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Senior Assignment: Criminal Justice Supervised Internship 

Internships are for Criminal Justice Majors only

All majors must complete an internship as part of the culminating experience.  We do not offer internships to non-majors at this time. 

Your Criminal Justice Studies faculty members are committed to experiential learning.  All students must successfully complete an internship and a senior assignment project with a grade of C or above.  Students will work in a criminal justice agency during their final semester of undergraduate work. However, arranging the internship can take some time, so students are strongly encouraged to begin discussion of their internship with Criminal Justice Studies faculty members one full year before the intended semester.  Email Dr. Dirks Linhorst at to begin this discussion for internships through Summer, 2017.  For internships during the Fall, 2017 or Spring and Summer 2018, please email Dr. Oberweis at   

Students complete internships at agencies that have formal agreements with SIUE for undertaking these internships.  We have partnerships with over 160 agencies.  We have internship opportunities at the federal, state, county and local levels, in the public and private sectors, in law enforcement, probation, secure facilities, treatment, community corrections and courts.  There is something for nearly every interest areas, so consider your own interests and develop a "top three" list of interest areas before getting started.  A partial list is posted on the bulletin board outside the office at 1211 Peck Hall for you to review.

Students should never contact any agency about an internship without the clear support of a Criminal Justice Studies faculty member.  For that reason, the first step in securing an internship must be a discussion with the faculty member who will be the instructor for the section in which you intend to enroll.  Dr. Oberweis or Dr. Dirks Linhorst will help to identify that instructor.  Failure to follow this requirement may result in your inability to use that site for your internship experience.

Students are not placed into agencies by SIUE faculty members.  They must apply to and be accepted for an internship by the agency of choice.  However, no student should contact any agency until given approval to begin the application process.  Students first get approval from the SIUE faculty, then apply to the agency, and, if accepted, only then can be considered ready to enroll in the internship course.  Different agencies have different application processes and require various amounts of time from weeks to months for an application to be accepted.  Students are not eligible until they have completed CJ 302 with a grade of C or better. We prefer that students have taken CJ 303 before the internship, or that it is taken concurrently. Please coordinate carefully, and be sure to communicate effectively with your CJ faculty members.  

Here is the process: After you and the instructor of record have agreed upon a potential placement site, you will make the call/contact with that agency to determine if they have a place for you.  Most agencies request that you come in for an interview.  You may want to take a resume with you.  If you have not written one before, SIUE’s Career Development Center can assist you.  Most agencies will require you to undergo a criminal background check.  Many agencies will disqualify you with a misdemeanor conviction, so you need to be honest both with SIUE faculty and the agencies up front. 

For example, if Morgan plans to graduate in May, 2018 (after the Spring, 2018 semester), then she should begin to think about her top three areas for internships during the Spring, 2017 semester.  By the middle of the Spring, 2017 semester, she should have narrowed down her interests and initiated contact with Dr. Dirks Linhorst, who will advise her--based on her top three selections--about the timing of applications for her selected internship. She will then follow the process above.

Students may apply to only one place at a time, to allow for the greatest number of students to secure placements in any giving semester.  The internship course is offered every semester, and may be offered online during the summer semesters.  

You must attend a mandatory meeting concerning CJ 488 in the semester PRIOR to the one in which you wish to enroll.  For example, for Spring semester internship, Morgan would attend a mandatory meeting in late fall semester in which she would receive her syllabus, the course packet/resources, and understand the expectations of the internship as the senior assignment.

In addition to the 140 hours of work that each student completes at their assigned agency, students must also write a paper for the Senior Assignment.  This paper provides an opportunity for students to engage in deep critical thinking, as each students chooses a topic covered in past coursework and examines that topic from both an academic standpoint, but also from his/her firsthand experience in the internship.  Appropriate topics must therefore be something that an intern can reasonably expect to experience during the internship.  Topics are selected in partnership with the internship instructor.  

At the end of the semester, each student will present a poster that communicates the analysis of the internship experiences against the academic writing about her/his topic.  All full time Criminal Justice Studies faculty members contribute to the grade for each student's presentation.  These presentations are usually held in the Goshen Lounge at the MUC on the Friday before final exams begin.  All students are encouraged to attend the presentations.

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