Internship Program Overview

The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice internship program is offered as a 3 credit, pass/fail, course entitled "Field Experience" CCJ 4940. It requires a minimum of twelve hours a week during the course of the semester, and these hours can be scheduled in any fashion that is agreed upon by the student and the agency. While the course in primarily designed for criminal justice majors in their senior year, exceptions for non-majors and second semester juniors are made on a case-by-case basis. Students taking the course during the summer must be registered for session #1, which is the full twelve weeks of the summer. Students must also have a GPA of 2.5 or better.

Any student who has any type of arrest record or a pending charge must advise the Internship Coordinator in advance of contacting an agency.

Students electing to take Field Experience should confer with the department's internship coordinator, Professor Richard Mangan, at least two to three months prior to the semester in which they intend to do the internship. Federal agencies normally require three to four months or more of lead time to process applicants. Nearly all of the agencies offering an internship require interviews, application submissions and background checks prior to accepting a student intern. Many also require polygraph examinations. This process can be lengthy and requires early preparation.

It is the responsibility of the student to select an agency within the criminal justice system to perform the internship. Discussing the various options with the department internship coordinator can facilitate this process. The student then needs to contact the agency and make application for the internship. Registering for the field experience course (CCJ-4940) requires permission of the internship coordinator, and this cannot be done until the agency has approved the student for the semester that he or she requested. After the student has completed the department internship form and has registered for the course, the department will send a letter to the agency supervisor indicating that the student is eligible to take the internship and must complete at least twelve hours per week. At the end of the semester, an evaluation form which will detail the student's performance will be mailed to the agency supervisor for completion.

Once the internship has begun, the student is responsible for maintaining a journal and submitting a report every two weeks to the internship coordinator. These reports (which can be submitted by email) should summarize the activities in which the student was involved during the previous two-week period. At the end of the internship, each student must submit a final paper which will address the strengths and weaknesses that the student perceived in the internship program, and what the student learned from the internship. The paper should also contain a description of the agency where the internship was performed, its organizational structure, and an analysis of the agency's strengths and weaknesses. This final paper should be six to eight pages in length, double spaced, using standard page margins and a font no larger than 10 or 12. It must be submitted to the internship coordinator by the last day of classes prior to final exams.

The following list of agencies is an example of places where students have performed internships in the past. It is not meant to be all inclusive. There are also some descriptions of the various program types offered by certain agencies.

Internship: Field Experience-ccj-4940 verses Co-Op-ccj-3949

Many students are confused about the difference between Field Experience internship (CCJ-4940) and the Cooperative Education course (CCJ-3949) offered by this department. While both courses are listed in the undergraduate catalog for 3 credits, the catalog also states that the credits for the Cooperative Education course do not count towards graduation. The credits for Field Experience do count towards graduation. The reason for this is that the student taking the Cooperative Education course is being paid by the agency, and a student cannot receive credit towards graduation and be paid at the same time. Students need to choose between receiving credit or being paid for their internship.

For students who are considering going to law school after earning their B.A. degree, the following agencies have proven to be of considerable value to students who have recently interned there.

  • Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office
    West Palm Beach
  • Palm Beach County Public Defender's Office
    West Palm Beach
  • Broward County Public Defender's Office
    Ft. Laudedale

Students should also consider interning at private law firms in the South Florida area.

For students who are considering a possible career in local law enforcement, the following agencies have demonstrated effective programs: Since phone numbers and personnel change too frequently to keep material on the web up to date, please check the main agency numbers and ask for the internship office.

  • Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office
    West Palm Beach
  • Coral Springs Police Department
    Coral Springs
  • Boca Raton Police Department
    Boca Raton
  • Delray Beach Police Department
    Delray Beach
  • Palm Beach Police Department
    Palm Beach

Students interested in Florida State agencies may consider the following:

  • Florida Highway Patrol - Victim Advocacy Unit
  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
    (Formerly the Florida Marine Patrol)
  • Florida Department of Law Enforcement
    Miami Office
  • Florida Atlantic University Police Department
    Boca Raton campus
  • Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverage and Tobacco
    West Palm Beach

Student who have an interest in the fields of Juvenile Justice and Crises Intervention may consider the following agencies:

  • Department of Juvenile Justice
    Pompano Beach
  • Department of Juvenile Justice
    West Palm Beach
  • Boca Raton Police Department
    Victim Advocate Office

    Boca Raton

Students who are interested in Crime Scene Investigation, Forensics (fingerprint identification, tool marks & firearms identification, photo lab) as well as non-sworn law enforcement positions in these areas should consider the following:

  • Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office - Technical Services Bureau
    West Palm Beach
  • Palm Beach County Criminal Justice Commission
    West Palm Beach

Students interested in doing an internship at a federal agency should plan to apply at least three months prior to the semester in which the internship will be performed. Background investigations and the selection process is considerably longer than with state and local agencies. The following agencies have recently hosted FAU interns:

  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
    Miami Field Office
  • U.S. Secret Service
    Miami Field Office
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
    Miami Field Office
  • U. S. Marshals Service
    Miami Field Office
  • U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General
    Broward County
  • US Department of Veterans Affairs
    Office of the Inspector General

    Palm Beach County
  • U.S. Postal Inspection Service
    Pembroke Pines
  • United States Probation Office
    West Palm Beach
  • United States Probation Office
    Ft. Lauderdale

Students who plan to register for Field Experience need to complete the department form on the following page and submit it along with a Drop/Add form to the department internship coordinator. Registration cannot be completed through Owl-link and must have the signature of the coordinator.

Click here to view the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice Internship Application

Content Last Updated on: November 17, 2014
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