Loyola University Chicago

Women's Studies and Gender Studies

WSGS Internship and Practicum

The Women’s Studies and Gender Studies Program internship or practicum experience is a dynamic means of linking theory and practice and preparing our students to work effectively in any number of organizations and campaigns that promote feminist principles. We believe there can be mutual benefit for the sponsoring agency, the student, and the program.

This web page is intended to guide you step-by-step through the process of preparing for, applying for, and securing an internship in an agency or office that fits your program, career, or life goals.

What is the difference between an internship and a practicum?
An internship (WSGS 398) is a placement in an agency, office, or other environment where the student engages with ongoing work of the existing team, possibly with a variety of projects. There is a set time for the internship, and when the time is over the student will be done with the placement. A practicum (WSGS 388) is a project-oriented experience where the student might be in an internship-like environment or not; a practicum might include academic research with a final product, such as a paper, report, or event. The practicum is over when the student completes the project.
For ease of reading in the sections below, we sometimes use the terms “internship” and “practicum” interchangeably. For the purposes of this document, they are synonymous.

Who is eligible for an internship or practicum?
WSGS internships and practica are open to WSGS majors and minors in their junior or senior year. See our program requirements (Major/Minor) for more information about the major and minor.

How should I prepare for my internship? What steps should I take?
Your first step should be to complete the WSGS Preliminary Internship Application. Once you do this, you will receive additional materials via email with guidance about how to begin your search for a placement. During this time, you should reflect on your goals for an internship and meet with Dr. Jones Hemenway, the Internship Coordinator (ehemenway@luc.edu) to discuss your learning goals, possible placement options, the application process, and the course syllabus.
Follow the steps below to complete the placement process. Once you are registered for either WSGS 398 or WSGS 388, you will be enrolled in the course Sakai site and will have access to the other materials there. On that site you will also submit all of your required assignments throughout the semester. 

Finding Academic Internship Opportunities  

Students in an academic internship course typically complete 100-150 total hours or about 10-15 hours per week with their internship sites. Ideal academic internship sites are ones whose work addresses and connects to the larger issues and topics you engage with in class and provide meaningful work experiences for students. Academic internships are meant to be professionally and academically relevant to each student, resulting in a mutually beneficial and defined product or project for the organization and the student’s learning.  In many of our courses, faculty will provide some guidelines for organization or company focus, and then students are responsible for finding, contacting, and applying to sites themselves. I encourage you to think about content or practice areas that you’d like your students to engage with and to place something in your syllabus that requires students to find and confirm their internship by the 3rd week of class if it is not a prerequisite for enrolling in the course. This helps ensure students will be able to secure an internship and have ample time to complete the recommended number of work hours.  

Resources for finding your own internship:   

  • The Center for Engaged Learning, Teaching, and Scholarship maintains a Recommended Organizations page. It is sorted by topic and features agencies that have been longtime partners with our program and are accustomed to working with Loyola students. Students can use this list as a starting point for thinking about what kind of work they might pursue or what kind of organization to consider.
  • Internships can also be found through Handshake, as well as networking websites like LinkedIn and Indeed. 
  • Subscribe to the CELTS Opportunities Newsletter, which features engaged learning opportunities from our community partners across academic internships, service-learning, and research opportunities.  
  • Attend LUC on-campus fairs and recruiting events including the Spring Nonprofit Fair, hosted by CELTS.  
  • Reach out to CELTS for idea generation and process guidance as well as Career Services for resume, application, and interview assistance.  
  • If you are in an unpaid internships or research positions, apply for funding through CELTS. Applications for ASPIRE and the Unpaid Academic Internship Award (formerly referred to as "Mellon Foundation" funding). 

WSGS Intern Blogs
Check out our WSGS Internship blog to see what interesting things our students are getting involved in out in the community!
WSGS Internship Blog

WSGS Internship/Practicum Process Checklist:

  • Complete the Intern Preliminary Application. NOTE: Make sure to save this with your changes after you have filled it out.

  • Review the WSGS Internship Packet (including policies, syllabus, and other documents).

  • Meet with the internship coordinator (Dr. Jones Hemenway) to discuss learning goals, review files, and choose agencies for applications and interviews.

  • Begin to identify appropriate agencies, complete planning sheets, update your resume.

  • Contact agencies, complete any relevant applications and interviews.

  • Decide on the agency for your internship, verify with Coordinator who will register you for the internship. You will then be enrolled in the internship Sakai site and have access to the other forms and materials.

  • Return the Internship Address Form to begin your internship. Send the completed to the Internship Coordinator: ehemenway@luc.edu. NOTE: Make sure to save this with your changes after you have filled it out. 

  • Complete the Initial Intern Agreement in discussion with your agency supervisor and return the form to the Coordinator after your first week of work.  Send the completed form to the Internship Coordinator: ehemenway@luc.edu. NOTE: Make sure to save this with your changes after you have filled it out.