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Internship/Practicum


Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology — Internship


The internship/practicum is one of three options for students in the master of arts in industrial organizational psychology program (MAIOP). This option provides the student with an opportunity to gain expertise in our field in an organizational setting. The internship option is for full-time students who are not currently employed and desire a temporary placement in an organization. The intern works on projects related to human resources management or organizational development in a supervised environment. The practicum option is for those students who are currently working fulltime in an organization. Both the internship and practicum options are described below.

MAIOP Internship Program
For more than twenty years, the MAIOP internship program at UNH has provided its organizational sponsors and interns with mutually beneficial experiences. Interns typically work in either human resources (HR), organizational development (OD) or related areas for a period of 3–9 months. Interns are sometimes compensated on an hourly basis for their work, or the organizational sponsor may provide a stipend for services.

The internship program provides MAIOP students with the opportunity to gain real-world experience in an organizational setting. The organizational supervisor is expected to offer supervision and training in a learning environment, and the intern is expected to make a significant contribution to the department’s objectives. Some companies have specific tasks or projects that they would like the intern to accomplish, while others assign a variety of general duties. MAIOP interns perform many HR/OD project activities such as the following:

  • Developing competency models
  • Designing and analyzing organizational surveys
  • Analyzing wage and salary structures
  • Developing exit interviews
  • Delivering training programs
  • Writing affirmative action policies
  • Updating policy and personnel manuals
  • Developing and implementing performance management programs
  • Reviewing and creating job descriptions
  • Working with HRIS
  • Recruiting and staffing
  • Developing behavioral interviews
  • Conducting focus groups

Students may choose to look for an internship on their own or seek the aid of the program coordinator, Dr. Dennis McGough, who has contacts with sponsors from a diverse range of organizations. Students must complete two internships for six academic credits (PSYC6693 and PSYC6694), either at the same organization or in two different settings.

Generally, students begin their internship experience in the spring trimester of their first year. The internship work schedule can be flexible to meet the needs of both sponsor and intern. Students who desire an internship are required to attend an internship workshop scheduled in early spring of the first academic year. Prior to beginning the internship, all MAIOP interns are expected to complete an Application to Register for Internship or Practicum form (PDF), and an Internship Description form (PDF). Complete instructions for documenting the internship experience are described in the MAIOP Internship Manual (PDF).

MAIOP Practicum Program
The practicum program is intended for full-time working professionals who attend the MAIOP program on a part-time basis. Practicum students complete a special project related to our field on their present job or elsewhere (if the job setting does not allow for an appropriate project experience). The goal of the practicum experience is to acquire out-of-classroom learning and expertise that will help students to meet their future career objectives.

To satisfy the practicum option, students are allowed to propose HR/OD projects in their current employment position. However, the practicum experience involves additional study and research on a project that goes above and beyond the student's normal job requirements. Students who are not able to complete a practicum project in their current workplace may create a learning opportunity in another setting. Following are examples of MAIOP practicum projects:

• Creating a pay-for-performance program
• Developing and delivering a conflict-management seminar
• Revising organizational recruitment processes
• Developing and analyzing an employee attitude survey
• Creating an organizational succession plan
• Researching and implementing employment tests
• Conducting workshops on diversity
• Creating work/life programs
• Developing competency models

Students must complete a total of two practica, (either one large project or two smaller projects) for six academic credits (PSYC6678 and PSYCH6679). The minimum amount of time spent on each practicum to fulfill the requirements for three graduate credits is 130 hours. Students generally register for practicum after completing 24 or more credits in the program.

Students consult with the program coordinator, Dr. McGough, to determine the nature and outcomes of the practicum experience. Prior to beginning the practicum, students must complete an Application to Register for Internship or Practicum form (PDF), and a Practicum Description form (PDF). Complete instructions for documenting the practicum experience are described in the MAIOP Practicum Manual (PDF).