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Finding and Applying for an Internship

  1. Students begin the internship selection process by meeting with their adviser to ensure all academic requirements are met prior to the expected internship date. During that meeting students will receive as much guidance as necessary to begin the internship selection process (this can include everything from exploring possible internship sites to signing the final Internship Application). Verification that the student has or will have complied with all graduation requirements (with the exception of internship) requires the academic adviser’s signature on the Internship Scheduling Sheet (Appendix A).
  2. Students should identify several possible internship sites before making their final selection. Information on over 300 sites RHS students have used over the years can be found on the RHS Internship Database. Prior to contacting potential sites, it is strongly recommended that students meet with  their academic adviser to discuss preparation strategies and protocol. Students should also have a current resume when they start the interview process. Career Services ( is a great resource to help with this preparation that includes everything from developing a resume to preparing for the interview. It is expected that students will conduct themselves in a professional manner throughout the internship search process. Students must remember they represent the RHS program at Penn State. As such, their behavior reflects on the program. Students cannot make an unconditional commitment to any site until returning to discuss the arrangements with their academic adviser.
  3. After interviewing at several sites (it is recommended that students visit at least three), students should discuss the pros and cons of each site with their academic adviser before making a final decision. Students should then notify the Site Supervisor or person with whom they spoke during the interview to accept the internship placement. As a professional courtesy, students should also notify individuals with whom they spoke from other sites but did not select for their internship. When contacting by U.S. mail, e-mail, or telephone always remember to practice basic courtesy.
  4. Once students have selected an internship site they must complete and submit the Internship Application, which consists of the following:
    1. RHS Internship Scheduling Sheet (Appendix A).
    2. Student Acknowledgement of RHS Pre-Internship Responsibilities Form (Appendix B).
    3. Job description or typed statement of expected job duties the student will perform during internship. The Site Supervisor should provide this documentation. If not, the student should work with the Site Supervisor to create a list of job duties.
    4. Typed statement of specific goals (at least four) the student intends to achieve during internship. To write useful goals, students should answer the following question: “At the end of the internship, how will I determine whether this experience was successful and helped me professionally?” Good goals should also include at least two objectives, or ways of accomplishing the goals, and be  specific with a specific end date. An example of a goal is as follows: Goal: I will learn to co-lead drug and alcohol awareness groups by the end of internship; Objective One: I will observe three groups by February 14, 2017; Objective Two: I will co-lead two groups by April 20, 2017. Students should refer to their RHS 400W notes for more information about writing strong goals and objectives.
    5. Student’s resume.
    6. Student’s most recent degree audit (accessed on LionPATH).
    7. Publicity information (brochures, printed web pages) about the internship site.
    8. Some sites (most often hospitals, Veteran’s Administration, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation) require a formal written contract between the agency/facility and Penn State. Penn State’s Office of General Council must review these contracts. This process can take 6-8 weeks because the Office of General Council is responsible for serving all Penn State campuses. Be sure to ask before accepting the internship if a contract will be needed. If a contract is needed, notify the Internship Coordinator so the review process can begin. Students who pursue internships that require a contract WILL NOT be able to begin their internship until this contract agreement is reviewed and approved by the legal representatives from Penn State and the internship site.

      Copies of Appendices A and B are located on the RHS website under the Internship link ( The completed Internship Application (one printed copy) is submitted to the RHS administrative assistant, , in 125 CEDAR Bldg. She will process your application packet and, once approved, will register you for internship. Students will know their internship has been approved when they receive a copy of the confirmation letter mailed to the Site Supervisor. Typically, the written confirmation to the student comes approximately 30 days after the initial internship application (e.g., Fall internship application is due July 1st; written confirmation letter received by August 1st).


The Internship Application must be completed and submitted prior to the date specified below during the semester prior to enrollment in internship. Students who do not submit the Internship Application by the deadline will receive a full letter grade deduction for internship. For example, if the student receives a grade of B for the internship and did not submit the Internship Application by the deadline, s/he will receive a final grade of C. Students must apply for internship by the following deadlines:

Summer Session: April 1st
Fall Semester: July 1st
Spring Semester: November 1st

Liability Insurance

Many RHS agencies/facilities require student interns to carry malpractice and/or personal liability insurance. RHS majors are strongly encouraged to obtain full insurance coverage in these areas. Low cost ($35.00) policies are available to students through ProLiability at Marsh U.S. Consumer (