What Type Of Internships Do You Do When Your Major is Criminal Justice?

Criminal Justice students have access to a wide variety of internships. Some are at the local level and some are state or national opportunities. The determining factor is what career path you choose to follow.

Colleges and Universities are Resources for Finding Internships

The college at which you are studying can connect you with internships in local sheriff’s or police departments. Internships are also available within the judicial arm of law enforcement. If internships do not exist at the agency, often they can be negotiated by the school. There is a written list of expectations that interns must meet, and probably a minimum level of scholastic achievement. The conditions of the intern employment, including its length and possible conversion to a permanent position, are set by the hiring agencies. People wanting overall experience in law enforcement at the local level before committing to the academies would benefit from internships. Those seeking a career in victims’ advocacy would also benefit from an internship on a local level.

State Opportunities for Criminal Justice Internships

Criminal Justice careers at the state level include state police, the narcotics bureau, state crime commissioner’s office positions and internships with the Attorney General’s office. Other internships might be with the Department of Corrections or Bureau of Prisons. According to the website Lifetips, the best place to find out about internships in these fields is through the college where you are a student. The site recommends taking one in the area of your highest interest first.

State and National Agencies often Participate in the Federal Pathways Internship Program

Under certain guidelines, students may serve paid internships in several capacities. Pathway participants are students who intend to go into civil service. As such, Criminal Justice is only one of the internship directions offered. “Pathway” is administered by the hiring agency, and students may be hired for up to a year or for an indefinite period if their educational requisites demand it. If students show potential, and meet certain stipulations, they may be offered permanent positions at the end of their internships. ATF, the CBI and other federal law enforcement agencies participate in the Pathway Program. There are several guidelines for admission to the internships.

  • You must be at least 16 years old.
  • You must be enrolled at least half-time in an accredited college.
  • You must be enrolled in a Criminal Justice Degree program.
  • Applicants should have no lower than a 2.5 grade average on a 4 point system, and can earn no grade lower than a “C” during the internship.
  • You must be a US citizen, or a legal permanent resident.
  • Males must be registered with the Selective Service
  • You must submit to a background check

As with other internship programs, these positions could possibly become permanent at the conclusion of the internship. The federal program also offers a “pathway” to recent graduates. The requirements and provisions are similar to the ones listed here. You must apply for this program within two years of your graduation.

Internships Afford Opportunities in the Field

Internships allow students to find out if they are suited to the Criminal Justice field. The chance that positions may become permanent is a great incentive for participation.