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Academics / Departments & Programs / Psychology / Student Experience / Internships

An internship is one of the best ways to prepare you to use your abilities to serve God and the world in your career. Calvin will empower you to pursue world-changing action by working to better the lives of those around you.

If you are a junior or senior psychology major, you have the opportunity to join 10-12 other psychology students participating in PSYC-380, the department internship program each semester. A psychology internship is a valuable opportunity to earn credit, meet program requirements and gain practical experience in the field of psychology. Past internships have been in local hospitals, clinics, schools and business organizations.

Psychology 380

Course details

In the PSYC-380 course, you will work eight hours per week under the direction of an on-site supervisor. You will also participate in regular seminar meetings with other students in psychology internships. A project related to your internship will be part of your final grade. All internships are unpaid.

Course requirements

To be placed in an internship through PSYC-380, you must meet the following requirements:

  • junior or senior status
  • completion of course sequences related to the internship specialization
  • demonstrated good work in psychology courses
  • department approval of your applications

Applying to the program

If you would like to participate in the internship program, see the psychology department bulletin board in October and March to see internship opportunities for the following semester. This information will also be e-mailed to you.

To apply for the program, see the psychology department office for an application. You will receive notification of enrollment in the course prior to advising and course registration.

Paid and unpaid internships

Paid and unpaid internship opportunities are available in the Grand Rapids area year-round.

Where could I serve?

  • Volunteer at a low-income preschool or a community health clinic as part of a psychology course (PSYC-270 Children at Risk or PSYC-335 Health Psychology).
  • Take an internship course and get placed at a local mental health center, school, hospital, research organization, non-profit agency or business.
  • Do a full-time internship as part of an off-campus semester in Washington D.C., Chicago, San Francisco or Honduras.
  • Arrange paid or unpaid internships in the numerous Grand Rapids human service organizations, businesses, physical and mental rehabilitation hospitals, research centers and more.

Where to begin?

  1. Career Center: Visit Career Development for career counseling, career assessments, resume and cover letter review. They also provides practice interviews for jobs, internships or graduate school.
  2. Networking: Tell relatives and friends you are looking for internship opportunities.
  3. Handshake: Calvin's job posting system posts internships and full-time job opportunities for students and alumni.
  4. uKnight: Calvin's alumni online networking site lets you search for jobs and internships by city, state, major or industry. You can ask for advice about gaining experience in psychology or your specific area of interest.

Recent internships

  • Neuropsychology, Brains: Interns will have the possibility to observe clinical assessment, counseling sessions and will assist Brains through some scoring of assessments and work with some children with autism and any other interest the intern may have.
  • Autism Clinic, Helen DeVos Children's Hospital: The intern will observe and may participate in administering selected tests and standard history to children with autism under the supervision of a licensed psychologist.  The intern may also participate in ongoing research, grand rounds, and general pediatric psychological observation. 
  • Attention Deficit Disorder, Pine Rest Christian Hospital: Assist in conducting assessment and evaluation of out-patient children who may suffer from AD(H)D.
  • Intensive Feeding Program, Helen DeVos Children's Hospital: This program is the only one of its kind in Michigan and one of a few in the country. The intern will observe daily therapeutic feeding sessions, during which behavioral-based protocols target both children’s behavioral and oral-motor feeding problems, as well as participate in team-based conferences and shadow psychoeducational meetings between the psychologists and parents. Interns may also record behaviors observed in the therapeutic sessions, entertain the children between feeding sessions, and assist with an existing research database. 
  • Harm Reduction, Red Project: The intern will work with Red Project staff and under the supervision of a social worker and/or public health staff to help provide safe services to individuals who are often under-served by the traditional health care system.  Students will assist staff in health testing and screening, education, and data management. 
  • Family Futures: Child and Family Services interns gain practical experience in the areas of macro social work, child development, client contact, and nonprofit administration through the Connections and/or Healthy Families programs. Connections
  • Community Food Club: Interns will help with data collection and entry, customer outreach and surveys, and assisting on the grocery store floor and working with customers.
  • Refugee Education Center: Interns will assist with various tasks and responsibilities necessary for maintaining and supporting effective services for newly resettled refugee students.
  • Urban League of West Michigan: The intern would work with the Health Data Analyst to assess community needs regarding tobacco prevention, usage, stress, trauma, and reasons of initiation and addiction. The intern would work with the Program Manager to build and support the West Michigan Health Equity Coalition.
  • Berghuis Psychological Services: Dr. Berghuis has a primary practice of working with sex offenders, and mostly works with adults (both men and women). Interns generally participate in treatment groups with Dr. Berghuis (or another clinician), gradually taking more responsibility. Interns would eventually do some leading of groups, learn about paperwork and other duties, and present didactic information to groups, as well. Interns would be able to meet one on one for tutoring of intellectually limited clients.
  • Michigan Center for Rural Health: Work with data from rural health departments to create an updated a Needs Assessment Community Analysis report. Using the data you will help develop the report that will summarize the needs or rural health departments and how they intend to implement strategies to meet this health needs. This is a great internship for students interested in public health, data management, statistics or data visualization. 
  • Children's Healing Center: The Children’s Healing Center provide a safe, clean and engaging environment for kids with week immune systems. The intern is responsible for weekly planning, funning the floor, and executing programing. Responsibilities include working special events, creating ideas and themes, working on outlines and implementing lesson plans, brainstorming new programs. 
  • Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding: Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding transports individuals with special needs into a sense of independence and freedom by means of the gentle gait of a well-trained horse. Interns will work one-on-one with individuals in a therapeutic riding setting, assisting them to reach their goals, under supervision of the instructor, while adding new exercises and therapy applications to better the client holistically. 
  • Resurgence - Bridge Street Ministries: Resurgence is an after-school program that places Christ at the center of its mission and takes a holistic approach to empower high-potential youth to become community leaders. Our program is designed for underserved youth who face unique challenges and adversity on a daily basis. Through a comprehensive learning experience encompassing academic, spiritual, socio-emotional, and community growth, we help students discover their true potential. By engaging them in lab experiences tailored to their needs, we empower them to become restorers and leaders in their community. 

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