The internship program, as part of the Criminal Justice major, is designed to provide students in their junior or senior year of academic study with field experience in the areas of criminal defense and prosecution, court administration, law enforcement, corrections, probation and parole, criminal justice planning, and juvenile justice. Each semester interns find placements in sites including Police Departments, Juvenile Justice Programs, Prosecutor's and Public Defender's Offices, Probation, Parole, and Correctional Institutions, Family and Criminal Courts. Completing an internship in the criminal justice field is an excellent way to network and make connections, to build field experience to help polish a résumé, as well as to lead to potential job opportunities post-graduation.
Students earn three credits for completing an internship, and may use these credits to satisfy the 400-level elective required for completion of the major. Students may only take 3 credits of internship per semester, and may earn a maximum of 6 credits overall. However, students may only apply 3 internship credits total toward their Criminal Justice major. Students must plan to have completed approx. 60 credits by the start of their internship. In order to complete an internship students must have a minimum, cumulative 3.0 GPA.
The internship consists of field placement and an actual course attendance. The internship course (01:202:406 or 01:202:407: or 01:202:408) is offered every semester, including the summer session. Students are required to register and attend the internship course during the same semester of their internship field placement. Overall, students are required to complete 120 hours of field work in the fall, spring, or summer term.
Students are encouraged to first research internship sites they are potentially interested in applying for placement—we can help students with initial contact to various agencies and organizations, but it is then up to the student to follow-up on their own. Students are advised to check out and contact: prosecutor office, public defender office, correctional facilities, police departments, criminal courts, federal agencies (FBI, DEA, ICE, HS, etc.), state agencies, medical examiner office, social service agencies, victim abuse shelters/victim rights organizations, private investigators, security offices/departments, etc. Additionally, students interested in an internship should check out the Internship Postings section of our website to find internship opportunities that are posted regularly. The requirements for locating an internship are that the position be criminal justice-oriented, and that the organization be able to guarantee the student a minimum of 120 hours.
Nota Bene: Students who hold a current position as a police officer may not complete an internship within a police department. Moreover, internship credits are not granted retroactively for previous employment or work completed in a criminal justice-related position.
Nota Bene: Students are not granted credit for internships at private law firms.
Once enrolled in the internship course, the Internship Coordinator will assist students throughout the completion of the internship and is available as a support resource.
“Make connections with fellow classmates, teachers, and the Criminal Justice department. You can't get better advice than from someone who is in your shoes, or has been at one time or another. Listen to them. Involve yourself in internships as early as possible, and get a feel for different [areas within the field of] criminal justice. You want to make sure what you are going to do in the future is what you really want to do: the only way you'll know is through experience and exposure.”
~Ashley M. ‘12
“I interned at the Superior Courthouse of New Jersey, Criminal Division, in the Mercer Vicinage, under the supervision of the Honorable Judge Pedro Jimenez. It was certainly an experience that I will hold with me for years to come. I gained a true insight into the workings of the court system, as well as a deeper meaning of how justice is served on an everyday basis. Judge Jimenez and his staff at the chambers made a wonderful impression and I'm grateful to have been given the opportunity to work alongside such great people. Since day one, I was able to interact with the judge and attorneys inside the courtroom, observe confidential sidebar conversations and life changing moments during pretrial hearings, as well as a lengthy trial, and much more. Back in the chambers, I was assigned to pre-sentence reports, where I was required to organize the previous criminal history of individuals being sentenced within the judge's courtroom. It was an amazing experience and I am proud to say that the relationships I forged with the staff still hold strong today.”
~Jennifer M. ‘14