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Internships & Field Work


The field experience can be one of the most informative and rewarding activities of your undergraduate years. We will work closely with you and the agency to ensure that this time is professionally rewarding and beneficial to the organization. The experience gained, the contacts made, and the letter of recommendation provided by the agency at the end of the experience can all prove invaluable. Criminal Justice majors gain practical experience, develop insights into the problems of agency operation and have the opportunity to blend theory and practice.

Field Work: CJ 491 and 492 (3 credits each)

Internship: CJ 293/493/590 (variable credits 1 – 6 credits)

Field Work I and II, CJ 491 and 492, are three credit classes. These classes require that students have applied for and received criminal justice upper-division status.

CJ491 is a prerequisite of CJ 492.

For an Internship, you can decide how many credits you want to complete (50 agency hours per credit). Like Field Work, you will have practical experience in an agency. Admission into upper-division is not required. Internships can be taken at the undergraduate level as CJ 293 (if you have less than 58 credits), or CJ 493 (if you have more than 58 credits). Internships are also available at the graduate level as CJ 590.

Both Field Work and Internships have a mandatory 1-hour meeting each week. You will be required to complete academic assignments, written and reading, in addition to your placement duties. This meeting is usually scheduled for Tuesday, from 3:00pm to 4:00pm.

Although not required, Field Work is highly recommended. Also, undergraduate students may take up to 3 credits of CJ 493 internship to count as upper-division CJ electives. See your advisor if you are interested in this option.

If you are interested in completing an internship or registering for field work:

  1. Internships and Field Work begin with an application. Complete the Field Work/Internship application (found in the CJ Field Work and Internship Application).
  2. Contact Jim Kerns to schedule an interview. You will bring the Field Work/Internship application, a copy of your resume, a copy of your unofficial transcript (MyBoiseState), and a cover letter (addressed to the Field Work/Internship Coordinator) to this interview.
  3. If you have any questions on the process, please contact Jim Kerns at:

Jim Kerns
Field Work/Internship Coordinator
Department of Criminal Justice
Office: L166F (Boise State Main Campus, Albertson’s Library Building)
Phone: (208) 426-3451

The application process for criminal justice agencies can take several weeks to months to complete.

To be considered for priority placement, send your application packet to the Field Work/Internship Coordinator by the following dates:

  • Fall Semester: first week of March
  • Spring Semester: first week of October
  • Summer Semester: first week of February

Priority placement dates are early. You may be required to have a background check and/or polygraph test prior to placement. The early dates ensure that these requirements can be completed prior to placement.