practicum in psychology? ›

The Practicum in Psychology is a three-credit-hour independent study opportunity that is available for hardworking students. The overarching goal of the program is to expose students to a real-life work environment to gain valuable experience relevant to their program of study.

Are practicums paid? ›

As a rule of thumb, students participating in practicums aren't paid because they're learning how to do a job in a heavily supervised setting instead of actually performing work duties all day long.

Whats the difference between practicum and internship? ›

The difference between an internship and a practicum lies is that the first is a paid, hands-on work experience, while the second is an unpaid, hands-off work experience.

What is the importance of internship program? ›

Internships provide exposure to the real world

You can learn how to apply the knowledge you have acquired during an internship to your future workplaces. In addition to this, it is an excellent learning curve for young graduates and students while meeting new people and making connections in the professional world.

What are the objectives of internship? ›

The objectives of a student participating in an internships or co-op are to:
  • Explore career alternatives prior to graduation.
  • Integrate theory and practice.
  • Assess interests and abilities in their field of study.
  • Learn to appreciate work and its function in the economy.

What is the best website for internships? ›

Internshala is one of the largest and the best internship websites in India. It has grown not just to provide internships but also to train students to acquire specific skills.

What to do if you have no internship? ›

No Internship? Here Are 9 Ways to Get Work Experience This Summer
  1. Get a Summer Job. Many local businesses hire seasonal workers. ...
  2. Freelance. ...
  3. Complete a Virtual Work Experience. ...
  4. Work on Your Certifications. ...
  5. Volunteer. ...
  6. Build Your Brand and Personal Profile. ...
  7. Job Shadow. ...
  8. Network.
26 May 2022

How do you prepare for a practicum? ›

Here are the top eight things every student should do to prepare for a successful practicum placement:
  1. Get to know the company. ...
  2. Practice your commute. ...
  3. Become an expert in major computer programs. ...
  4. Acquaint yourself with the office dress code. ...
  5. Read the newspaper. ...
  6. Learn the lingo. ...
  7. Explore the meaning of office etiquette.
12 Feb 2020

What is practicum training? ›

Practicums (also called internships or work placement programs) are designed to provide students with practical work experience. They emphasize the importance of learning by doing. They're where students can transfer their knowledge to actual work.

What is a clinical practicum? ›

Clinical practicum means a formal component of the academic curriculum in a graduate level social work educational program that engages the student in supervised clinical social work practice including direct client contact and that provides opportunities to apply classroom learning to actual practice situations in the ...

How many hours is a practicum? ›

The number of hours spent on site typically varies from individual to individual, and from site to site. Typical practicum students work 8 to 16 hours per week at their site. Interns typically work 16 hours or more per week.

What is the difference between practicum and clinical? ›

A Practicum usually refers to a clinical rotation on a single unit where the student may be working 1 on 1 with an RN preceptor (not a clinical instructor). Clinical rotations are usually completed with a group of other students and facilitated by a clinical instructor, not a precepting RN who works on the unit.

What is unpaid practicum? ›

Practicum students – if a student is performing duties that fall under very narrow and specific exemptions (as described below), the activities may not be considered “work”, and therefore, can be unpaid.


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