Graduate Studies

MBioS PSM Degree - Internship

What is an internship?

A carefully monitored work or service experience in which an individual has intentional learning goals and reflects actively on what she or he is learning throughout the experience. Part of an educational program and carefully monitored and evaluated for academic credit, or part of a learning plan that the intern develops.

Students must identify and participate in a 320-hour internship, with an identified internship mentor. The internship can be paid or unpaid, and will usually be conducted in a non-academic workplace. The objectives of the internship are to encourage students to integrate elements of the course work into the workplace and to capitalize on the transitional aspects of the PSM program. The internship will include an Internship Proposal, and an Internship Log. After completion of the internship an Internship Report will be written to show that the student was challenged; 1), to complete an assigned internship and 2), to interpret and integrate course work and the internship experience.

Students must enroll in MBioS 701 Master’s Independent Capstone Project and/or Examination for a total of 4 credits to complete the PSM. Credits taken per semester are variable; however two credits must be taken in the semester of the final examination. The internship and mentor must be identified by the student and preapproved by the student’s committee by the end of the first semester of study or after completing 10 credits of course work, and at least one month before the beginning of the internship. A written internship proposal should be submitted for approval and must follow the Internship Proposal guidelines. The internship must be a new experience for the student, and if a student wishes to do an internship in a current workplace the nature of the internship must be completely different from his/her regular responsibilities; for example the internship could be conducted in a different office or department within the workplace. During the internship, students will be expected to keep a weekly Internship Log to document progress. Finally to successfully complete the internship, students will write an Internship Report under the guidance of their internship mentor and graduate committee. This report will form the basis of the final master’s examination.

The quality of the internship is determined by the amount of time, creativity, and energy students invest in their experience. It is the responsibility of each student to obtain an internship position (paid or unpaid) and an internship mentor during the first semester of study, in a location that works for him or her. The Director of the PSM, Norah McCabe at nrmccabe@wsu.edu will provide a list of available internship contacts located on the PSM webpage at http://www.smb.wsu.edu/graduates/psm/psm_mentors.htm in any semester; however, securing an internship is ultimately the student’s responsibility.

The internship will include an Internship Proposal (agreement form, proposal, and student’s resume), Internship Log, Internship Final Report, Student Evaluation of Internship Experience, and Internship Mentor Evaluation of Student.

The internship and mentor must be identified by the student and preapproved by the student’s committee well before the beginning of the internship, by the end of the second semester of study or after completing 20 credits of coursework. An Internship Proposal must be submitted and approved well before beginning the internship. A detailed timeline of the Internship requirements is presented below.

The internship must be a new experience for the student. If a student wishes to do an internship in a current workplace, the nature of the internship must be completely different from his/her regular responsibilities. For example, the internship could be conducted in a different office or department within the workplace. The time spent on the internship should be equivalent to eight weeks of full-time employment (40 hours per week). During the internship, students will be expected to keep a weekly Internship Log to document progress.

Finally, to successfully complete the internship, students will write an Internship Report under the guidance of their internship mentor/s and members of their graduate committees. This report will be written to show that the student met the challenge of: 1) completing an assigned internship, and 2) interpreting and integrating coursework and the internship experience. The Internship Report (final) is due at least 10 working days before the final examination, and will form the basis of the final master’s examination.

 

Examples of Past Internships:


Association for Molecular Pathology's (AMP) - "Building Community in Molecular Diagnostics"

ReachBio, LLC - "Developing Clonogenic Assays for Assessing the Toxicity of Drug Candidate Compounds on Cancer Cells Versus Bone Marrow Stem Cells and Progrnitors"

FebFems Eastern Washington Outreach Coordinator - "Bridging the gap - One profile at a time: An Experimental Pilot to Increase Women in STEM's Involvement in the FabFems Role Model Directory"

WSU College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS) - "Advancing Science through Communication and the News"

BioDrill Technical Solutions - "An Exploration of STEM Education Tools and Initiatives"

Timeline of Internship:

  • Internship Proposal approval is due 10 days before the start of the Internship.
  • Internship Log is completed every week of the internship and made available upon request at any time during the internship and will be available for the final examination.
  • Submit the final copies of the Internship Proposal, the Internship Log, the Internship Report and the completed Non-Thesis Final Examination Scheduling form to the committee members at least 10 working days before the scheduled date of the final examination. The link for the Final Examination Form is gradschool.wsu.edu/facultystaff-resources/18-2/. Select the "Scheduling Exam: Master's Non-thesis."
  • It is highly recommended that students submit a draft of the final internship report to Graduate Committee members at least 15 working days before the scheduled date of the final examination.

    Students must also arrange for the ‘ Mentor Evaluation of Student Form’ to be emailed to the PSM Academic Coordinator at tamara.breske@wsu.edu or fax to 509-335-1907

  • Students must also complete the ‘Student Evaluation of Internship Experience Form’ and email to the PSM Academic Coordinator at tamara.breske@wsu.edu or fax to 509-335-1907
  • These two forms must be available for the Final Examination.

Internship Proposal

One month prior to the start of the Internship, students must submit a complete internship proposal with the assistance of their internship mentor and Chair of their graduate committee. The proposal should be approved by all members of the student's graduate committee, at least 10 days prior to the anticipated start date of the internship. The following items must be included in the complete internship proposal:

  1. Internship Agreement (Internship Agreement)
  2. Proposal
    • Internship Location: a brief summary of the workplace, including the nature of the work, complete address(es), phone and e-mail contact details of the internship mentor, and any compensation/ reimbursement provided.
    • Internship: the title and a brief summary of your responsibilities.
    • Internship Timeline: list specific beginning and ending dates, number of work hours/week, and total number of hours you will spend on this internship.
    • Internship Description: describe in detail what the aims of the internship are, what you will be doing, and how you will be doing it. If your internship is a research project, the background, hypothesis, methodology, and references must be included.
    • Internship Outcomes: explain what new skills and/or knowledge you hope to acquire during this internship.
    • Internship Evaluation: how will your mentor evaluate your performance? Identify specific parameters to be assessed.
  3. A resume written with the goal to secure this specific internship.

A copy of the approved complete internship proposal (items 1, 2 and 3), should be submitted to the PSM Academic Coordinator by email to tamara.breske@wsu.edu or faxed to 509-335-1907 before the beginning of the internship.

Internship Log

The log is a professional record of your internship experience. It will vary in format depending on the internship, and on the requirements of your mentor. The frequency of updating your log may be daily or biweekly (depending on your mentor recommendations); however, a summary of each week’s work is mandatory. The log will be dated and carefully maintained to the specifications of your internship mentor. If you are participating in a research project, you will keep precise notes of your experimental procedures; if your internship involves a design project, computer analysis, library research, or data collection and analysis, you will record your work and maintain your log as determined by the progression of the project, under the supervision of your mentor. The purpose of the log is to show that you are able to carefully record your work in a written format, so that it is reproducible by others. Your graduate committee will review your log, and it will contribute to your final internship grade. If a signed confidentiality agreement is required for your internship, your mentor will contact your graduate committee to verify that you maintained an adequate log.

Please send your log to your committee at least once (probably at the half way time point) to get feedback from your committee. You are encouraged to check in with your committee members often during your internship.

Each log entry should be long enough to sufficiently summarize the activities for the day or week (typically 2-3 pages, single-spaced). Be concise, neat and thorough and follow the log format dictated by the specifics of the internship.

Internship Report

This report will be based on the experience obtained through the internship. The objectives of the report are to show that: 1) students can communicate effectively by writing, 2) students can integrate the internship experience with both the science and professional course work, and 3) students gained valuable workplace experience.

Guidelines for the Internship Report:

The maximum length of the internship report should not be more than 10 single-spaced pages, including figures and tables. The height of the letters must be no smaller than 10 point; must be no more than 15 characters per inch (cpi); Helvetica or Arial 12-point are suggested fonts. References are not included in the page limitations.

The format for the report should be according to the following guidelines:

  • Abstract–Briefly (250 words), what is the overall hypothesis, aim or information that is to be tested or gained from the internship?
  • Introduction with background and significance of the proposed internship, why is the work important?
  • Design and Methods of completing the Internship
  • Results
  • Conclusions and Future Directions.
  • Personal Internship Experience. The student will also report on his/her personal internship experience and will include a rating on: a) the internship environment, b) the internship experience, c) internship challenges and opportunities and d) relevancy to his/her PSM course work.
  • It is highly recommended that students submit a draft of the final internship report to the Graduate Committee members at least 15 working days before the scheduled date of the final examination.

At least 10 working days before the final examination students must submit the final copy of the Internship Report, copies of the completed Internship Proposal, and Internship Log to the committee members.

Form for Student Evaluation of Internship Experience
Form for Mentor Evaluation of Student

Students must arrange submission of the completed Non-Thesis Final Examination Scheduling form, the Mentor Evaluation of Student Form and the Student Evalution of Internship form to the PSM Academic Coordinator at tamara.breske@wsu.edu  or fax to 509-335-1907 at least 10 working days before the scheduled date of the final examination.

The completed and signed Non-Thesis Final Examination Scheduling Form is due in The Graduate School at least 10 working days before the scheduled date of the final examination.