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Anthropology 393, Internship in Anthropology, provides you as an anthropology student with the opportunity to engage in internships within or beyond the University which have a significant anthropological learning component.

An internship related to anthropology can be a very rewarding experience. An internship with an anthropological component can be a rich and challenging opportunity for you to engage in “hands-on” learning in anthropology, allowing you to apply and extend your anthropological knowledge. Particularly when such an internship is in an agency with a demonstrable anthropological objective, e.g. the Smithsonian Institution, it may have direct bearing on a future career in practicing or academic anthropology (see the section Advice on Career Tracks). Internships in an agency without specific objectives in anthropology may also be potentially valuable in learning more about “practicing anthropology” — indeed, it may help you to think originally about how you might practice anthropology in a future career (see the section Practicing Anthropology). In short, there are many good intellectual reasons for doing an internship, and beside, a successful one can be lots of fun!

Irrespective of the agency for whom you are planning to do an internship, it is up to you to define the “anthropological component” of the internship to the satisfaction of the Department faculty member sponsoring your internship and of the Director of Undergraduate Studies. For advice, see your advisor.

Variable credit may be obtained for this course, although usually you register for 3 credit hours. Anthropology 393 is a “controlled enrollment” course which you can’t register for through CAROLINE. ANTH 393 requires the permission in advance of (a) the Department faculty member sponsoring the internship, (b) a responsible official of the agency in you intend to do the internship, and (c) the Director of Undergraduate Studies, who will register you for it.

It is essential that you make arrangements and secure permissions prior to the semester of the internship!


By its very nature, an internship involves a three-part arrangement between you as a student, a faculty member with whom you will study for academic credit, and some outside organization for which you agree to work for several hours per week to further the goals of that organization. Thus, you should think of yourself as a student forming one part of a three-part contractual arrangement.

As such an internship arrangement must be both flexible and academically rigorous. The following sections, “REQUIREMENTS FOR ANTHROPOLOGY INTERNSHIP” and INTERNSHIP CONTRACT provide you with essential information needed to initiate an internship arrangement, as well as required forms that you will need to file with the Director of Undergraduate Studies in order for your internship to be approved.

Please note the following important points:

You must secure approval in writing of an individual faculty member with whom you wish to study, an official of the organization with which you hope to serve, and the Director of Undergraduate Studies prior to the beginning of your internship. Failure to do so can result in your being denied academic credit for any work you carry out within an outside organization.

You must take independent initiative to set up your internship; this will be your responsibility, not that of an individual faculty member, nor of the Director of Undergraduate Studies of the Anthropology Department — although we may be able to provide guidance and advice in your quest.

If you need assistance finding an internship, you may begin by consulting the resources that are available through University Career Services, 211 Hanes Hall. UCS has a full-time Internship Coordinator, Jacqui Cook (962-6507), who is an excellent source of information and assistance. Information on more than 2,000 internships in this country and abroad, including over 250 internships in the Triangle area, is available on the Internship Finder database in the UCS Library and through the UCS homepage. Announcements of internship opportunities are also circulated through the Anthropology Major’s email list to which all students can subscribe (to subscribe, send email to However, the Director of Undergraduate Studies is available to provide assistance and information.

Generally, for academic credit you will need to keep a journal of work done for the outside organization and your reflections on its anthropological significance, and you will need to complete a course paper of the length specified by your faculty supervisor.

Your faculty supervisor will set with you a deadline by which he or she will need to receive both your journal and your course paper from you, for grading purposes. It is your responsibility to honor this deadline.


1. Purpose of Anthropology 393 Internship The two purposes of the internship are: a) to provide you as a UNC-CH student with the opportunity to earn academic credit while obtaining appropriate, practical work experience, demonstrably related to the study of anthropology; and b) to enable you to develop the research basis necessary to write a high-quality research or project paper on a topic related to your work as an intern at the agency or organization. There are no prerequisites for the Anthropology 393 Internship, and it is open to majors and non-majors alike.

2. Types of Internship Agencies or Organizations The work of the sponsoring agency must be meaningfully connected to the study of anthropology. It is your responsibility to find your own internship, and to make the case that it has a significant anthropological component to your potential faculty supervisor and to the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

3. Tasks of Interns at Agencies Although some routine administrative tasks are required of any professional employee, we expect that the majority of your work as an intern work will be directed towards the substantive mission of the agency and that the tasks will be of a quality and nature that will justify the award of academic credit to you. In an agency that serves clients, for example, you asn an intern must have recurrent contacts with the client population whose problems the agency is addressing. You should make sure that your agency supervisor is informed explicitly of these Departmental expectations.

4. Academic Credit and Limitations With respect to academic credit, you are:

a) normally limited to a maximum of 3 hours of academic credit for an Anthropology 393 Internship. Internships whose duration exceeds a single semester or which involve an extended period of intensive work (e.g., international research or fieldwork) may count for up to a maximum of 6 hours of academic credit, depending upon the particular circumstances of the experience.

b) limited to one Anthropology 393 Internship.

5. Your Faculty Supervisor Your faculty supervisor must be a member of the Department of Anthropology. You are responsible for finding a faculty supervisor who will work with you. (If you are at a complete loss, the Director of Graduate Studies may be able to help.) Even if you find an internship, you are not guaranteed a faculty sponsor. Therefore, you are strongly advised to secure a faculty supervisor early.

6. Prior Approval of Internships Required You may not receive credit for any Anthropology 393 Internship unless you obtain approval for it before you begin the internship. Under no circumstances may you receive credit for an internship in progress or completed before the internship contract is signed.

7. Procedure for Prior Approval of Internships The procedure for securing approval to undertake an internship for academic credit varies slightly according to the time of year your internship is to occur:

a) Fall and Spring Semester Internships: If you will be working at an internship during the fall or spring semester, you should arrange the internship, obtain the faculty supervisor’s approval, and sign the internship contract during preregistration the semester prior to the internship. However, in the event that this is not possible, you should complete and return the internship contract to the Director of Undergraduate Studies no later than the first week of classes. The internship contract must be signed by all parties concerned and turned in to the Director of Undergraduate Studies’ Office before the first day of the internship. After the first week of classes, no additional students will be allowed to enroll in internship hours.

b) Summer Internships: a summer internship will be considered for approval only if you have obtained a faculty supervisor, completed arrangements with the agency, and turned in the internship contract before your internship starts. For summer internships, credit for Anthropology 393 is earned and the research or project paper is completed during the fall semester following the summer internship.

c) Summer School Credit Internships: A student may complete a summer internship for summer session credit only if the student secures a faculty sponsor who will be available to the student during that session. The requirements for summer session internships are the same as for other Anthropology 393 internships.

8. Internship Hours Requirement As an intern, you must work a minimum of 8 hours per week at the internship placement, for a total minimum of 100 hours per semester. This is the minimum number of hours. If you miss hours one week, you are expected to make up these hours. These required hours are roughly equivalent to the number of hours you would spend in class and preparing for class during an ordinary course over a semester. The same minimum number of hours are required for summer and summer school session internships.

9. Research or Project Paper Requirement A high-quality research paper or equivalent research task on a topic related to the internship is generally expected of you as an intern. The length of the paper, the date due, and the topic or project are to be determined by your faculty supervisor and you in consultation.

10. Journal Requirement You are required to keep an internship journal containing daily entries. These entries should set out your activities at the internship that day; your impressions and perceptions of those activities; reflections on how that day’s work relates to your service and learning objectives; and outline action that you plan to take at the agency in the future based on what you learned that day. Bring your journal with you when you meet with your faculty supervisor.

11. Internship Contract The internship contract sets out the Anthropology 393 requirements and the particular tasks and goals for your internship as determined by you, the agency and your faculty supervisor. You must obtain the contract forms from the departmental website (to download, click any of the INTERNSHIP CONTRACT links on this page), from the Department Registrar, or from the Director of Undergraduate Studies, and you are responsible for taking the contract to the agency and faculty supervisors for completion. You, your agency supervisor and your faculty supervisor must all sign the contract. You must then return the contract to the Director of Undergraduate Studies who approves and files it. You must provide copies of the Contract to your faculty advisor and your agency supervisor. The contract should be turned in no later than the end of the first week of classes, and it must be signed and returned to all parties before the first day of the internship.

12. Meetings with Your Faculty Supervisor You are required to meet periodically with your faculty supervisor to discuss the research or project paper, your progress in the internship, and any internship-related problems. The number of meetings, times and dates are to be determined by your faculty supervisor. If problems arise at the site of the internship, you are required to contact the faculty supervisor immediately.

13. Review of Research Involving Human Subjects University policy requires that research involving human subjects show due regard for the protection of their individual privacy and welfare. When the learning component of your internship entails research that might potentially infringe upon the privacy, the rights, or the welfare of its participants (be they agency clients or staff), you are required to file an Internal Processing Form with the Department for review and submission to the Academic Affairs Institutional Review Board. By way of example, such a procedure would be necessary in the following situations:

a) when the topic of your internship research paper deals with information which, if revealed, would potentially harm the agency or its clients;

b) when in the execution of internship duties related to your research, you are exposed to information concerning particular instances of illegal activity (e.g., domestic violence);

c) when, in the name of your research, you elicit information from agency staff or clients which, because of the risk to their welfare that its disclosure would entail, requires the obtention of informed consent and/or the assurance of anonymity.

If there are any questions, you should speak with your faculty supervisor immediately.

14. Evaluation The Director of Undergraduate Studies will provide you with an evaluation sheet to give your agency supervisor. (The sheet will specify the date by which it must be returned to the Director of Undergraduate Studies.) The Director of Undergraduate Studies will give the completed evaluation to your faculty supervisor to assist that person in assigning a final grade to the student.

Your faculty supervisor is responsible for providing the grade to the student and to the Department at the end of the semester. The faculty supervisor determines what weight will be given to the student and agency evaluations, the journal and the paper. These criteria and their relative importance are to be made explicit to the student at the beginning of the internship. The faculty supervisor’s grade on the faculty grade form will be your final grade.


1. Requirements: Before or during preregistration, obtain and carefully read a copy of the Requirements for the Anthropology 393 Internship. If you have questions or need assistance, see the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Margaret Scarry.

2. Find an Internship: Before or during preregistration, find an internship and make tentative arrangements with that agency for you to work there the following semester or summer.

3. Find a Faculty Supervisor: You need an anthropology faculty supervisor for your internship. Set up an appointment with your potential faculty supervisor to discuss the internship and the requirements. If you need assistance in locating a faculty supervisor, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

4. Get the Right Forms: You need copies of the following: a) an Anthropology 393 Internship Contract b) the Agency Evaluation sheet, and c) the Release and Agreement Statements. These forms can be downloaded from any of the INTERNSHIP CONTRACT links on this page, or obtained from the Department Registrar or Director of Undergraduate Studies.

5. The Internship Contract: The completion of the internship contract should be done in the following manner:

a) Take the Internship contract to the internship agency. Meet with the agency supervisor and fill out the top section of the contract, including the sections “Description of Agency” (Section I, B) and “Nature of the Internship and Responsibilities” (Section III, A-F). Both participants must sign the contract. At the same meeting, give the Agency Evaluation Form to the agency supervisor.

b) Take the Internship Contract, signed by you and the agency supervisor, to your faculty supervisor. Secure the faculty supervisor’s final approval of the internship as set out in the contract and obtain his/her signature.

c) Make three copies of the completed contract, to be distributed by you as follows: original contract to the Director of Undergraduate Studies; a copy for you; a copy to the agency supervisor; and a copy to the faculty supervisor.

d) Take the completed original contract and the signed Release and Agreement Statements to the Director of Undergraduate Studies. The originals, reviewed and approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies, remain in his/her office.

6. Internal Processing Form for Research Involving Human Subjects: When the learning component of the your internship entails research that might potentially infringe upon the privacy, the rights or the welfare of its participants (be they agency clients or staff), you are required to file an Internal Processing Form with the Department for review and submission to the Academic Affairs Institutional Review Board (AA-IRB). The Form is available from the Director of Undergraduate Studies. If there are any questions, you should speak with your faculty supervisor.

7. Permission to Add Form: Obtain a “Permission to Add” form from the departmental office in order to register for Anthropology 393. You may not register for Anthropology 393 through CAROLINE; you can only register through the department.  Take the permission form to your faculty supervisor for his or her signature. Take the signed form to the Director of Undergraduate Studies, who will then register you for the course.

8. Agency Evaluation: For internships completed during the fall or spring semesters, a month before the internship is to end, remind the agency supervisor of the Agency Evaluation Form. Ask your agency supervisor to send the completed sheet to the Director of Undergraduate Studies before the last week of class. For summer internships, the Agency Evaluation Form should be completed and sent during the last week of the internship.


1. No credit is given for internships in progress or completed before a contract is signed. The contract must be signed by all parties before the first day of your internship. Students will not be allowed to enroll in internship hours after the first week of classes.

2. Under normal circumstances, you can only get 3 hours of credit for Anthropology 393, and you may only do one such internship.

3. Find an internship and faculty supervisor early – before or during preregistration. If you wait longer than this, your chances of getting either are greatly diminished. You are not guaranteed a faculty supervisor just because you have located an acceptable internship.

4. Internships do not automatically qualify for academic credit; the internship must have a hands-on work component and be meaningfully related to the study of anthropology, as determined by your faculty advisor.

5. It is your responsibility to meet all of the deadlines and the other Internship Contract provisions in order to receive credit.

6. If you have any problems at the internship, it is your responsibility to speak with your faculty supervisor immediately. By way of example, if you begin an internship and you find that the activities, duties or supervision are not what you expected, contact your faculty supervisor at once.

7. At the beginning of the internship, you should discuss with your faculty supervisor the criteria which will determine your grade.