The Department of Biology offers its majors the opportunity to earn course credit for approved internships. A suitable internship is any intellectually challenging activity grounded in basic science that actively involves the student in the collection, analysis, and evaluation of data, or in other scholarly activities such as teaching biology. An internship typically is pursued at an off-campus site in conjunction with an extramural research or educational program. Examples of locations potentially suitable for an internship include research laboratories, field stations, zoos, aquariums, or museums. Although clinical experiences (e.g., work in physician's offices, hospital emergency rooms, or physical therapy facilities) are worthwhile, these are not suitable for internship credit, nor are enrichment activities such as non-credit courses.
In most cases, a research activity approved for internship credit will also count as a laboratory course. However, the Department will evaluate each internship for its suitability for laboratory credit. In any case, only one (1) of the upper-level laboratory courses required for the major may be filled by an internship; up to six total credits may be counted toward the 36 required of Biology majors. Any additional internship credit (up to 9, for an overall total of up to 15) must be counted as "free electives." An internship may be undertaken during either the academic year or the summer. Credits earned through an internship do require payment of Villanova tuition.
To qualify for an internship, Junior and Senior Biology majors must:
- have a GPA of 3.0 or greater at the time of application.
- apply for approval of an internship through the Department of Biology before registering for the internship.
Lists of possible sites and the associated contact persons for internships:
To apply for any internship (whether on the list or not), the student must:
- meet with the Internship Office and Department of Biology to discuss plans
- submit an application for internship credit through the Internship Program Office (typically requires junior or senior status and a GPA 3.0 or greater)
- submit a Learning Objectives Agreement
- submit a signed Internship Agreement to the Department of Biology, and remember to register for the course
- supply contact information for the on-site internship supervisor. Note that he/she must understand the requirements of the internship, and be able to provide you with at least the minimum number of hours for the internship. Internships may count for three or six credits; each three credits require a minimum of 150 hours of participatory activity. Note that the completion of some of the requirements, such as the log/journal and final research report will take additional time
- submit a proposal that fully describes the planned activities and objectives of their internship (submit by the third week of the semester or second week in summer; see the Internship Agreement above for further information)
- keep an Activity Log during the internship, and submit at the end
- submit an Internship Evaluation Report and final Research Paper for the internship (see Internship Agreement for more information). Submit copies to both the Internship Office and Department of Biology
To receive credit for the internship, the student’s performance on the journal and final report, as well as an evaluation of the student by the supervisor, must be deemed acceptable by a committee within the Department of Biology. Although the format of the final report may vary depending on the nature of the internship, a typical report should describe in detail the objectives and goals of the internship; how the objectives and goals were met; and any scientific interpretation or conclusions drawn from the experience. In the case of research projects, for example, the report should specifically include a description of the conceptual context/scope and objectives of the research, the methodology followed in the course of the research, the results obtained, and the interpretation of the results in the context of the project’s objectives.