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College of Arts and Letters | Michigan State University

I.  Paid Internships in the Philosophy Department

Philosophy Tutors

Each semester, the department hires two philosophy tutors to assist other undergraduates.  Positions are available to junior philosophy majors who have at least 18 hours in philosophy (or juniors whose philosophy minors have already been completed).  A philosophy GPA of 3.6 is required, and a GPA of 3.4 overall.  Preference is given to students who have performed well in PHL 210, 211, and 330.  The application for tutoring internships is included with the bulletin to philosophy majors and minors when needed.

Philosophy Lab Instructors

The department sometimes runs philosophy labs in connection with its PHL 210 and 211 courses. Normally, students are invited by faculty to apply for these internships because of their previous excellent work in the courses themselves.    

Other opportunities

Occasionally, the department has funding available for other projects undertaken by faculty.  These are announced on an ad hoc basis—usually in the department's weekly bulletin to majors and minors.  Faculty sometimes invite particular students to apply.    

II.  PHL 493 Internship Courses for credit

Generic Syllabus


Any job that makes use of the skills we teach in classes in the department, such as critical thinking, ethical considerations, aesthetical topics, scientific problems, or social-political issues could serve as an internship. If you show us that your potential internship will help you develop your ability to think about philosophical issues outside the traditional classroom setting, we will approve the internship for Philosophy department credit. Practically speaking, students have completed internships in various areas, including environmental agencies, non-profit organizations, editing, public relations, law, and so on. The internship course is supposed to enrich your educational experience and to improve both your philosophical knowledge and your ability to reflect critically on experience outside the classical classroom setting. As such, you should be aware that the internship will be accompanied by assignments determined by the faculty advisor and coordinated by the Director of the Undergraduate Program.

Course Goals

1. Learning to apply philosophical knowledge in the field

2. Aquiring skills in working with others as a member of a team

3. Developing skills in expressing oneself orally and in writing by applying philosophical considerations to a selected co-curricula activity

How does a student arrange an internship?

The Philosophy department does not arrange internships for students; it merely oversees the internship. Students are responsible for locating an internship, with the help of the Department of Philosophy, the College of Arts and Letters, and Career Services and Placement. The Department does keep a file of previous internship requests, as does the College of Arts and Letters (located at 200 Linton Hall).


The internship course will be overseen and organized by the Director of the Undergraduate Program in Philosophy (DUP). The assignments and the direct faculty contact, however, will be organized and determined by the faculty advisor. After having found an internship students should first meet with the DUP who must approve the internship for being eligible for academic credit. DUP will propose possible faculty advisors. Concrete assignments will be negotiated between the student and the faculty advisor.

How many credits can a student earn for an internship?

Internships through PHL 493 can take place during fall or spring. The amount of credit varies, depending on how much time is dedicated to the job weekly.

Who is eligible to do an internship?

To be eligible for an internship, a student must be a Philosophy Major or Minor (including Philosophy and Law), must have completed a minimum of 2 philosophy classes in the Philosophy department, must be a junior or senior, and must gain the approval of the department (i.e., the Director of the Undergraduate Program).

The Internship Experience in Philosophy

Congratulations on your decision to complete an internship. Internship experience enhances your post-college marketability and helps you transition better into the workplace. Completing an internship demonstrates both your commitment to learning skills learned in the classroom and applying them to real-life situations in the workplace. The actual work you will perform on the work site has already been negotiated among the CAL internship coordinator, and yourself during the initial interview. A copy of this description will be placed in your internship file with your application. But getting the internship is only the first step involved in your commitment to this experience. In addition to actual on-the-job experience, you are also expected to meet certain academic requirements as part of your internship grade. This generic syllabus outlines the requirements that must be met in order to receive a passing grade for the internship. Concrete assignments will be negotiated between the student and the internship supervisor (see worksheets)

How does an internship count toward a Philosophy degree?

The internship (Phl 493) will count towards the credits required for the major or minor, but may NOT be used to fulfill the 400-level Philosophy department elective requirement.

How does a student enroll for internship credit?

In order to enroll for credit in PHL 493, students must submit an Internship Agreement Form (available online) to the Philosophy Department (503 South Kedzie Hall) and make a first initial appointment with the Director of the Undergraduate Program (DUP). At that time, students may pick up an internship packet from the DUP, which includes the employer and student evaluation forms, worksheets, and other material. The DUP will help you to find an internship supervisor in the philosophy department.

Course requirements

The following list outlines all activities that will be considered in determining your grade. The final list will be negotiated between you and the internship supervisor (and depends upon the credits received for this course)

Activity Logs

You are required to submit weekly activity logs to the supervisor, which describe and record your internship hours and activities. Activity descriptions and rationales should be described as fully as possible. Submit your logs each week regardless of the number of hours worked (can be waived by the internship supervisor)

Paper Assignment

At the end of the internship, you will be asked to write a paper about the experience in connection with assigned readings. The paper topic, paper length and the assigned readings will be negotiated between you and the internship supervisor (and depend upon the credits received for this course). This paper should connect the learning you have done in your classes with the learning you have done on the internship.

Meetings with faculty advisor

You are required to attend meetings with the faculty advisor. These meetings will involve sharing your internship successes and discussing the assigned readings.

Supervisor Evaluation

Your faculty advisor will be asked to complete an evaluation of your work and will assign a numeric grade.

Exit interview and final assessment

You will be expected to meet at the end of the semester with the Director of the Undergraduate Program and assess your experience.

Writing Center Information

MSU's writing center offers excellent help on all matters regarding writing and learning. Check the website at for an overview and hours. For more information, please call 517.432.3610 or send an e-mail to

Integrity of Scholarship and Grades (Plagiarism)

The following statement of University policy addresses principles and procedures to be used in instances of academic dishonesty, violations of professional standards, and falsification of academic or admission records, herein after referred to as academic misconduct. [See General Student Regulation 1.00, Protection of Scholarship and Grades.]: check

Academic Honesty

Article 2.3.3 of the Academic Freedom Report states that "The student shares with the faculty the responsibility for maintaining the integrity of scholarship, grades, and professional standards." In addition, the (insert name of unit offering course) adheres to the policies on academic honesty as specified in General Student Regulations 1.0, Protection of Scholarship and Grades; the all-University Policy on Integrity of Scholarship and Grades; and Ordinance 17.00, Examinations. (See Spartan Life: Student Handbook and Resource Guide and/or the MSU Web site: Therefore, unless authorized by your instructor, you are expected to complete all course assignments, including homework, lab work, quizzes, tests and exams, without assistance from any source. You are expected to develop original work for this course; therefore, you may not submit course work completed for another course to satisfy the requirements for this course. Students who violate MSU rules may receive a penalty grade, including but not limited to a failing grade on the assignment or in the course. Contact your instructor if you are unsure about the appropriateness of your course work. (See also

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities should contact the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities to establish reasonable accommodations. For an appointment with a counselor, call 353-9642 (voice) or 355-1293.