Internships & Research Programs
Southwestern University offers its students opportunities to gain experience beyond the classroom through internships and research programs throughout the year.
Participation in these types of experiential learning encourage students to apply classroom theories and knowledge towards real world applications, whether it be in a corporate environment, with a not-for-profit organization, a government agency or conducting research in a laboratory.
Internships are essential for liberal arts students to “test the fit” of the many career options that may interest them and develop marketable skills. Most students nationwide graduate with at least one, if not several internship experiences. At Southwestern, over 62% of graduating seniors have completed at least one internship by the time of graduation.
Southwestern students are able to take advantage of resources and programs available through the Career Services Office to help navigate the internship search process. Off-campus internship programs available to students include the NY Arts Program, our Washington Semester program, and the opportunity to intern through the SU London Semester each fall. Students are encouraged to start planning their internship search and identify possible options early in their undergraduate career. More detailed information pertaining to Southwestern students for those three off-campus programs is available on the Career Services website. For more information on internships and general career exploration, please click on the links below:
Career Services helps all Southwestern students to Explore (yourself and the world of work), Experience (through internships, volunteerism, etc. to test a career’s “fit”) and Engage (in the job search or grad school application process through setting target goals, researching opportunities and marketing yourself). Learn resume writing, interviewing, networking, etiquette and more through individual career advising and programming offered each semester. All internships are posted through Career Services and viewable via PirateLink, our online internship/job search system available free of charge to all Southwestern students.
This program is designed to provide those students seriously interested in the performing, visual, media and communication arts with an opportunity to serve as interns and to experience the world of professional arts-related fields amidst the vast cultural resources of New York City. Qualified students accepted into the program spend a fall or spring semester interning with professionals representing all professional arts fields: visual artists, designers, museum curators, performing artists, authors, publishers, film makers, people in theatre and communication arts, etc. Each student is assigned a faculty advisor who teaches a seminar and works closely with the student and his or her internship sponsor. Students also participate in a specially designed program of seminars conducted by arts professionals, including NYAP staff members, on various topics. Program offices are housed in a midtown Manhattan townhouse. Four floors are for housing with common kitchens and lounge/meeting rooms.
No Southwestern University funding is available for this program. Stafford Loans and Pell Grants are available to qualified students. Other outside loan options may also be available. Please contact Southwestern’s On-Campus Representative located in the Career Services Office for more information.
Southwestern also has established cooperative relations with the United Methodist College Washington Consortium. This internship and academic program offers opportunities for course work in politics and communications. Internships are available in those same areas as well as psychology, history, the fine arts and more. Depending upon the specific program, students work as interns at the White House, on Capitol Hill,in museums, in the courts or with public interest groups. Students may earn up 16 credit hours during a fall or spring semester, which appear as Southwestern University credit. The cost of the program is equal to Southwestern tuition, room and board. Most financial aid is applicable to the Washington Semester Program, including Southwestern merit and need-based scholarships. Interested students are encouraged to contact the Internship Coordinator in Career Services for further information.
The Southwestern London Semester is a 15-week residential program offered each fall. SU faculty and about 30 students live and study together in the Kensington district of London’s West End. Any Southwestern undergraduate is eligible to apply for the London Semester Program provided he or she is in good academic and disciplinary standing and will have attained at least sophomore status at the start of the program. A 2.50 GPA is usually expected as a minimum.
Academic internships through the London program are optional for eligible students. Students are placed with organizations in London to gain practical experience in their field of study. Requires permission of instructor. Additional fee.
Academic internships are offered by a number of departments and programs. These programs allow students to acquire field or on-the-job experience and are structured so that the students are encouraged to relate their classroom activities to their field experience.
For three of the last six years, a Southwestern student has been selected for the national Academic Intern Award for Student Achievement by the Cooperative Education and Internship Association (CEIA) in 2006, 2008 and 2011. Southwestern is the only school to have multiple students win this award.
If you are interested in seeking academic credit for an internship, general policies and procedures can be found in the Faculty Handbook, and the Student Guide for Academic Internships located on the Academic Internship page of the Career Services website.
- Students interested in academic internships must contact the Internship Coordinator in the Office of Career Services as early in the planning process as possible.
- Registration must be through the standard registration process and requires an Add card to be completed with instructor approval.
- Additionally, all academic internships require completion of both an Internship Learning Agreement & Release as well as an Internship Learning Contract. All required paperwork is due by the last day to add courses. Contact the Internship Coordinator to begin the required paperwork process.
- Internships for credit require significant academic work beyond on-site activities, such as keeping a journal, writing, research, classroom meetings and presentations.
- A 2.5 cumulative grade point average at the time of application and/or acceptance is required.
- Unless otherwise specified, all internships are graded on a Pass/D/F basis.
- Students should consult the catalog for specific departmental or programmatic requirements regarding academic internships.
Collaborative research is one of the hallmarks of a Southwestern liberal arts education. The opportunity to contribute one’s skills and knowledge in their chosen field can provide a competitive advantage in gaining acceptance to some of the top graduate and professional programs in their area of study.
Southwestern students are able to explore the world of research through competitive programs offered by Southwestern academic departments, the National Science Foundation, various medical school SURF programs and more. Students who choose to pursue research opportunities are strongly encouraged to begin the exploration and application process well in advance to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria and pertinent application deadlines. For more information, please consult with the Internship Coordinator in Career Services or the appropriate Department Chair on campus.
Below is a partial list of resources and current programs available to eligible Southwestern students:
The Biology Department provides opportunities for current students to work one-on-one with a Biology Faculty member on collaborative research. Each faculty member has an on-going research program which can be viewed on the departmental page. In addition, there is a link with information to Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) that provides additional resources for off-campus research programs.
Environmental Studies is an interdisciplinary program that examines the numerous connections between humans and our environment from a wide variety of perspectives. Two new initiatives specifically for Southwestern students include SEED (Student Environmental Engagement and Development) grants to support student generated, environmentally-focused projects at Southwestern, and the Environmental Fellows Study Abroad Program (EFSAP).
There are many opportunities available for our majors and minors, including attending conferences around the country, internships, semesters abroad, and summer research opportunities both at SU and at other universities. A list of these opportunities can be found through links located on the departmental webpages.
Each Welch scholar works closely with the faculty mentor for an eight week period over the summer. These projects provide research opportunities in the areas of medicinal, organic, analytical, environmental, inorganic and biochemistry. Students often continue working on these projects the following year and use this research experience as the basis for their Chemistry and Biochemistry capstone. In addition, Welch scholars have the opportunity to present their results the following year at national meetings.