What is an internship?
An internship is a short-term, hands-on, supervised work experience with a professional organization. It provides the student with an invaluable opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge acquired in the classroom to real world problems and enables the student to broaden their understanding of the field.
An internship is more than a part-time job or volunteer experience; it includes:
- specific learning objectives designed to increase the student’s knowledge;
- training to hone existing skills and develop additional ones;
- supervision to guide and mentor the intern.
Through an internship, the student is able both to expand their horizons and to engage in a meaningful collaboration with a corporate or community organization for their mutual benefit.
Who is eligible?
- Open to U-2 and U-3 WMST and SDST students who have completed 30 credits of a 90-credit program or 45 credits of a 96-120-credit program. Students must be returning to McGill in the semester following their internship.
- Minimum cGPA of 2.7
- Permission of the IGSF claire.michela [at] mcgill.ca (Administrative and Student Affairs Coordinator)
- Note for WMST students: WMST 494 will not fulfill program requirements for seminar or 400-level courses. It can, however, be counted towards fulfillment of Complementary Course Group B credit requirements.
Start Your Search
WMST and SDST students are encouraged to undertake internships with local, national, or international organizations. Students should take some time to reflect on their interests and what type of internship would most effectively engage them. Within the fields of gender, feminism, sexuality, and sexual diversity, students should consider which specific topics and issues they find interesting.
Students may identify relevant internships using the links below for McGill offices or find suitable internships themselves. It is best to start the search process as early as possible. All internship requests are subject to approval from IGSF and the Arts Internship Office.
Internship Database (Internship Offices Network, ION)
Internship Postings (Faculty of Arts Internship Office, AIO)
Internship Information (Career Planning Services, CaPS)
Students can also find help with cover letters and résumés through the AIO or CaPS. Students should also select and confirm a McGill faculty member to supervise and evaluate the academic work involved with their internship as a part of the search process.
Internships may be paid or unpaid at the organization's discretion. Students may seek out funding possibilities for internships by applying for Internship Awards or external funding.
Once students have secured an internship, they must complete the Internship Approval Form, specifying the names of the host organization and on-site internship supervisor, the faculty academic supervisor, and detailing the duration, tasks, and research objectives of both the internship and the corresponding academic work.
The form must be signed by:
- IGSF Administrative and Student Affairs Coordinator
- Faculty of Arts Internship Officer
- Student's Academic Supervisor
Once the internship has been approved, the student is responsible for follow-up and completion of the project as agreed upon with their academic supervisor.
The internship course (3 credits) involves a minimum of 150 hours of internship work completed over the course of one or two terms, or the summer, followed by the completion of a 20-page academic paper based on the internship. Students complete the internship work first and then register for the course the following semester. Internships must be pre-approved for credit, and may not be approved retroactively. Because of the heavy workload involved, students may wish to reduce their course load when completing an internshp, or carry it out in the summer.
- Appropriateness of internship for gender and/or sexuality and/or sexual diversity-based analysis and research.
- A description of the host organization, the name of the on-site internship supervisor to whom the student will be accountable, and a letter confirming the commitments of the host organization and on-site supervisor to the task of student internship supervision.
- A minimum of 150 hours of work with the host organization.
- Completion of all work as set out by the host organization.
- Completed Field Evaluation Form (30% of grade) attesting to the student's successful completion of tenure at the organization.
- Written agreement from a professor at McGill University to discuss, conceptualize, oversee, and evaluate the WMST494/SDST 499 Term Paper (70% of grade).
- Any and all additional requirements established by the Arts Internship Office.
Students should be sure to complete all work required by the host organization, which may include a report, creation of a database, or an event. If any problems should arise during the internship, students should alert the IGSF Administrative and Student Affairs Coordinator. Upon completion of the internship and required course, students will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
- 70%: academic essay evaluated by academic supervisor. Student must integrate and reflect upon relevant scholarly discourse in light of their internship experience. The professor must submit a numeric grade for the paper (out of 70) to the IGSF Administrative and Student Affairs Coordinator at the end of the semester.
- 30%: evaluation by host organization in accordance with written protocol, submitted to the claire.michela [at] mcgill.ca (Administrative and Student Affairs Coordinator).
In addition to the final paper, students must submit the Internship Evaluation Form, completed and signed by their on-site supervisor, and copies of any work produced for the internship to the IGSF Administrative and Student Affairs Coordinator.
McGill University is deeply committed to ensuring that our students are provided with every possible opportunity to make the most of their undergraduate years and to provide them with the necessary tools to be sought after by both the best graduate schools and employers. Internships are an ideal way for students to translate their classroom experience into real-world situations and gain valuable experience related to their field of study.
The vast majority of internships are unpaid and many of our students are self-funded. A small percentage, however, are fortunate to receive Arts Internship Awards from Faculty of Arts alumni and donors to defer a portion of their travel and cost of living expenses—which can amount to over $5,000 for an eight-week summer internship. This sum is out of reach for most undergraduates and unfortunately limits the number of students who wish to pursue an internship. Administered through the Dean's Office in conjunction with the Faculty of Arts Internship Office, the Arts Internships Awards have allowed the very valuable internship experience to become a reality for many Arts students.
The application deadline for Summer 2015 awards is Tuesday, March 16, 2015. More information about how to apply for the Arts Internship Awards here.
The Mary Eleanor Shewan Research Internships with IGSF
The Mary Eleanor Shewan Research Internships were created by a generous donation from Cynthia Shewan, BA'65, in memory of her mother, Mary Eleanor Shewan. The internships were awarded to students whose work will focus on issues surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusivity. Value: $1500 each.
The Gregg Blachford and David McGillivray Internship Award
The Gregg Blachford and David McGillivray Internship Award, established in 2014 by Gregg Blachford (former director of the McGill Career Planning Service- CaPS) and husband, David McGillivray (former Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician/Associate Professor at the Montreal Children's Hospital), is designed to lend financial support to Arts students who wish to pursue an internship with a local, national or international organization that promotes social justice/human rights in the areas of gender and sexuality. Administered through the Dean's Office in conjunction with the Faculty of Arts Internship Office and in consultation with the Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies, this award is meant to provide partial funding to assist students with travel and other expenses related to their internship. More information at Arts Internship Awards.
For additional information on internships, please contact the Faculty of Arts aio [at] mcgill.ca (Internship Office) (514-398-3467) and/or claire.michela [at] mcgill.ca (IGSF) (514-398-3911).