Internships in Sociology

SOC 490

SOC 490 Overview

SOC 490 is a 3-credit course that offers internships in “applied sociology” in a variety of settings.  

The course involves:

  1. Community Placement: 8-10 hours at an agency in the greater Albany area either in-person or virtually
  2. Academic Component: 1 hour a week in the classroom


  • SOC 490 is open to junior and senior sociology majors who have completed the required core courses in sociology (SOC 115, SOC 310, SOC 221, SOC 335) and have at least a 2.5 grade point average.  
  • The course is currently offered in the SPRING SEMESTER ONLY.

A wide variety of internship placements are available.  Examples of recent internships include:

  • Albany County Bar Association
  • Albany County Department of Probation
  • Albany County District Attorney’s Community Justice Outreach Center
  • Albany County Sheriff’s Department
  • City of Albany, Department of Cultural Affairs
  • City of Albany, Police Department
  • Albany Social Justice Center 
  • Crime Victims and Sexual Violence Center
  • Equinox Inc. 
  • Emmaus House – Albany Catholic Worker - New Sanctuary Program
  • Grand Street Community Arts
  • Holding Our Own/The Women’s Building Inc.
  • In Our Own Voices
  • National Organization for Women—New York State
  • New York State Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Fraud and Protection
  • New York State Coalition against Domestic Violence
  • New York State Office of the Inspector General
  • New York State Small Business Development Center
  • New York Statewatch
  • Parsons Child and Family Center
  • PAL of Albany (Police Athletic League) 
  • Planned Parenthood 
  • Radix
  • START Children’s Center
  • Wildwood School

Apply Online

Completed applications are due to the Internship Director, Dr. Samantha Friedman (AS 348, [email protected]) by October 27, but will be accepted as early as October 13.

SOC 490: Internship In Sociology - Course Information

SOC 490 provides an Internship Program for students who wish to acquire experience in a field or area related to sociology that interests them, perhaps linked to future career possibilities.  It should be thought of as “applied sociology,” relating academic knowledge to field experience.  SOC 490 is a 3-credit semester course, graded on an S/U basis.  Students must apply to the course through the Internship Director.  Students may take SOC 490 only once for credit.

I.    Student Application and Selection 

Students applying to the Internship Program should have junior or senior standing.  They should have completed SOC 115, SOC 310, SOC 221, SOC 335, and at least one course that directly relates to their internship.  Students should have an overall minimum grade point average of 2.5.  These eligibility criteria may be applied flexibly at the discretion of the Internship Director if sufficient spaces are available.  Internships are reserved for Sociology majors.

Students interested in the Internship Program must meet with the Internship Director to discuss eligibility and internship interests.  Students will be expected to provide evidence that an internship is appropriate to their academic and career objectives, and that they will be able to fulfill the requirements of the internship.  Once accepted into the course, students must obtain a signed contract from their internship site and submit it to the Internship Director prior to the end of the semester preceding the one in which the student plans to do the internship; i.e., Spring interns must complete arrangements by the end of the previous Fall semester.  Failure to do so may result in an applicant not being allowed to register for the internship.

Students who are accepted into the Internship Program must recognize their responsibilities to the program.  Interns are representatives of the Department and the University.  Participation in the program may be terminated at any time, at the discretion of the Internship Director, for failure to fulfill requirements of the placement or of the academic component.

II.    Course Procedures and Requirements 

The Internship Program, as “applied sociology,” has two related but distinct components: (a) placement as an intern in a field setting, and (b) an academic component.

(a) The Internship Placement

Students will ordinarily be placed in a work setting with an agency or organization outside the University.  The Internship Director will provide ideas for initial placements and contact information for local internships depending on student interest.  Students must then contact the agencies (one at a time), request an interview for an internship, and seek approval for an internship with the agency.  Students may also find their own placement arrangements with the approval of the Internship Director.  

Specific duties and schedules of interns are flexible, subject to mutual agreement between the student and the placement site.  The time commitment of the student should be long enough to provide meaningful activities, but should not go beyond reasonable expectations for a 3-credit semester course.  It is essential that interns be involved in “real” work, rather than, for example, routine clerical duties.  Ordinarily interns can expect a time commitment equivalent to 8-10 hours per week during the semester.  Interns will be supervised and evaluated by an individual at the placement site.

The Internship Director will maintain contacts with the placement site to assess satisfactory fulfillment of responsibilities; this may include an in-person visit to the site.  Any problems with the placement, from the point of view of either the placement site or the student, should be brought to the attention of the Internship Director.  The Internship Director will verify that the intern has successfully completed the placement by contacting the placement supervisor for an evaluation of the intern’s performance at the end of the semester.

(b) Academic Component

Students will also attend complete a course component to the Internship.  Students will meet once a week in a 1-hour per week session with the Internship Director and the other students enrolled in the internship course.  The specific content of the academic component is outlined in the course syllabus, but student can expect it to include three dimensions.

a) Readings and Discussion: students will relate sociological readings to their placement experiences.
b) Oral Component: students will present about their experiences to others in the seminar.
c) Written Component: students will produce several short papers relating the readings to their internship placements.

III.    Grading and Evaluation 

The internship on-site supervisor will submit an evaluation of the intern’s performance at the placement site.  The student will also receive a grade for the academic component.  

Final grades (S/U) for Soc 490 will be assigned by the Internship Director, based on performance in both the internship placement and the academic component.  Performance must be average to a C in order to receive a satisfactory grade (S) for the course.

For additional information, contact the Internship Director:
Professor Samantha Friedman (Arts and Sciences 348; [email protected])