Ohio University

Internships for Geography Students

Geography Internships Listserv

Subscribe to the Geography Internships Listserv for announcements of geography-related internship postings.

Internships

Internships are a great way to obtain real-world work experience and make personal contacts in your field of interest before you graduate.

Internships are an encouraged, but optional, part of the undergraduate curriculum in the Geography Department. Most internships are completed by juniors and seniors because students at that level have a solid background of geography coursework.

Many undergraduate students find their own internship opportunities through internship clearing houses, such as the Student Conservation Association (SCA.org), or directly from nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies, or private businesses. A few internship opportunities are prestigious, selective, and seek applicants annually (National Geographic Society, National Weather Service), but most aren't. Some agencies and companies offer student interns pay, while others don't.

Whether an internship is paid, students have the option of earning GEOG 4910 Internship credit hours for most internship experiences. For more information, students should contact their adviser or any faculty member in the Geography Department.

Examples of Internship Locations

  • Ohio University—Voinovich Center, Office of Sustainability, possibly other OHIO offices
  • Planning agencies and offices—various cities, counties, regions
  • Economic development agencies and offices
  • Rural Action, Athens
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Watershed groups
  • Ohio EPA (Logan, Columbus, etc.)
  • Other state agencies (ODOT, ODNR, etc.)
  • State and national forests, parks, monuments, etc.—SCA is a great source for many of these.
  • U.S. Natural Resource Conservation Service offices (These are widespread, e.g., The Plains, OH.)
  • State soil and water offices (throughout Ohio)
  • County engineer offices (throughout Ohio)
  • Various conservation organizations—Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club, the Crane Foundation, The Wilds, Buckeye Wildlife Institute, etc.
  • GIS, air photo, GPS, and mapping companies (several in Ohio)
  • TV stations, especially for meteorology students
  • Environmental engineering and consulting companies
  • Energy companies
  • Construction, development, architecture firms
  • Insurance companies
  • Others—be creative (!) and see what suggestions an adviser might have.

Receiving Academic Credit for Internships

Internship Course (GEOG 4910)

Geography majors interested in the internship course, GEOG 4910 credit must contact an Ohio University Geography faculty member to serve as the academic supervisor for the internship. To enroll, a professor will provide the student with the course call number for his or her section of GEOG 4910. The professor will need the contact information for the student's field supervisor at the internship.

Credit Hours

The number of credit hours to be earned and whether the internship will receive a letter grade (A-F) or be taken for credit (CR) are determined in consultation with the professor. Typically, each credit hour of GEOG 4910 represents two hours of internship work per week during a 15-week semester. Although GEOG 4910 can be taken for 1-12 credit hours, a maximum of only 5 credit hours (combined) of GEOG 4910 and GEOG 4930 will count toward a geography major (any track). In addition, the College of Arts & Sciences allows a maximum of 15 hours of coursework (combined total) taken for "CR" to apply toward the 120 hours required for graduation.

Grade Options

To receive a CR, rather than a letter grade in GEOG 4910, students submit to their professor a brief summary of the number of hours spent and the principal accomplishments, skills, knowledge, and/or understanding derived from the internship. In addition to the information required for CR, a gradable product must be submitted to earn a letter grade in GEOG 4910. The nature of the product is determined in consultation with the supervising professor at the start of the internship and depends to some extent on the nature of the position. It most typically is a "term-paper like" paper or report.