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CRIMJ 495 - Internship in Criminal Justice (3-6): Experience with a criminal justice agency coordinated through readings and discussion. 


The criminal justice internship is designed to give students practical experience in the field prior to graduation.  Also, the internship often serves as a gateway to a future career in the criminal justice field. Students are expected to work with an agency over the course of a semester. 

This course is designed to give students the opportunity to earn academic credits for experiential learning. As such, the primary component of the course is satisfactory field experience. Students are required to work for the agency where placed for the appropriate number of hours corresponding with the credit hours for which the student is registered. The following sets forth the hours you are required to work: 

3 Credits: Total hours 150

6 Credits: Total hours 300

This component is mandatory, and you cannot pass the internship unless the minimum number of hours has been completed. Students may not begin an internship before the semester begins and the internship must end on or before the last scheduled day of class for that semester. 

Required Course Materials

Students must select two of the journal articles listed in the Library Reserve (online). These readings must be incorporated in the final paper. That is, the final paper should discuss your experience in part reference to those articles. 

To access Penn State library materials specifically reserved for this course, click on the Library Course Reserves

Library Resources

Many of the University Libraries resources can be utilized from a distance. Through the Libraries website, you can

  • access magazine, journal, and newspaper articles online using library databases;
  • borrow materials and have them delivered to your doorstep—or even your desktop;
  • get research help via email, chat, or phone using the Ask a Librarian service; and
  • much more. 

You must have an active Penn State Access Account to take full advantage of the Libraries' resources and service.  The Off-Campus Users page has additional information about these free services.

Technical Requirements

Technical Requirements
Operating System

Canvas, Penn State's Learning Management System (LMS), supports most recent versions of Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac operating systems. 

To determine if your operating system is supported, please review Canvas' computer specifications.


Canvas supports the last two versions of every major browser release. It is highly recommended that you update to the newest version of whatever browser you are using.

Please note that Canvas does not support the use of Internet Explorer. Students and instructors should choose a different browser to use.   

To determine if your browser is supported, please review the list of Canvas Supported Browsers.

Note: Cookies must be enabled, and pop-up blockers should be configured to permit new windows from Penn State websites.
Additional Canvas Requirements For a list of software, hardware, and computer settings specifically required by the Canvas LMS, please review Canvas' computer specifications.
Additional Software

All Penn State students have access to Microsoft Office 365, including Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Students will need a PDF reader, such as Adobe Reader.


Monitor: Monitor capable of at least 1024 x 768 resolution
Audio: Microphone, Speakers
Camera (optional, recommended): Standard webcam - many courses may require a webcam for assignments or exam proctoring software.

Mobile Device (optional) The Canvas mobile app is available for versions of iOS and Android. To determine if your device is capable of using the Canvas Mobile App, please review the Canvas Mobile App Requirements.

If you need technical assistance at any point during the course, please contact the Service Desk.

For registration, advising, disability services, help with materials, exams, general problem solving, visit World Campus Student Services!

Course Requirements and Grading

Reflective Journal

Students are required to keep journals reflecting their activities on a weekly basis. Entries should be 2-paragraphs to one page describing the activity of that week, reflecting on thoughts, feelings or new experiences, and specifying hours spent working at the internship for the day. Students should strive to reflect on their experiences in a way that relates those experiences to their coursework in criminal justice.  Students are required to submit journal entries once a week to the Reflective Journal Drop Box. Students should submit their journals by 11:59 PM on Sunday nights. 

Log Hours

Students are required to keep track of the hours worked, and they must have their supervisors review and initial a listing of hours worked.  There is a month grid provided for this function in the Bi Weekly Log Module. Students are to compile and maintain a listing of days and hours worked, and then have their supervisors sign off on the hours.  These listings should be submitted bi-weekly to the Bi Weekly Log Drop Box by 11:59 PM on Sunday nights. 

Field Evaluation

The field supervisor at the agency is requested to evaluate the student's performance twice during the semester: the mid-semester evaluation and the final evaluation.  Under particular circumstances, the PSU criminal justice internship coordinator may contact the field supervisor to collect that information. Students are required to print out the forms as they can be found in the Field Supervisor Evaluation Forms Module, have their supervisor fill out the forms, and submit the forms to the same folder.

Writing Assignment

The writing assignment requires you to choose two scholarly articles from the course's e-reserves and will consist of no fewer than 2,000 words for 3 credits and no fewer than 3,000 for 6 creditsNote that the title page and reference page word counts do not count toward the total requirement.The paper will be typed, double-spaced, and Times 12 font will be used. This assignment requires you to merge what you have read and experienced into the paper. This means you will thoroughly integrate the readings with your experiences. Please take this portion of the course seriously and produce a quality essay.  It is the culminating event of this course and is heavily weighted in the final grade for the course. 

You are required to submit your paper to the Final Writing Drop Box. Papers are due by 11:59 PM on the first day of finals week which is, April 29, 2019. Late papers and journals will be subject to a 10% reduction in grade. 

Please use APA style including face page, abstract, and reference section. If you are unfamiliar with APA Style, here are three resources we recommend: ​

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison's Web site.
  • David Warlick's Citation Machine
  • The Penn State Library system. Follow the steps below:
    • Go to the PSU Library
    • Find the "Research Tools" link;
    • Select "Online Reference Resources" link;
    • Scroll down to "Writing Resources/Style Manuals" link;
    • Click on the "APA" link
  • -- This feature will provide a flawless citation for your reference section every time.

Your course grade is calculated as follows:

Grading Items
Grading ItemsPoints
Instructor's Evaluation of Journal25
Submission of Bi-Weekly Logs10
Instructor's Evaluation of Final Paper40
Evaluation of student from site25

The grades of A, B, C, D, and F indicate the following qualities of academic performance:

  • A = (Excellent) Indicates exceptional achievement
  • B = (Good) Indicates extensive achievement
  • C = (Satisfactory) Indicates acceptable achievement
  • D= (Poor) Indicates only minimal achievement
  • F = (Failure) Indicates inadequate achievement necessitating a repetition of the course in order to secure credit.
Grading Scale
A94% to 100%
A-90% to 93.9%
B+87% to 89.9%
B84% to 86.9%
B-80% to 83.9%
C+77% to 79.9%
C70% to 76.9%
D60% to 69.9%
FBelow 60%

Please refer to the University Grading Policy for Undergraduate Courses for additional information about University grading policies.

Course Schedule

Note that assignments are due based on the North American Eastern Standard time zone (ET). This ensures that all students have the same deadlines regardless of where they live. 

Note: If you are planning to graduate this semester, please communicate your intent to graduate to your instructor. This will alert your instructor to the need to submit your final grade in time to meet the published graduation deadlines. For more information about graduation policies and deadlines, please go to the Graduation Information on the My Penn State Online Student Portal.
  • Course Length: 16 weeks

Disclaimer: Please note that the specifics of this Course Syllabus are subject to change, and you will be responsible for abiding by any such changes. Your instructor will notify you of any changes.

Formal instruction will end on the last day of class. Provided that you have an active Penn State Access Account user ID and password, you will continue to be able to access the course materials for one year, starting from the end date of the academic semester in which the course was offered (with the exception of library reserves and other external resources that may have a shorter archival period). After one year, you might be able to access the course based on the policies of the program or department offering the course material, up to a maximum of three years from the end date of the academic semester in which the course was offered. For more information, please review the University Course Archival Policy.

Academic Integrity

According to Penn State policy G-9: Academic Integrity , an academic integrity violation is “an intentional, unintentional, or attempted violation of course or assessment policies to gain an academic advantage or to advantage or disadvantage another student academically.” Unless your instructor tells you otherwise, you must complete all course work entirely on your own, using only sources that have been permitted by your instructor, and you may not assist other students with papers, quizzes, exams, or other assessments. If your instructor allows you to use ideas, images, or word phrases created by another person (e.g., from Course Hero or Chegg) or by generative technology, such as ChatGPT, you must identify their source. You may not submit false or fabricated information, use the same academic work for credit in multiple courses, or share instructional content. Students with questions about academic integrity should ask their instructor before submitting work.

Students facing allegations of academic misconduct may not drop/withdraw from the affected course unless they are cleared of wrongdoing (see G-9: Academic Integrity ). Attempted drops will be prevented or reversed, and students will be expected to complete course work and meet course deadlines. Students who are found responsible for academic integrity violations face academic outcomes, which can be severe, and put themselves at jeopardy for other outcomes which may include ineligibility for Dean’s List, pass/fail elections, and grade forgiveness. Students may also face consequences from their home/major program and/or The Schreyer Honors College.

How Academic Integrity Violations Are Handled
World Campus students are expected to act with civility and personal integrity; respect other students' dignity, rights, and property; and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their own efforts. An environment of academic integrity is requisite to respect for oneself and others, as well as a civil community.

In cases where academic integrity is questioned, the Policy on Academic Integrity indicates that procedure requires an instructor to inform the student of the allegation. Procedures allow a student to accept or contest a charge. If a student chooses to contest a charge, the case will then be managed by the respective college or campus Academic Integrity Committee. If that committee recommends an administrative sanction (Formal Warning, Conduct Probation, Suspension, Expulsion), the claim will be referred to the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response.

All Penn State colleges abide by this Penn State policy, but review procedures may vary by college when academic dishonesty is suspected. Information about Penn State's academic integrity policy and college review procedures is included in the information that students receive upon enrolling in a course. To obtain that information in advance of enrolling in a course, please contact us by going to the Contacts & Help page .

Academic integrity includes a commitment to not engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation or deception. Such acts of dishonesty include cheating or copying, plagiarizing, submitting another persons' work as one's own, using Internet sources without citation, fabricating field data or citations, "ghosting" (taking or having another student take an exam), stealing examinations, tampering with the academic work of another student, facilitating other students' acts of academic dishonesty, etc. Students charged with a breach of academic integrity will receive due process and, if the charge is found valid, academic sanctions may range, depending on the severity of the offense, from a grade of "F" for the assignment to a grade of "F" for the course. 


Derived from the Latin word Plagiarius, plagiarism is defined by Alexander Lindly as "The false assumption of authorship: the wrongful act of taking the product of another person's mind, and presenting it as one's own." (Plagiarism and Originality. New York: Harper, 1952, p. 2). Plagiarism may take the form of repeating another's sentences as your own, adopting a particularly apt phrase as your own, paraphrasing someone else's argument as your own, or even presenting someone else's line of thinking in the development of a thesis as though it were your own. In short, to plagiarize is to give the impression that you have written or thought something that you have in fact borrowed from another. Although a writer may use another person's words and thoughts, they must be acknowledged as such. Plagiarism is cheating. Any student caught plagiarizing the work of another will, at the very least, receive an "F" for the course, and could lead to expulsion from the University. Your attention is again directed to the Senate Policy 49-20 "Academic Integrity" with regards to this important topic.

Plagiarism is considered to be any one or more of the following:

  1. Extracting any sentence from another text without quotation marks and a supporting citation.
  2.  Extracting a portion of any sentence from another text without enclosing it in quotation marks and a supporting citation.
  3. "Cut-&-Paste" or “Mosaic” plagiarism occurs when a student eliminates or adds one or two words to an existing sentence, or abbreviates a compound sentence. (For example, the first of the three following sentences is the original in a text, and it appears as a properly cited quotation. Those that follow the first sentence would be considered "cut-and-paste" plagiarism. "The German sociologist Max Weber, although best known to students of public administration for his analysis of rational bureaucracy, has had a broad impact on the social sciences" (Denhardt, 1993, p. 30). "It has been said that Max Weber, although best known to students of public administration for his analysis of rational bureaucracy, has had a broad impact on the social sciences." "The German sociologist Max Weber has had a broad impact on the social sciences."
  4. Also considered under this title is any paper submitted in which the cited material is not designated by quotation marks in the text of the paper. It has been my experience that authors of such papers are attempting to shield themselves under a mantle that has come to be known in political circles as "Plausible Deniability." In short, the defense "I didn't know what I was doing was wrong" will not be accepted.
  5. A good rule of thumb would be, if you use four or more of the original words of an author in succession, then they must be enclosed by quotation marks and a proper citation should accompany their use. Contained in this endnote are important observations and statements from Penn State and other national and universities on the topic of plagiarism. Please review these carefully as you will be held responsible for their contents.

Accommodating Disabilities

Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs. Every Penn State campus has resources for students with disabilities. The Student Disability Resources (SDR) website provides contacts for disability services at every Penn State campus. For further information, please visit the SDR website.

In order to apply for reasonable accommodations, you must contact the appropriate disability resources office at the campus where you are officially enrolled, participate in an intake interview, and provide documentation based on the documentation guidelines. If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus's disability resources office will provide you with an accommodation letter. Please share this letter with your instructors and discuss the accommodations with them as early in your courses as possible. You must follow this process for every semester that you request accommodations.

Additional Policies

For information about additional policies regarding Penn State Access Accounts; credit by examination; course tuition, fees, and refund schedules; and drops and withdrawals, please see the World Campus Student Center website.

If you have a crisis or safety concern, mental health services are available to you as a Penn State student. Crisis and emergency contacts are available, no matter where you are located:

The information contained on this page is designed to give students a representative example of material covered in the course. Any information related to course assignments, dates, or course materials is illustrative only. For a definitive list of materials, please check the online catalog 3-4 weeks before the course start date.

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