Internship, Senior Thesis, Senior Project, and International Study Information
Most of the majors offered by WWU College of the Environment require students to complete 5 credits of experiential learning. These credits can be any combination of Internship, Senior Project, Senior Thesis, or some International Studies courses.
The College of the Environment requires that all Internship, Senior Thesis, Senior Project, and International Study Reports be submitted in a digital format (PDF). Some completed reports are available through the WWU Library on WESTERN CEDAR.
If you have any questions about internships, projects or thesis, schedule an appointment with Ed Weber.
You MUST be registered for internship credits (ENVS 498B, UEPP 498B, or ESCI 498B) during the quarter in which ANY part of the internship is being performed, to include Summer Session. The number of credits enrolled each quarter should match the hours you are working on the internship. 30 hours work = 1 credit of internship. Internships often take more than one quarter to complete. In that case, you should estimate the amount of time you will work each quarter, and split your credits accordingly.
- Example: You perform internship for 240 hours during Summer Session and 60 hours during Fall Quarter. You must be registered for internship credits during BOTH Summer (8 credits) and Fall (2 credits) quarters.
It may be that your organization requires more hours then you need for your internship. In that case, it’s between you and your site supervisor to arrange those additional hours.
- Example: You’re internship site requires a 10-week (400 hour) commitment, but you only need 10 credits, which is a 300 hours. The additional 100 hours is not required for the completion of the 10 credits, but may still be valuable work experience, that you may choose to complete outside of your degree requirements. If you are unsure of your experiential learning requirement, please speak with a CENV Academic Advisor.
Work done during intercession (between quarters) can be registered during either the quarter before or the quarter after the work performance.
- Example: Summer Quarter ends on 22 Aug. Fall Quarter Begins 26 Sep. You put in 60-hrs of internship work between these two dates. Those 2-credits could be registered as either Summer OR Fall internships at your discretion.
Academic credits earned during summer session are charged tuition. You should coordinate with student financial aid in advance if you need assistance.
Before you begin
- Meet with your advisor to discuss possible ideas.
- For internships
- You may set one up on your own (with an agency you contact)
- Setup a "Handshake" account with the WWU Career Services Office
- Watch emails from Advisors on opportunities
- There is generally no central point for ALL jobs. Each level of government will advertise their own. (Federal - USAJOBS; State - Careers.WA.Gov, Counties each have their own, as do cities, and Tribal/First Nations Governments)
- Look for local organizations like Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association, Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group, RE Sources, Sustainable Connections, Whatcom Land Trust, Skagit Land Trust, and many others...don't assume all positions are advertised)
- Consider joining professional organizations....talk with your professors on which ones they recommend for your career path. Many opportunities are held internally with these groups.
Having decided upon an Internship, Project, or Study, complete and sign the appropriate CENV Learning Agreement/Contract
Senior Thesis Contract (ESIGN FORM)
Senior Project Contract (ESIGN FORM)
For International Study, work with your faculty advisor
- Arrange for your Advisor (Senior Thesis/Senior Project/International Study) or CENV Internship Advisor (Ed Weber/ES 545) to get an override code so you can register
- You will need to have a signed Learning Agreement/Internship Contract or Senior Project/Senior Thesis ESIGN Form to register for credits
- After the override has been entered, you will still need to register as usual
- Check out the registration hints
Report Format and Style
The content of the report must meet the instructor’s standards thoroughly address your learning objectives as documented in the Learning/Internship Agreement. The College does require the student meet the following format requirements:
Completed reports will need to be submitted as a .pdf file to the instructor by the deadlines established by the instructor.
The first page of your report will be the standardized cover sheet indicated below.
- Submit the report to your instructor as a .pdf file by attaching it to the College Internship Report Approval Esign Form. (If your file size is too large, you may need to "Compress" your PDF before attaching)
- If you are doing a Thesis/Project, follow the internship instruction as closely as possible if a report is being submitted. Get with your faculty advisor.
- For International Study reports, modify the Internship Report contract as appropriate.
- Cover sheets
- Internship,Project, or Thesis Signature cover sheet
- For International Study reports, modify the Internship Report cover/signature sheet as appropriate
- The report DATES refers to the dates when the Internship, Thesis or Report was completed (not when the report is submitted or credit is received). For work spanning multiple quarters/years, include the full range of dates.
- Non-text addendums (e.g., examples of work or materials from the internship) will need to be scanned for inclusion in the .pdf file.
(Note: If your faculty advisor gives different requirements, comply with their directions.)
- At minimum, submit first draft by third week of last quarter of study. Students must clarify the timeline for draft submission with the instructor and document that on the Senior Thesis/Internship Contract. Instructors need sufficient time to read and evaluate reports before the applicable grading deadline. In most cases, instructors require revisions and resubmission before grading.
- If internship, project, or thesis work occurs in the summer, this often delays graduation until Fall quarter. Faculty instructors are rarely available during summer to grade Internship or Senior Thesis Reports. Late submissions in spring quarter are problematic because many faculty leave campus for extended periods in summer quarter.
- Students with incomplete work listed on their transcripts as K grades are responsible for making sure the instructor submits the final grade(s). After the report is accepted as final by the instructor, students with K grades should notify the instructor of all quarters in which they have outstanding incomplete grades.