HPER 491 Internship

An internship is a one semester work experience with a cooperating agency that is taken the semester prior to graduation.


The Internship Program is intended for Exercise Science/Wellness students to gain practical experience in a professional environment in which they plan to work as a career. Students are required to complete approximately (40) hours per week, for ten weeks, of on-site work experience, for a total of 400 hours. Students must be enrolled in HPER 491 while completing the internship.


It is never too early to start planning for your internship. A mandatory informational meeting is held each semester after midterm for students who plan to intern the following semester. During the meeting students will be given information about the application process and reminded to sign up to take the ETS Proficiency Profile prior to signing up for the internship. You must contact the HHP Department 731-881-7310 or email Dr. Todd Sherman to schedule your HHP Exit Exam. You must take the Exit Exam prior to signing up for your internships.


Applications must be approved and liability insurance purchased before student may be enrolled.


Internship Application: Begin with application link, complete form and submit, when submitted the form will go to the proposed supervisor for their approval, if approved the form will come back to the HHP office. You must contact the proposed site prior to completing and sending the agreement form. You will need to attach a current resume to the application form before it is sent.


Students must purchase liability insurance prior to beginning their internship. The insurance fee is $20 and the insured period runs from June 1 - May 31. If you plan to complete your internship during the summer you must wait until June 1st to begin the internship or you will have to purchase the insurance twice. Click the following link to see the process for purchasing liability insurance.


Objectives of an Internship

  1. To apply theory in a practical environment
  2. To further develop professional knowledge, skills, and abilities defined by appropriate professional organizations
  3. To establish groundwork and provide networking for professional development and growth in a career
  4. To further help students recognize their own strengths and weaknesses both personally and professionally
  5. To facilitate students as they assess personal ambitions in their chosen field
  6. To prepare students for employment or graduate education

Internship Features

  1. The intern is expected to have an opportunity to practice all the responsibilities of the professional environment as allowed by the supervisor.
  2. The intern may be given a stipend for the internship experience, but it is not expected. If the internship is to be completed in a location where the student is simultaneously employed, the internship must provide him/her with a full range of work experiences outside their current scope of practice, i.e. not what they are currently doing in their job.
  3. The internship experience should include general responsibilities of the environment, management and administration of the facilities, learning the programming software necessary for the job and general requirements of employment.
  4. Where permitted, interns should observe, study and assist in carrying out the facility’s practices and policies, help design and implement program activities, help with facility maintenance and operation and assist with specialized duties of the supervisor or his/her co-workers.
  5. The university internship coordinator will keep in touch in person, by phone, or email with the internship supervisor at least twice during the internship. Depending on the proximity, the internship coordinator may make personal visits to the internship site.

Organization Characteristics that Provide the Internship

  1. The organization is expected to provide a helpful array of work experience for each intern, which will play a role in his/her professional development and growth.
  2. The organization must have sufficient resources to supply the intern with a suitable experience.
  3. The organization must employ the person who serves as the internship supervisor. It is expected that the supervisor is competent in fulfilling the objectives outlined below and be an employee who is committed to helping student interns develop and grow into professionals.

Organization Supervisor Responsibilities

  1. To provide the organization’s communication between the university and organization employees.
  2. To create a job environment to facilitate the intern’s growth and development in their responsibilities and duties.
  3. After gaining approval for an internship program, to communicate the goals of the specific internship experience to the appropriate body, which has committed to the internship program.
  4. To introduce the intern to the organization’s staff and assist the intern to have appropriate interaction with the staff
  5. To aid the intern in understanding their work duties and responsibilities as it correlates with the organization and its clients.
  6. To outline the responsibilities of the intern and assist their development and growth by:
    • setting appropriate goals and objectives with the intern
    • meeting regularly to discuss operational methods, problems, and leadership techniques and additional issues that will facilitate the intern in meeting his/her internship goals
    • keeping the intern up to date on all regulations and rules
    • assisting the intern in the selection of an appropriate internship project that would be beneficial to the agency
  7. The Intern will be evaluated by the internship supervisor through the following:
    • planned and unplanned meetings with the intern
    • planned meetings with the university internship coordinator via electronic means or in person
    • provide oral review and feedback of the intern’s work during the internship
    • completion of the mid-term and final evaluation forms and discussion with the intern
    • seventy percent of the internship grade is from the final evaluation of the internship supervisor

University Internship Coordinator Responsibility

  1. To be accountable for the university’s communication end of the internship
  2. To continue to update database of possible internship sites and supervisors to provide currency and the best opportunities for our interns when consulted about internship placement
  3. To provide support and advise to the student
  4. To oversee arrangements for and endorse internship contracts
  5. To maintain lines of communication with the internship supervisor
  6. To be available for consultation if necessary and act as a resource for the student and organization internship supervisor
  7. To assess internship reports and the performance of the student – the final grade is given by the internship coordinator using the final evaluation of the organization’s internship supervisor (70%) and additional assignments completed by the student (30%)

Student Responsibility

  1. To select the placement of the internship site, establish initial communication with the organization, outline the internship agreement and gain final approval from the faculty internship coordinator for the internship experience
  2. Obtain the required professional liability insurance ($20.00) through theHealth and Human Performance Office 3006 Elam Center (Insurance runs June 1 – May 31)
  3. Students must complete all assignments and requirements by the dates assigned

The Department of Health and Human Performance has partnered with Verified Credentials, Inc. (VCI) to manage your internship sites requirements for background checks. If your internship site requires a background check please follow the instructions given by clicking on Verified Credentials.


It is recommended that you find out your internship site'€™s timeline in completing your back ground check. The cost to you will be $50.00, paid to verified credentials.


Types of Internships

Past Internship Sites