CJ Internship Process




The Department of Criminal Justice offers internships for undergraduate and graduate students wishing to supplement traditional classroom education with a more practical and applied learning experience. Internships for graduate students are called practicums and follow the same application process but differ in eligibility requirements (see Eligibility section below) and have a greater expectation in fulfilling course requirements. Students have found internship opportunities within the full range of criminal justice agencies on the local, state, and federal level, as well as organizations (i.e., advocacy groups, etc.) that function to support the efforts of our justice system. Internships are a CJ program elective. Students are encouraged to participate as a means of exploring various career options, acquire valuable career skills and experience, and develop a network within agencies that will benefit them in their future career plans.


The program goal is for students to reflect on their internship experience and its effects on enhancing their knowledge and understanding of the criminal justice system and the personal and professional benefits the experience had on their career choice.

The program objectives are for students to:

1. Critically reflect on the personal expectations they had on entering their internship
2. Critically reflect on the knowledge gained from their internship experience
3. Critically reflect on the interpersonal and professional skills required in the agency's work
4. Critically reflect on the life changing experience of their internship

Prior to the start of their internship, students will be given the opportunity to identify areas of interest and develop learning outcomes related to the program objectives.


Eligibility for an undergraduate internship requires:

    • Senior status-90 hours earned by the start of the internship, for BS CJ students at least 15 hours of the CJ core completed. CJ minors should have at least 12 hours of the CJ core completed.
    • A minimum 2.5 GPA, however many internships require a minimum of 3.0 GPA.

Eligibility for a graduate internship (practicum) requires:

    • A minimum 3.0 GPA.
    • Completion of the MSCJ core courses.

Students interested in an internship/practicum are strongly encouraged to participate in the CJ annual career and internship fair. This will provide students with an opportunity to identify agencies willing to host an internship/practicum.


If you meet the requirements and are considering an internship, you must plan. Application for internships must be completed one semester before the beginning of your planned internship. The due dates for submission of your application and materials are:

    • Spring internship: September 15th – October 15th
    • Summer/Fall internship: February 15th – March 15th


To begin the internship process you must complete the following steps:

Step #1: Contact Kim Hendricks ()

    • To verify eligibility 
    • To receive the Internship Application Forms
    • Will be required to create a Handshake profile at the University Career Center's Handshake website https://louisville.joinhandshake.com/login. Students have the primary responsible in finding an internship. Handshake will provide opportunities in finding internships and can later be used for job searches. Additional resources include friends/family members, conducting searches on websites, and taking advantage of the resources offered by the CJ Department (i.e., CJ Career Fair). Assistance and guidance will be provided by the CJ internship coordinator and advisor

Step #2: Complete the Internship Application Forms

Once your application and materials have been approved you will be contacted by Dr. Joe Grant, CJ Internship Coordinator, who will advise you on finding an internship position.

Step #3: Educational Agreement Form

Once a position has been identified as meeting the requirements and expectations of the course and have been agreed upon by all parties, an Educational Agreement Form (PDF form, Appendix 3-Educational Agreement Form) must be signed in the order of, 1) the student, 2) the host agency supervisor, and 3) the CJ internship coordinator. This form will be sent by the internship coordinator to the student to start the signing process. When all parties have signed, it will be forwarded by the coordinator to Ms. Kim Hendricks who will approve the student for registration into the course.

Step #4: Preparing & Completing Your Internship

Prior to the start of the internship, the student will be required to attend an orientation covering the academic requirements for the successful completion of the course; the responsibilities and standards expected of the student during their internship; and the code of conduct the student is expected to follow while completing their time with the host agency. Students will also be made aware, by the host agency supervisor, of any rules and regulations they must follow while at their respective agency or organization.


Click here to watch the CJ Internship Informational Session - September 21, 2021

Internships with Federal Agencies: Internships with the federal agencies (i.e., Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the US Marshal Service, etc.) are separate application and acceptance processes. Announcements will be made through the Criminal Justice Department when these opportunities become available. If you secure one of these internships contact the CJ internship coordinator to participate in the CJ internship course for credit.
Interns as Ambassadors: As an intern, you are an ambassador for both the CJ Department and the University of Louisville. While fulfilling your responsibilities as an intern, it is mandatory that you conduct yourself with the highest degree of professionalism. Failure to do so could result in your inability to successfully complete this course.

Paid Internship: The majority of the internships in our program are non-paid. Paid internships are required to meet specific guidelines and must be approved by the CJ internship coordinator before they can be approved for college credit. You can take a paid internship but if it does not meet the requirements, it WILL NOT count toward college credits.

Internship at Current Place of Employment: As a General rule, internship positions offered at your current place of employment WILL NOT count toward college credit unless the internship exceeds in hours and differs in responsibilities from your current position.

Note: Additional documents may be requested to be completed by the host agency supervisor once an internship position has been established.