Internships are work-related opportunities that help students develop a better understanding of a prospective career. Specifically, it is an opportunity for students to determine whether their interests match a chosen career path in the real world, while simultaneously gaining experience with professionals in the field.
The Sociology and Criminology Internship program allows students to work as an intern and earn 3 hours of graded credit at the 4000 level in exchange for 180 hours of work during a semester period.
- 180 hours of work with the sponsoring agency, program, or office, before the end of the academic period. During the Fall and Spring academic terms, the average is 12 hours per week for 15 weeks in a 16 week semester. During the Summer Session III (12 weeks), the average is 15 hours a week. Six hours credit can be earned for 360 hours of work.
- Maintain a journal with weekly entries.
- Complete and submit four (4) written assignments through the course of the semester.
- Attend scheduled class meetings (4 per semester).
- Maintain a log of hours worked; the log must be signed by a supervisor.
- Update resume as internship progresses.
- Discuss your desire to enroll in the internship program with your academic advisor. Because an internship requires 180 hours of work through the semester, it is important that you both discuss your schedule and determine how best to fit an internship into your college career.
- Choose an area of interest and identify sponsoring agencies that might provide an internship opportunity. Feel free to contact Dr. Shields, as some agencies request interns from time to time and he can help you narrow your choices.
- Review potential agencies’ websites or contact their personnel department to determine their application requirements. This is important. Many agencies require several months lead-time to perform background checks. Don’t wait until the last moment.
- Write (and update) a resume. Your resume is an introduction to potential employers, and often it is your first chance to make an impression. We recommend that students have their resumes proof read by a third party. The University of Arkansas Career Development Center provides assistance to students who need help preparing resumes. In addition, CLASS + Writing Support can proof read your resume and make suggestions to improve it.
- Email email@example.com that you are interested in enrolling in the internship program. You will then be responsible for setting up an interview with the sponsoring agency and keeping Dr. Shields informed of your progress. If you are selected by that agency, Dr. Shields will enroll you in the class.
- You must have your resume proofread and edited by the University of Arkansas Career Development Center before you can apply for an internship. They can provide assistance to students who need help preparing resumes. In addition, CLASS + Writing Support can proof read your resume and make suggestions to improve it..
The internship program offers students a number of valuable opportunities beyond classroom instruction. Many students have never worked in their field of study, so they have had few opportunities to develop work experience in the field they want to enter upon graduation. Other students may be sure of a particular career path, but have no idea how to get a job in that field. Still other students may be interested in many sub-fields and simply need help to narrow their focus. An internship can assist students with all of these issues. An internship helps students gain real world work experience and provides a great opportunity to improve and hone oral and written communication skills. While working as interns, students not only learn teamwork, but they also gain self-confidence. That real world work experience gained from an internship may be the edge, the single factor, that separates the job applicant from others in the application pool—many agencies use internships as a recruiting tool. Still wondering? Click here or google “why internships are important”.
An internship helps students gain real world work experience and provides a great opportunity to improve and hone oral and written communication skills. While working as interns, students not only learn teamwork, but they also gain self-confidence. That real world work experience gained from an internship may be the edge, the single factor, that separates the job applicant from others in the application pool—many agencies use internships as a recruiting tool.
CRIMINOLOGY Internship Opportunities
The Terrorism Research Center (TRC) uses the tools of social science and data analytics to promote safer communities, inform evidence-based policies, and train the next generation of research, law enforcement, and homeland security professionals. Interns will have the opportunity to contribute to one or more ongoing projects, including the:
- American Terrorism Study (supervised by Dr. Jeff Gruenewald)
- Human Trafficking Study (supervised by Dr. Chris Shields)
- Bias Homicide Database (supervised by Dr. Jeff Gruenewald)
- Little Rock Crime Project through the Crime and Security Data Analytics Lab (supervised by Dr. Grant Drawve)
Interns will learn valuable skills in data management and analytics that are becoming increasingly attractive to federal, state, and local law enforcement and intelligence agencies. In addition, interns will learn how to produce research briefs, data infographics, and research posters using original data from projects housed in the TRC.
To apply for an internship with the Terrorism Research Center, please go to website:
Law Enforcement Internships
Federal Bureau of Investigation Honors Program - Washington, D.C.
Click here to go to the FBI internship website
United States Marshall's Office - Fayetteville, AR
Contact Dr. Shields before contacting the USMS
Requires a background check
Review the US. Marshall's Internship Fact Sheet
Start application process 60 days prior to semester begin date
Arkansas State Police - Springdale - Troop L
Fayetteville Police Department
Contact Dr. Shields before contacting the FPD
Requires background check and interview
Review the Fayetteville Police Department Internships information
Start application process 45 days prior to semester begin date
Rogers Police Department, 479-621-1172
Springdale Police Department, 479-756-8200
Please feel free to contact police departments not listed above.
Bail Bonds Internships
Private Bail Bonds offices
Private Security Firms
Washington County Juvenile Court (Judge Zimmerman) - 479-444-1538
Fayetteville Prosecutor's Office
Contact Dr. Shields before contacting the Fayetteville Prosecutor's office
Washington County Prosecutor's Office-Fayetteville
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Juvenile division - Heather Campbell; phone: 479-973-8412
Washington Public Defender's Office-Fayetteville
Contact Danny Hylip; phone: 479-444-1595
CASA Legal Aid (advocacy for children)
Private Law Firms-any law firm or legal aid program is a possibility. Feel free to contact any organization in which you have an interest.
Probation and Parole Internships
Community Corrections (Washington County and Benton County Probation Offices)
Email Judie James at Judie.email@example.com
Phone: 479-443-8000 (Fayetteville office)
Federal Probation Office
Contact a few months in advance
Requires letter of recommendation
William E. Dunn, Supervising Probation Officer
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington County Juvenile Courts Detention Center - Fayetteville
Address: 885 Clydesdale Drive, Fayetteville, AR 72701-8209
Fall and Spring Internship Opportunities
- Fayetteville Police Department
- An internship with FPD allows interns to experience the inner workings of a police department. Interns are selected following a background check, submitting an application, and an in-person interview, and are then placed with officers to shadow for the semester. Interns will get to go on ride-a-longs, and will document their experiences on a regular basis. Please refer to the below links for the intern application and the FPD Intern Code of Conduct.
- Washington/Benton County Sheriff’s Department
- The Sheriff’s office is looking for U of A Criminology/Sociology Students who would
like to learn more about what the sheriff’s department does. They’re offering a well-rounded
internship that will provide students with the opportunity to work in several different
- Washington County Jail
- Policing Classes at the Academy
- Detective Work
- The Sheriff’s office is looking for U of A Criminology/Sociology Students who would like to learn more about what the sheriff’s department does. They’re offering a well-rounded internship that will provide students with the opportunity to work in several different areas.
United States Drug Enforcement Agency
- The mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States and bring to the criminal and civil justice system of the United States, or any other competent jurisdiction, those organizations and principal members of organizations, involved in the growing, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances appearing in or destined for illicit traffic in the United States; and to recommend and support non-enforcement programs aimed at reducing the availability of illicit controlled substances on the domestic and international markets. Internships with the agency involve a lengthy background check and interview process. Interns will get to work with and observe agents in the local field office, and assist with filings, information gathering, and other projects.
United States Marshals Service
- The Marshals Service is the primary agency for fugitive operations, the protection of officers of the Federal Judiciary, the management of criminal assets, the operation of the United States Federal Witness Protection Program and the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System, and execution of federal arrest warrants. Interns with this agency get to work with agents through a local field office and get to experience the daily operations of that office. This entails case processing, operations planning, and filing and serving federal arrest warrants. Interns primarily get to observe, but could also assist with filing and data collection, amongst other tasks.
University of Arkansas Police Department
- The University of Arkansas Police Department, in partnership with the community we serve, is committed to protecting and serving the future of Arkansas and beyond by embracing the philosophy of community policing and by promoting a safe and secure environment through excellence, initiative, and integrity. Interns get to experience the daily operations of the agency and can be placed with a number of different departments within the agency.
- Although not technically a Criminal Justice environment, the bookstore offers an intern position in their Loss Prevention department. This opportunity can give insight into business security, property management, inventory control, and patron and employee safety. Additionally, this position offers interaction with the University of Arkansas Police Department on an as needed basis.
Washington County Juvenile Court
- The Washington County Juvenile Court is responsible for handling Delinquency cases in which juveniles have been accused of committing crimes, as well as Family In Need of Services cases in which court assistance has been requested with juveniles whose behavior includes things like running away from home, frequently being truant from school, or being habitually disobedient to their parents. Interns with the Washington County Juvenile Court will have the opportunity to observe court proceedings, assist Juvenile Officers from all three Juvenile Court divisions with data entry and other case management tasks, accompany Juvenile Officers during meetings with clients, and may elect to participate in some of the diversion programs run by the Juvenile Court on evenings and weekends.
Fayetteville Prosecutor’s Office
- This internship provides students with hands on experience in a vibrant and busy prosecutor’s office, the ability to conduct intake interviews, and the opportunity to observe court. This is a perfect internship for those considering law school and a future career with a prosecutor’s office.
Washington County Prosecutor’s Office
- This internship offers a similar experience as the Fayetteville Prosecutor’s Office, but on a larger scale. Interns typically assist the prosecutors with case filings and discovery. This should be of particular interest to any students considering a future in the practice of law.
Washington County Public Defender’s Office
- This is another opportunity to work in a busy law office, but interns get to experience the other side of the aisle. Interns will work the attorneys with discovery and client interviews. Again, students considering a future in law should consider this internship.
Washington County Drug Court
- Washington/Madison County Drug Court is a rehabilitation court on the cutting edge of changes in the criminal justice system. Involvement in this program affords interns a unique opportunity to gain perspective on sociological problems and the government’s role in abating them. Interns are allowed to observe staffing and court, conditioned upon their executing a confidentiality agreement. This gives the intern first hand access to the personal stories of participants and allows them to gain awareness of the issues that stretch across socio-economic stratifications and unite local citizens through shared problems and efforts to effect a positive change in the community. Judge Beaumont is looking for an intern who can work during the weekdays, and who is interested in learning about the court system. These interns typically get to see the full court process and they gain experience with the diversion programs utilized by the court.
Snively Law Firm
- Snively Law Firm is a small private law practice in Fayetteville, AR specializing in family law and divorce, automotive accidents, custody matters, business law, real estate law, criminal law, construction law, lawsuits, estate planning, employee and consumer rights and more. This internship offers a good opportunity for students to observe and learn the daily workings of a law firm, as well as the procedures utilizing in approaching cases, and learning the litany of case law typically used by other such firms. Positions with this law firm are very competitive and are filled twelve months in advance.
Nolan Caddell Reynolds Law Firm
- Nolan Caddell Reynolds is a leading Arkansas personal injury, social security disability benefits and bankruptcy law firm. This internship is another outstanding offering for those students who are interested in a future in law. Interns assist attorneys and paralegals with daily clerical work, case filing, and discovery, as well as extensive opportunities to observe the details that go into civil law
Washington County Probation and Parole Office
- If you are interested in law enforcement or community corrections then this is a great opportunity to explore these careers. Interns help with daily duties and get to experience interactions between officers and offenders. Gain firsthand experience on how parole and probation works, experience the day to day duties of parole and probation officers, and have opportunities to visit county jails and local prisons.
Benton County Juvenile Court and Probation Office
- The Benton County Juvenile Probation Office Intern will have exposure to all functions of the court. The Intern is an assisting party in the office by learning how juvenile risk assessments are completed and why, case planning and management, and all the day to day duties in this profession. Interns will not replace Officers, but learn from them through exposure. Interns will perform select duties as assigned through this program just as Support staff, Probation and Intake officers have to do to manage their positions.
Arkansas Department of Community Correction
- If you are interested in law enforcement or community corrections then this is a great opportunity to explore these careers. Gain firsthand experience on how parole and probation works, experience the day to day duties of parole and probation officers, and have opportunities to visit county jails and local prisons. Interns help with daily duties and get to experience interactions between officers and offenders, and also provide services to clients in ACC Centers and to offenders on parole or probation.
United States Probation Office
- Interns at the United States Probation Office receive hands-on experience of the probation system at a federal level. Interns work directly with federal probation officers, assisting with cases for prisoners released on probation from federal custody. They also assist directly with compiling information for reports sent to the United States Sentencing Commission
SOCIOLOGY Internship Opportunities
There are a number of possibilities. In the past our students have had internships at the following Sociology related agencies:
Social & Community Series Internships
Northwest Arkansas Children's Shelter
Seven Hills Center
Boys and Girls Club (Fayetteville & Benton County)
Siloam Springs: 479-524-4174
The Cobblestone Project is a local non-profit passionately committed to hunger relief by donating over half of production to local food agencies in NWA. Our mission is to grow fresh food locally so we can support and teach the community the role fresh food has on health, wellness and a sustainable future. The Cobblestone Farm aids in the fight against hunger by growing and distributing certified naturally grown produce and eggs to local agencies. Under supervision of the Community Outreach Director of The Cobblestone Project, interns will provide assistance and development to the core programs and administrative functions of the agency. This position provides a student with an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in nonprofit operations, with potential opportunities for special projects depending on the intern’s skills.
CASA works with children by paring them with advocates who look after the child’s best interests when there are problems in the home. CASA operates like many not-for-profit organizations, relying on volunteer work and fundraisers. It would a good opportunity for anyone considering a career path that involves making the world better for children, as you will get first-hand experience in learning how these organizations operate and the obstacles they face.
City Administration & Policy
City of Fayetteville Community Resources
Email Yolanda Fields email@example.com
City of Fayetteville Community Development Program
Email Yolanda Fields firstname.lastname@example.org
Parks and Recreation
Peace at Home Family Shelter is an emergency shelter and service organization for families fleeing domestic violence. Peace at Home has a fast paced work environment and we seek talented team members who crave learning new skills and aren't afraid to tackle big projects. As an intern you will get to work with a variety of our staff, while working on real projects that will help us grow. This internship is a one semester project analyzing data from client databases to spot trends in demographics overtime, report data for federal grants, and audit the current database for missing data points that should be collected.
Northwest Arkansas Center for Sexual Assault, Inc. is a non-profit agency which focuses on the critical issues of sexual assault by assisting those affected; promoting community awareness and understanding; and serving as a catalyst for social change. The rape crisis center offers many services to the community, primarily in the areas of Victim Services and Education/Prevention. All of their services are provided free of charge, in English and Spanish. The NWA RCC serves the tri-county area of Northwest Arkansas: Benton, Madison and Washington Counties. They are also looking for a Bilingual Coordinator. If you’re fluent in Spanish and English, please note in your resume.
The Northwest Arkansas Women’s Shelter provides free emergency shelter, food, and clothing to victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault, emphasizing women and children. We offer several positions for interns. Outreach interns provide assistance to the Outreach Director by responding to volunteer inquiries and donor requests, and assisting with and attending community outreach events. Advocate interns help model healthy relationships for shelter residents and the community, facilitate advocacy and support services to domestic violence victims in the shelter, and foster a supportive environment in the shelter. Finally, nonprofit development interns provide assistance to the Development Director by maintaining the website, stewardship processing for gifts received, and assisting with database research projects and other special projects.
The mission of Bridges Family Center is to safely unite children and parents during difficult and challenging family life transitions. Bridges takes a child centered approach and focuses on the child’s well-being during supervised visits or safe exchanges. It is a family visitation center that conducts monitored supervised and unsupervised visitations and safe exchanges for the benefit of the children. This internship is very much centered in social work. Interns work directly with the program director on small projects, such as scrapbooking and decorating, and larger projects, such as compiling information folders for families that provide tools to enhance their experience at the center and in their own homes.
The Jones Center is a state-of-the-art recreation, community, and event center located in the heart of Northwest Arkansas. With 220000 square feet, there is the region's only ice rink, two swimming pools, gymnasium, fitness center, indoor track, conference space, cafe, and chapel. Their goal is to be a world-class destination for building community, healthy living, and having fun. An intern’s responsibilities can vary depending on the department that they are placed with, but they often serve as coordinators between the Jones Center and other partner non-profits.
We are a non-profit kids focused community center. We serve youth in our after school and summer program as well as in some athletics programs (basketball, football, cheerleading). We also have adult and family members who utilize our building in our non-youth hours and use our work out area, track, swimming pool, etc. In the past, interns were usually used in 2 departments: athletics and the youth development program. Athletics interns help our recreation coordinator run our sports programs. Youth development interns run specific programs with our kids during the after school or summer program, such as a tutoring program, or educational program, etc. They work with our education/program coordinator in facilitating and implementing their programs and projects.
7hills is a non-profit community center with the purpose of providing relief and support services for the Northwest Arkansas homeless population. This internship is designed to help you learn the skills necessary for working in the non-profit environment. This position will require being a self-starter, have awareness, attention to details and take initiative. The majority of time, this position will be within a specific area of 7hills Homeless Center (GO7) with some time spent as needed in other areas as assigned. The main responsibility is to learn and take ownership for the GO7 events. Your contribution will help lead the GO7 program while bringing support from within 7hills Homeless Center organization as a whole. As part of a team you will help develop and grow this program making sure it falls within the mission of: “Fighting Homelessness and Poverty with Education, Opportunities, and Hope.”
The Creative Community Center is part of the Nadine Baum Studio of the Walton Arts Center. The Creative Community Center is a non-profit visual arts organization that focuses on giving community members of all ages and skill levels the possibility to do hands on art projects. The internship is for a program development intern. The duties of this position entail marketing, outreach, and development of art education programs, as well as assisting with the center’s website and calendar.
Circle of Life provides professional, caring treatment that is customized to the individual patient and is not bound by location. They bring hospice care to patients wherever they reside in Northwest Arkansas—whether it is in their own home, a nursing home, or assisted living facility. Internships with Circle of Life typically entail administrative assistance, but can cover a wider breadth of responsibilities as needed. For more information, contact Circle of Life at 479-872-3377 or email@example.com.
Bail Bonds Internships
Private Bail Bonds offices
Private Security Firms
Summer Internship Opportunities
There are a number of at-distance internships available at numerous agencies over the summer. These opportunities are served on a competitive basis. Summer internships are available at the agencies listed below. If you are interested in any of these opportunities, contact the Internship Director, Dr. Christopher Shields, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Arkansas Attorney General’s Office
- Dallas Police Department
- Plano Police Department
- Springfield Police Department
- Tulsa Police Department
- Arkansas State Police
- United States Park Rangers
- Arkansas Fish and Game