The Zoology Apprenticeship Program presents students with opportunities not available on campus. Typically, apprenticeships involve applied or “hands-on” experience. The experience should be related to a student’s major field of study and/or career goals and be undertaken by a student with junior or senior status. Paid jobs do not normally qualify as apprenticeships, but exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Students who take an apprenticeship for credit enroll under the course, Zoology 495. First the student must choose an appropriate faculty sponsor and obtain that sponsor’s agreement to be an on-campus coordinator. The student must reach a general agreement with a faculty sponsor and make specific arrangements about the apprenticeship prior to its beginning. At a minimum, the following should be presented:

  • the names, addresses, and contact information of the apprenticeship institution and supervisory personnel;
    a general description of duties to be performed;
  • dates of the proposed activities and the expected number of hours of commitment.

Generally a time commitment for earning a unit of credit for 495 is 150 hours, i.e., the equivalent to 10 hours per week for 15 weeks, although deviations up or down from this standard may be required for particular internships. “Full time” involvement, during a summer, may qualify for more than one credit unit. Because these experiences are substantially different from most ‘ordinary’ zoology courses, grading will normally be done on a “Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory” basis. A grade of “S” (satisfactory) earns a unit of upper level zoology credit, but does not contribute to a student’s grade point average.

During the course of the student’s duties, weekly progress reports (written or oral) should be submitted, although at the faculty sponsor’s discretion, these may be accumulated until the end of the apprenticeship and presented all at once. “Log books” may satisfy this requirement or supplement other written materials.

In addition, a summary paper should be submitted at the end of the experience. This paper will evaluate the apprenticeship, comment on what the student gained and learned, offer suggestions about improvements, and link the experience to her/his academic preparation and career goals. At the end of the internship, the student should arrange to have the off-campus supervisor of the apprenticeship send a letter, or other communication, to the faculty sponsor. This letter should indicate whether the student fulfilled terms of the agreement, and it may offer comments on the quality of the student’s performance.

If the sponsoring institution has its own additional requirements of its interns, copies of those materials should also be submitted to the faculty sponsor.

Questions about apprenticeships may be addressed to the Chair of the Zoology Department.