Q: Why should an internship be a part of my undergraduate education?
Instead of entering your career field "cold turkey," you can enter your field with a semester of valuable internship experience. Internship education allows students to answer a frequently asked question, "What experience do you have?" with a resounding "Let me show you my dossier." As an internship student, you will have experience as a professional in the field of your choice.
In the process of completing the internship you will:
- Explore career interests;
- Apply skills learned in the classroom;
- Learn new skills;
- Earn college credit in positions approved by biology department; and
- Develop professional and personal skills.
Q: Who is eligible for an internship for college credit at UCO?
Any of our biology majors who meet the academic requirements for the program are eligible for an internship in biology. This means that biology majors in any of the career fields involving field biology, laboratory biology, or some combination of both should consider internship education as a valid means of preparing for a career. Students must have junior or senior standing (minimum of 60 hours completed, of which 12 hours must have been completed at UCO) and have completed the equivalent of the biology core courses of the University of Central Oklahoma. The minimum GPA requirement is 2.75 in both Biology and overall course work. Students must be in good standing in all areas with the biology department.
Q: What is internship education in Biology at UCO?
Internships are opportunities for students who show excellence in the traditional classroom setting to expand their academic preparation in the career field of their choice. Biology faculty help students design internships that have objectives and duties suited for the career chosen by the student. When finished with the internship, the student will have completed a dossier containing three parts: a daily log describing everyday internship activities, a compilation of protocols, and a final report. Evaluations by the intern mentor (biology faculty member) and the on-site supervisor are designed to provide the student with valuable feedback for professional and personal development.
Q: When do I prepare the internship?
To be most effective, the internship should carefully timed in your program of study (i.e., in your junior or senior year, during the spring, summer, or fall) As you can imagine, this is important because some internships are not available year-round. Once you choose the semester of the internship, good internships take time to plan, usually about one month. The planning phase of the internship is every bit as important as the on-site duties. During this time the student lists career interests, finds internship sites that provide desired experience or training, and prepares an application. This may even involve contacting a new internship site, which may prolong the planning process. These activities build communication skills and clearly establish the activities that will be conducted at the internship site. Contact the internship advisor, Hari Kotturi, Ph.D., to plan your internship.