Internships can be a valuable part of the undergraduate experience, providing experience critical to future employment or graduate work.

Why internships are important

Internships should connect real-world, outside-the-classroom experience to concepts and knowledge learned in the classroom. Even though few occupations at the baccalaureate level include "sociologist" in their title, the sociological perspective is excellent preparation for a wide range of occupations. Students who graduate with an A.B. degree in sociology and enter the job market directly will find themselves competing with other students, but with an advantage: a critical understanding of key social factors and structures, and a firm grasp on research design and methods.

However, maximizing the advantages of majoring in sociology depends on application of knowledge in ways that are constructive for a potential employer. Internships enable students to acquire concrete skills and gain practical experience through actual work experiences.

You may identify potential internship and job opportunities with the assistance of the Internship and Career Center campus resource Handshake, which posts internship and job availabilities, both on and off campus. 

Although the Department of Sociology does not directly sponsor internships, the numerous campus resources that give students access to a multitude of internships include:

Academic Credit

Sociology and sociology-organizational studies majors have many opportunities to complete one or more internships during their time at UC Davis. Depending on the type of internship, students who have completed 84 total UC Davis units may be eligible to receive upper division unit credit by enrolling in SOC 192 (Internship and Research Practicum), which requires the student to find a faculty member who agrees to serve as a sponsor for the internship. For more information, speak with an undergraduate advisor.

Past Internship Sites

Here are some representative occupational sectors and specific organizations in which UC Davis sociology alumni served valuable internships when they were students.

Social services

  • United Way of the Mark Twain Area, Hannibal, MO: grant and needs assessment preparation
  • UC Davis Center for Child and Family Studies: child caregiving
  • AmeriCorps NCCC: corps volunteer member


  • Oakland Unified School District – Intermediary, School Services: regional intern
  • Aim High: humanities teaching
  • Aim High: biology teaching
  • Committee to Bridge the Gap: research intern
  • UNESCO: research intern
  • Davis Farms to Schools: intern
  • Dixon High School: counseling
  • San Juan Unified School District: counseling (Southern California)
  • UC Davis Student Recruitment and Retention Center: transfer and re-entry (collective) intern


  • University of the Pacific: career counseling
  • Christian Brothers High School: teaching and counseling students
  • Fulfillment Fund: scholarship program intern

Human Resources

  • Person Education: human resources in a for-profit, corporate setting


  • Marketo: full-time marketing internship


  • Design for America: project team participation
  • Creative Artists Agency: client support and professional development

Public Relations

  • UC Davis Office of Strategic Communications: public relations social media writing and editing

Business and Financial Sectors

  • RE/MAX: business development and real estate
  • Lockheed Martin: competitive assessment and process improvement support (International – UK)


  • California Public Interest Research Group: environmental and social issues campaigns
  • Judicial Council of California: judicial fellow (Capital Fellows Program)
  • Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation: engineering department
  • The Raben Group: undergraduate intern (Washington, D.C)


  • East Bay Community Law Center: health unit legal intern
  • U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division: legal intern (UCDC Program)
  • The Hon. James Larson, United States District Court, Northern District of California: judicial intern

International Affairs

  • Northern California World Trade Center: research assistant


  • California Pacific Medical Center: outpatient pediatric surgical program volunteer

Other Sectors, Fields and Industries

These are some additional fields in which sociology majors may wish to look for internships.

  • criminal justice
  • environment
  • health care
  • international non-governmental organizations
  • journalism
  • law enforcement
  • nonprofit and community service organizations
  • research organizations
  • technology firms