Prospective Interns


Enrollment for JS 181 opens at the beginning of your registration period. Please submit your complete internship materials to the department at least two weeks before the start of the semester.  

Process of Becoming an Intern

Justice Studies students should begin thinking about the kind of internship setting they would like to work in by the beginning of the junior year, and should begin the process of applying for specific internship opportunities during the semester before they intend to enroll.

  1. Read the Internship FAQ page, which should answer the majority of your initial questions.
  2. Download and review the JS 181 course syllabus. When the course goals are understood, it is time to find an internship placement.

Please apply to several internships, as some agencies are competitive.

To find an internship placement

  1. Review the Internship Opportunities page, followed by SJSU's Internship Opportunities page, and then SJSU Handshake.
  2. You can also meet with internship faculty advisors, attend internship informational meetings / lectures, peruse SJSU's Internship Resources page, and / or contact agencies directly about the internships they offer.

Students interested in working with agencies that require extensive background checks (such as most federal agencies and many state agencies) should start the application process at least six months to a year before they plan to register. It is the student’s responsibility to find an appropriate internship site in a timely manner. Failure to do so may delay the student’s graduation.

Many internships—including federal law enforcement—may require prolonged application processes, often starting with submitting materials online. Students should begin looking for internships several months (or even years, e.g., see US Secret Service) in advance of signing up for the class. 

Internship Registration

There are several steps to registering for JS 181.

  1. During the registration period (typically starting in April or November) for the planned internship semester, prospective interns must fill out the Internship Add Code Application [Google Form]. This application is used to assign students to an internship adviser and to distribute add codes for each advisor's JS 181 course section.
  2. Submit required paperwork to the Department of Justice Studies. Paperwork may be emailed to
    • Unlisted internships require approval in advance from Internship Coordinator.
    • All paperwork must be complete.
    • Deadline to submit paperwork: although the official deadline to add classes is stated on the Registrar's Calendar, we can not guarantee that there will be seats available by the deadline. We encourage you to secure your internship and turn in all completed paperwork no later than the first week of the semester.
  3. Students receive email stating approval with an add code and section number, or disapproval and reasons why. Students may not register for an internship section until an add code is received.
  4. Login to MySJSU and add the course with the add code. If you proceed all the way to step 3 on the site and see a green check mark, you have successfully added the course.
    • Adding the course, however, does not guarantee an internship.
    • Students must maintain good relationships with and availability for the submitted internship site.
    • Students who do not may be dropped from the class or receive a grade of 'NC' for the course. 

After locating and securing an internship with an approved agency (and having gained approval from the Internship Coordinator if seeking an Unlisted Internship with an agency not on our listing):

  1. Meet with your internship supervisor, the person to whom one reports at the agency and fill out the following documents:
  2. Once both documents listed above are signed, submit them via email to, subject line, "Internship Paperwork" or drop them off at the JS Office, MH524.  

Unlisted Internships

Students may not satisfy the internship requirement with a placement that is not approved in advance by the Department of Justice Studies. Periodically, a student will find an internship placement that is not on the list of approved internships. In such cases, the student must gain approval from the Internship Coordinator or the Department Chair.

Criteria for Unlisted Internship Approval

  1. The mission and values of the organization must be consistent with those of the Department of Justice Studies.
  2. The intern will do work that is instrumental to advancing the mission of the organization. No more than 20% of internship time may be used for mundane tasks such as clerical work, observations, or answering phones.
  3. Students will have the opportunity to complete 120 hours of service within the internship semester or summer session.
  4. There will be a designated supervisor who will agree to be responsible for overseeing the intern's work, reporting the intern's hours, and evaluating the intern at the end of the semester or summer session.
  5. The organization will enter into formal agreement over the parameters of each intern's placement.

Request Unlisted Internship Approval

Submit the following to the Internship Coordinator:

  1. Request for Approval of Unlisted Internship Form [pdf]
  2. A quality assurance letter on organization letterhead signed by the supervisor at the agency

The quality assurance letter must clearly spell out the mission and values of the organization, the duties that the intern would perform, and guarantee that the internship will meet the criteria above. Only after gaining written approval from the Internship Coordinator or the Department Chair may the student enroll in JS 181 with that placement.