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If you’re choosing a distance learning education for the convenience, you may wonder how important internships are for online bachelor’s in sociology degree programs. At some programs, an internship is optional for undergraduate sociology students, while at other programs, internship experiences are mandatory. Even if you don’t have to complete an internship, the experience could be valuable. And it might not be as inconvenient as distance learning students think.
Sociology Internship Opportunities and Requirements
How important internships are for online bachelor’s in sociology degree programs varies from one program to another. At some of the best online sociology degree programs in the nation, internships are essential. Some form of internship or practicum experience is a graduate requirement for students in these programs.
At Westfield State University in Massachusetts, for example, both an internship and a capstone course may be required for graduation. Though its coursework is delivered fully online, West Texas A&M University requires students to complete a sociology practicum through experiences like interning with a social agency.
Other top-rated online sociology programs allow students the opportunity to gain for-credit internship experience but don’t require it. At the University of Central Florida, for example, students can take up to 12 semester hours of their undergraduate studies as internship experiences, as long as they get approval from the department coordinator.
The fact that you may be studying at a school that’s too far for you to commute to doesn’t mean that you can’t complete an internship. Colleges know how important internships are for students in online bachelor’s in sociology degree programs, so they often try to make it possible for students to fit an internship into their education. Some online degree programs work with students to place them in internships at sites near their homes.
The Benefits of Internships for Undergraduate Sociology Students
One reason some programs require internships – and still others encourage them – is how important internships are for online bachelor’s in sociology degree programs. According to the American Sociological Association some sites where sociology majors commonly intern include:
- correctional facilities
- police departments
- other community organizations
Some internships are researched-based. Internships may be paid or unpaid, but they result in students gaining college credits.
By taking part in an internship, students can see how sociology professionals put their academic knowledge into action in the workplace and cultivate their own professional skills. They can gain real-world experience that will enhance their résumés and make them appealing job candidates to potential employers. Students who intern at agencies or organizations that are in line with their career goals can also begin to develop valuable connections in their future career field.
Now that you understand how important internships are for online bachelor’s in sociology degree programs, you might find it worth your while to plan to include at least one internship experience into your education.