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What is a Field Experience in Criminal Justice?

At UHD, the Criminal Justice Department designed its field experiences (also known as internships) to help students gain experience within a criminal justice agency while incorporating that experience with academic training.

Field experiences are recommended for criminal justice majors not employed in the criminal justice system. However, practitioners may apply for the field experience in areas of criminal justice other than the one in which she/he normally functions.

Who May Enroll in CJ 4380 or CJ 4680?

Students must meet the following criteria to enroll in Field Experience CJ 4380 (three hours credit) or CJ 4680 (six hours credit):

  • Student declared a criminal justice major
  • Student completed at least 60 semester hours
  • Student maintained an overall 2.5 Grade Point Average

Important Note: Students who received transfer credit for field experience from another institution are not eligible for the UHD Criminal Justice Field Experience program.

How to arrange Field Experiences

Students may not enroll for the UHD Criminal Justice Department Field Experience course until approved by the UHD Criminal Justice Field Experience Coordinator. Arrangements must be made for the field experience in advance of registration for the semester in which the student will be doing the field experience.

Once a student meets the Field Experience Qualifications listed above, she/he:

  • Picks up a Field Experience/Internship Packet from the Career Services office (North 370)
  • Each student must review the Career Services file of field experience opportunities, and select those agencies with whom they wish to work
  • The student is responsible for making an appointment with selected agencies for an interview. If the agency accepts the student, the agency must then fill out the Field Experience Job Description form contained in the field experience packet
  • Each student must return both the Field Experience Job Description form and the Field Experience Application to the UHD Criminal Justice Field Experience Coordinator. Note: Students must make sure to indicate whether she/he is applying for CJ 4380 (three-hours credit) or CJ 4680 (six-hours credit)
  • Once the necessary forms have been returned to and approved by the CJ Field Experience Coordinator, the student will receive notification to register for the course

Are There Paid Field Experience Positions?

  • Paid Field Experience positions are very rare. Most field experiences are coordinated through the respective agency's volunteer office
  • In some instances, an agency may provide a small stipend. However, most field experience positions are volunteer, and therefore, unpaid

Where Can I Do My Field Experience?

  • All field experience locations must be taken in an approved criminal justice or related agency
  • Students are encouraged to select an agency that represents the type of work they want to pursue after graduation. However, students are not limited by those agencies on file with Career Services

How Many Hours Will I Have to Work?

UHD's Department of Criminal Justice awards each field experiences three or six semester credit hours

  • Three hours credit requires a minimum of 120 on-site hours
  • Six hours credit requires 240 on-site hours

Note: It is the student's responsibility to develop a work schedule with her/his respective agency that is beneficial to both parties.

Are There Any Other Requirements?

  • Students must keep a daily log of hours worked and activities conducted
  • Additionally, a paper is due at the end of the semester that ties the field experience to the literature addressing issues relevant to the field experience

Who is the Criminal Justice Field Experience Coordinator?

The Criminal Justice Field Experience Coordinator rotates every semester to a different professor. To contact the Coordinator, please email CJfieldexperience@uhd.edu or call: 713 221-8943.

Register today! We look forward to working with you to tailor your academic program to your career goals. If you have any questions or need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the program advisor.

For more information in applying at UHD, visit the UHD Admission page.

Last updated or reviewed on 8/22/14

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