Internship option

For this route to completing the Capstone requirement in geography, you will initiate and complete a professional project that is relevant to your area of concentration within the major: Culture & Politics; Urban & International; Physical Environment.

As with other options within the Capstone, your project should demonstrate your ability to think and act independently, and, more importantly, to apply your knowledge in a “real world” situation.

This internship-based Capstone project is significantly different from the Practicum (GEOG 409) that students may complete for course credits. The most significant difference between the two is that a Practicum provides the student with an opportunity to understand career opportunities related to Geography, and the expectation is that the student will carry out tasks assigned by the supervisor at work. In such situations, students rarely get to work on a single project from the planning stages all the way to completion.

However, when it comes to completing the Capstone through an internship, you will be an active—preferably, the lead—participant in a project, from the beginning to the end. This higher level of expectations is comparable with those expected of students who choose the thesis or creative work options for their Capstone Experience.

While faculty will assist students in gaining internships, you and your advisor will need to keep in mind the various logistical issues that could arise, such as: no openings for the term when a student plans to do an internship, or the lack of a supervisor at the agency where the student proposes to work on the project, etc. This means that you will benefit from planning ahead, and not taking for granted a Capstone-internship during the final term before graduation.

The proposal for your internship should:

  • Introduce what you want to do for your internship.
  • Explain how your internship will demonstrate what you have learned as a geography major. This may involve:
    • Discussing how your coursework has prepared you for this internship.
    • Identifying themes or topics from your studies with relevance to your internship.
    • Identifying relevant tools or methods that you’ve learned about that you will be applying in your internship.
    • Discussing particular readings from your coursework with relevance to your internship.
    • Drawing out larger geographic questions from your studies the you intend to address with your internship.
    • Reviewing relevant literature or background materials.
  • Specify the primary tasks or jobs to be completed, and a prospective schedule for those tasks.
  • Identify possible agencies where such a project can be completed.
  • Provide names and contact information for personnel at the agencies who could potentially serve as supervisors for the project.
  • Specify a final work product. This will typically be a report detailing your internship and what you learned.

Once the internship commences, you will need to meet with your advisor on a regular basis, and provide them with draft versions of the deliverables, which will be the products of each of the tasks. When all the work has been completed, you will submit your materials in the following order:

  • Title page
    • Name
    • WOU V#
    • Email address (WOU address preferred)
    • Telephone number
  • Table of Contents
  • The report or proposed work product.
  • Additional documentation as appropriate, e.g., maps or other technical materials prepared as part of the internship.
  • A current résumé.


Mike McGlade, Geography Department Chair

Email:   Office: HSS 211

Tel: 503-838-8381