The Criminal Justice Administration Department strongly encourages all students to enroll in our internship program, with a recommended duration of 12 weeks, though internships may be scheduled for 6 or 12 weeks. Internships are arranged under the course CJA 4450: Internship in Criminal Justice Administration.
What is an internship? Stated succinctly, an internship is an opportunity to integrate career-related experience into an undergraduate education by participating in planned, supervised work. What is one of the first questions a potential employer will ask? You probably already know the answer, "What experience do you have?"
Why Should I Pursue an Internship? There are a variety of reasons why you should consider pursuing an internship. Some of the benefits include:
Experience: An internship will provide you with the opportunity to gain real world, hands-on experience in the CJ field. This experience will give you a competitive edge in the job market, while it will also make yourself more marketable to prospective employers.
Networking: As an intern, you will have the chance to network with numerous individuals who are employed in some capacity by our criminal justice system. Networking is a great tool to meet new people and establish a name for yourself.
Knowledge: An internship will allow you to obtain an inside glimpse of the workings of a company or agency. Familiarizing yourself with it can, in turn, help you discover whether the career you are considering is right (or maybe wrong) for you.
When Can I Pursue an Internship? A student is able to schedule an internship when they have at least 60 earned credits prior to the start of the internship. The intention is that the internship is a culmination experience combining book learning with real work experience. To qualify for an internship, a student must have a minimum overall QPA of 2.0* and a minimum QPA of 2.0 in criminal justice degree classes.
* Note: Beginning Fall 2016, students interested in doing an internship will need to have a minimum 2.5 QPA in both criminal justice classes and overall.
Application Process: A student first needs to speak with a criminal justice professor to discuss their interests. The student and the advisor will work together to find an internship that will best benefit the student. The student will need to decide on a full-time internship for 12 credits or a part-time internship for 6 credits. Once the internship site (agency) is determined, the student will contact the agency supervisor. After meeting and speaking with the agency supervisor, the student will complete the Internship Application and get the supervisor's signature. If Mansfield University does not have an Affiliation Agreement on file with this agency, the agency will also need to complete and sign the Affiliation Agreement form. After all of the paperwork has been completed, the advisor will review the information. Once reviewed, the paperwork will be sent to the Academic Records office for acceptance. The most important thing to remember is to get all the paperwork filled out and signed prior to the deadline:
Deadline to apply: March 15 of each year for summer & fall internships and November 1 of each year for spring internships.
Where can I pursue an internship? You and your advisor will work together to find an internship placement that is right for you. A criminal justice student has many options to choose from, including (but not limited to) the following:
- Adult or juvenile probation
- District Attorney's office
- Juvenile detention
- Local, state or federal law enforcement
- Prison or jail correctional facilities
- Private security
- Sheriff's office
- Youth services
- The judiciary
- Victim services
- And many, many more!
Note: For more information about internships and affiliation agreements, visit the Career Center website (internship & employer information).