Prepare for your future career. Gain professional skills and practical work experience. Enhance your resume. Establish professional references.
Internships allow students to explore the world of anthropology and work in an environment where classroom knowledge is applied to practical learning skills. The department maintains relationships with many local organizations and government offices to assist students in finding an internship placement matched to their interests and career goals. Limited stipends may be available to students who have a financial need and who complete an internship with a not-for-profit 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization.
If you are interested in an internship, review the information on this web page and update your resume (see internship prerequisites below), then contact Dr. Zhao, the Faculty Coordinator of the Internship Program. Send him your updated resume and a description of your interests and career goals. If there are any particular internships that have caught your eye, let him know in your email.
If you represent a community-based organization, government office, or corporation that is interested in hosting, and you would like more information on participating in our internship program, please send an email to Dr. Zhao.
The College of Arts & Sciences has established the following internship prerequisites.
To qualify for enrollment in a cooperative internship course for credit, each student is required to present:
- Either 45 credit hours, including 9 in the unit in which credit is sought, or 60 credit hours, including 6 in the unit in which credit is sought;
- A minimum grade point average of 2.5 for all coursework taken; and
- A completed Application for Enrollment in Cooperative Internship Form (obtain from Dr. Zhao).
Transfer students must have completed one full semester of work (12 hours).
A maximum of 12 credits of internship (including hours earned in General Studies 301) may apply toward the 12 hours required for the degree.
Students interested in finding an internship placement should also have an up-to-date resume. This site offers some great advice on putting together a resume.
You can schedule an appointment at UofL's Career Development Center for some individual assistance in making the most of your resume. You can visit their office in Houchen's Building to schedule the appointment.
For 3 credit hours:
- Work 120-140 hours for your internship (including the time to complete assignments #2-6).
- Keep a record of your hours and activities. At a minimum this record should list the date, number of hours, and a summary of the activities you did on that date.
- Keep an internship journal (250 words for every 10 hours of work) where you reflect on your internship experiences. This journal can take any form you wish. The audience you are writing for is yourself and me. Keep in mind the need to protect the privacy of individuals you work with. You may want to consider using initials or pseudonyms to avoid disclosing private information.
- Complete a small project (or projects) for the agency where you are placed. The project should be developed in consultation with your internship supervisor. The project can take many possible forms: brochure, website, event, curriculum, display case, etc. It should fulfill a need of the agency and help you develop your professional skills as well as result in a concrete product that you can use as evidence of your abilities in your future job search. Evidence of internship project(s) should be included in the internship portfolio.
- Write a reflection essay (see below).
- Turn in an Internship Portfolio.
The internship portfolio contains all documents related to your internship experience. It should include the following:
- Time sheets and activity logs.
- Internship journal. (250 words for every 10 hours of work.)
- Documentation or tangible evidence of your product or deliverables.
- Updated resume with your internship included, and a narrative for a job letter describing your internship experience.
- Reflection Essay.
This essay will be included in your internship portfolio. You should discuss what you have learned during your internship. There are various questions you might want to answer:
- What have I learned from this internship about myself and how I work?
- What have I learned about working for a Community-Based Organization?
- What was surprising about my internship?
- In what ways has this internship and the work I did contributed to my practical learning and career goals?
- How did my internship relate to the coursework in my major?
- What would I do differently if I had the opportunity to intern at this CBO, or any CBO, again?
Sample Internship Projects
Selective Potential Internship Sites
AAA Summer Internship Program
Do you have an interest in marine archaeology or African art? Maybe you just want a productive way to spend your summer getting hands-on experience working in anthropology as well as in an office environment. Whatever your career goals may be, the AAA internship program provides two exceptional students with the opportunity to spend a summer earning valuable work experience and living in Washington, DC.
"I appreciated the reality of the internship, the kindness of the people I worked with and the glimpse of world-applicable work that I received," said 2015 AAA Summer intern, Emily Haver. "The things I treasure most are the connections I made with fellow archaeologists and culture enthusiasts, and the ideas they gave to lead me to my next steps in anthropology."
Funded entirely by member donations, AAA internships are six weeks in length, running from the end of June through August. The internships are unpaid, but interns will be provided housing and a meal/travel stipend.
Interns will spend the majority of their time working on-site at either the Naval History & Heritage Command or the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. Individuals selected for the program will also have the opportunity to work on special projects at the AAA offices in Arlington, VA.
Download and submit your application and supporting materials here: AAA Intership Application
The Ali Center's mission is to preserve and share the legacy and ideals of Muhammad Ali: to promote respect, hope, and understanding, and to inspire adults and children to be as great as they can be. Volunteer internships are available for students interested in curation and cataloging, as well as educational positions. For more information visit the Ali Center's site.
Americana Community Center
Americana is a non-profit center that provides numerous services for the diverse residents of Metro Louisville. Interns will work with refugee and immigrant families, as well as U.S. born families. You could assist with after-school programs, family education, special events, and improvement projects. For more information visit the Americana site.
Archaeology Research Labs
There are internships available on campus for students looking for experience working in an archaeology lab, processing artifacts, working with databases, and other curatorial issues.
The Backside Learning Center (BLC)
The Backside Learning Center (BLC) enhances the lives of equine workers by providing education, life skill resources, and community to the people who work with the horses in the barn area of Churchill Downs. Roughly 80% of the backstretch population is Latino. The BLC currently offers classes in English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL), English practice, Spanish for English speakers, art, citizenship, technology, guitar, and yoga. In addition the BLC provides one-on-one ESL tutoring, a computer lab, game night, and movie night. The BLC is able to offer this programming free of charge to the students thanks to a dedicated team of volunteers and generous donors. Backside Learning Center
Catholic Charities of Louisville/ Migration and Refugee Services
Catholic Charitie/Migration and Refugee Services is a non-profit agency that provides resettlement services to refugees who are admitted to the United States through the U.S Department of State. Catholic Charities/MRS works with refugees from various countries in order to support self-sufficiency and long-term integration. Interns at MRS can assist by tutoring a new client in English language training, providing transportation to medical and/or social service appointments, mentoring a newly arriving family, or assisting special needs clients with overcoming barriers to independence. Our interns acquire important skills during their internship placement such as how to work cross-culturally and navigate complex social service systems. Our interns also gain a better understanding of the intersection of displacement, culture, and human rights. For more information, please visit the Catholic Charities/Migration and Refugee Services Website.
The Center for Women and Families
The Center is a private, non-profit organization serving eleven Kentuckiana counties. Its mission is to help victims of intimate partner abuse or sexual violence become survivors with supportive services, community education, and cooperative partnerships. Interns will engage in hands-on activities with local women and families that have been the victims of abuse, helping them rebuild their lives. For more information visit the Center for Women and Families' site.
Community Farm Alliance
This grassroots organization is made possible by people committed to family-scale farming, which they see as the most efficient and sustainable form of producing quality foods. They are also helping protect the environment and strengthen rural community life. Interns can get involved with lobbying, creating policy changes, educational activities, and research. For more information visit the Community Farm Alliance's site.
Kentuckians for the Commonwealth
Kentuckians for the Commonwealth is a statewide citizens organization working for a new balance of power and a just society. As they work together they build their strength, individually and as a group, and find solutions to real-life problems. They use direct action to challenge - and change - unfair political, economic and social systems. Membership is open to all people who are committed to equality, democracy and non-violent change.
Kentucky Refugee Ministries
This non-profit organization provides resettlement services to refugees who are legally admitted by the U.S. State Department. KRM promotes self-sufficiency and successful integration into the local community. Interns may work closely with incoming families, gain database experience, and assist refugees with resettlement documents, medical appointments, and English classes. For more information visit the Kentucky Refugee Ministries' site.
New Roots, Inc.
New Roots has a mission to develop a just and sustainable food system in the Ohio River Valley region. The organization is working to improve access to fresh food for urban residents. Partnering with churches, synagogues, and community centers, New Roots has established distribution points for fresh foods. Interns can assist in nutritional research, educational activities, and healthy policy campaigns. For more information visit the New Roots site.
Office for International and Cultural Affairs
The OIA strives to create a multicultural community recognized for its climate of support and quality of life for all residents. Interns can learn first-hand through project opportunities, invitations to meetings and seminars, and administrative work. Assist in the resettlement process of refugees, mobilize skills within ethnic communities, or help with projects like art fairs to increase visibility. For more information visit the OIA's site.
Planned Parenthood's mission is to promote and ensure an environment in which women, men and teens from all backgrounds are able to access confidential, affordable, quality reproductive health care; and to educate and support individuals so they are able to make informed decisions about their sexual well being. Interns will work in clinic services, education and/or advocacy. Planned Parenthood of KY programs and projects include teen R.E.A.C.H. peer education, Let's Talk/Hablemos workshops for families, Men's Engagement initiative, and Latino community outreach. For more information visit Planned Parenthood's site.
Public Archaeology Internship
This internship provides experience working with archaeologists from the Kentucky Archaeological Survey conducting public and educational archaeology programs as well as other archaeological projects. Students will learn strategies for conducting public archaeology and participate in an on-going program at Riverside, the Farnsley-Moreman Landing. They also will get experience in archaeological field work and lab work. For more information visit the Kentucky Archaeological Survey site. Click here for the Riverside main site.
Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program (RAPP)
RAPP is dedicated to the empowerment of refugee families and communities through their engagement in agricultural opportunities throughout Louisville, KY. Over 150 growers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burma, Burundi, Somalia, and Bhutan increase supplemental income and community integration through partnerships with local businesses, agricultural organizations, farmers, and University staff and Extension Agents. RAPP partners support clients to access land, provide culturally-appropriate training and technical assistance on production and marketing topics, and to increase production for community consumption and direct marketing. Clients sell produce to ethnic food stores, at Farmers' Markets, to restaurants, to a local food distribution company, and to other community members. RAPP has ample opportunities for internships in the areas of sustainable agriculture, ethnographic studies, direct marketing, local food systems studies, and many others. To learn more visit RAPP's main site.
Internships are periodically available in the Louisville district. These are paid, but highly competitive positions, only available when nationally advertised. Interns can provide technical support to plan, develop, implement and evaluate programs for cultural resource management. Specific duties include: research to identify historic and archaeological sites, mapping, data entry, preparation of charts/tables, and lab work. For more information visit the US Army Corp of Engineers' site.
World Affairs Council of Kentucky/Southern Indiana (WACA)
The World Affairs Council (WACA) is a non-profit educational organization that promotes global activity. WACA hosts international visitors in conjunction with the U.S. Department of State and other governmental agencies and sponsors speaker programs and educational activities for the greater Louisville area. Previous anthropology interns at WACA have gone on to positions in the State Department and international NGOs. For more information visit the WACA site.
Additional Internships and Applied Anthropology Opportunities
Students can participate in other internships that are not directly sponsored by the Department of Anthropology. In the past, students have done internships with the UNHCR in India, a Middle East development organization in Washington D.C., and with activist groups in Louisville. If you have a specific internship opportunity in mind, contact a professor in the Department of Anthropology. Also, be sure to review opportunities for undergraduate research with professors in the Department of Anthropology.