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Field Experience (PSYC 491/PSYC 491A)

Psychology majors can participate in PSYC 491, Professional Field Experience in Psychology, which involves placement at a community agency performing work relevant to psychology, for academic credit. The course may be taken as a capstone experience or for elective credits (elective credits beyond the three credits counted for a capstone experience count toward the 120 needed for a degree, but not toward the 42 limit on psychology credits). Psychology majors interested in participating in PSYC 491  must first apply to and be accepted for the program before they can arrange a placement.

Students interested in participating in PSYC 491 should carefully read the description of the program, and review the Available Placements


HOW DO I GET ACCEPTED INTO THE FIELD EXPERIENCE PLACEMENT PROGRAM?

1.)  Submit the application form by the due date.

2.)  Reference letters are now  OPTIONAL , therefore it is up to the student if they feel it will be beneficial to request/submit them.  If the student chooses to do so, the student must complete the waiver form.

Then the student must send the Recommendation Form to their requested recommender. 

3.)  Complete a request for placement approval form, IF the student is seeking to complete a field experience at a site that is not on the current list of available sites.    

4.)  A review of applications will occur after the due date by both Dr. McWilliams (491 coordinator) and psychology department advisors.  

The number of internship hours required corresponds to the number of credits the student enrolls for.  Please see the chart for Fall/Spring or for Summer  to plan your schedule appropriately.   

Important Dates for 491 Application and Registration:

Summer and Fall 2024 Dates & Deadlines 

  • February 12, 2024- Information Night- 6:30pm – Life Sciences Building room G-15
  • February 16, 2024- Web application due (submitted electronically) 
  • March 4, 2024- Notification of acceptance and authorization of interviews (sent to student’s MIX email account) 

  • April 5, 2024- Student-Supervisor Agreement + Practicum Agreement Forms (fillable PDF), signed by student and supervisor, due. Upload to PSYC 491 Student/Supervisor Internship Agreement (wvu.edu). (NOTE: Background check must also be complete before student will receive the CRN for registration; late submission of these forms may result in an inability to register for PSYC 491 for the chosen semester.)

                                                      Spring 2025 Dates & Deadlines  

  • September 4, 2024- Information Night- 5:30pm – Life Sciences Building room G-15
  • September 20, 2024- Web application due (submitted electronically) 
  • October 15, 2024- Notification of acceptance and authorization of interviews (sent to student’s MIX email account) 
  • November 15, 2024- Student-Supervisor Agreement + Practicum Agreement Forms (fillable PDF), signed by student and supervisor, due. Upload to  PSYC 491 Student/Supervisor Internship Agreement (wvu.edu). (NOTE: Background check must also be complete before student will receive the CRN for registration; late submission of these forms may result in an inability to register for PSYC 491 for the chosen semester.)

Applications will be accepted after the due date, but priority for preferred placements will be given to on-time applicants. Students are not permitted to contact sites to set up interviews or arrange for placements until they receive an acceptance to the program, contact information and instructions for setting up a placement. 


WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I AM ACCEPTED INTO THE FIELD EXPERIENCE PROGRAM? (AND HOW TO I GET REGISTERED?)

Students who are already approved for the PSYC 491 program and who have received authorization to interview at a placement site(s) have several more steps to complete before registration can occur.  Students may access and download all of the required documents here.  

1.)  The instructions for next steps, includes advice regarding interviewing and setting up a placement. This document will help you with step 2 and understanding what to include on your contracts.   

2.)  After a successful interview, the Student/Supervisor Internship Agreement form and the Practicum agreement form must be completed and submitted by the due date. Please type in ALL  responses and complete with student and supervisor signatures where indicated.  Both of these contractual forms must be submitted prior to registering for the course.  Forms must be uploaded to the 491 Student/Supervisor Internship Agreement link ( https://forms.as.wvu.edu/deansoffice/view.php?id=83299 ). *If the link fails, you may email your forms to Dr. McWilliams at  srmcwilliams@mail.wvu.edu  with the subject CONTRACTS_PSYC491_Semester and year_Your last name.*

3.)  All students are required to complete a background check.  Applicants will receive an email to their MIX email account with a link to pick up to complete the process.  It will be sent from “ noreply@sterling.app”.  Please check SPAM or JUNK folders if you do not see this in a timely manner.  This background check must be complete  before  students are permitted to register.      

4.) At the conclusion of the practicum, site supervisors are required to submit an  evaluation of the student via webform no later than one week prior to the end of semester.  


Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about obtaining a Professional Field Experience in Psychology are answered in the description of the program above. Any additional questions may be directed to the program coordinator, Dr. Stephanie McWilliams ( srmcwilliams@mail.wvu.edu or 304-293-0834). 

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