Officer and intern at event table

Police Internship

The Penn State University Police Department internship program is a highly rewarding, professional program that offers participants the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in various areas of the Penn State University Police Department.

Internships are paid and offered primarily to students enrolled at post-secondary institutions (must be 18 years of age or older). Student interns are typically in his or her junior or senior year of study and receive credit for successful completion of the internship program from their institution of higher learning.

Work Areas

Some of the work areas University Police interns may be assigned to include:

  • Criminal Investigative Division
  • Uniformed Patrol Division
  • Cell Phone Forensics/Crime Scene Evidence Collection
  • Community-Oriented Policing Unit
  • Records
  • Administration


Interns will be challenged to assist with investigative tasks, when appropriate, and will also be permitted to observe in many different patrol and criminal investigation situations including, but not limited to, interviews, investigative techniques and crime scene/evidence processing. At times, interns may be assigned to attend law enforcement related training programs or observe while officers participate in active training programs such as Tactical Response Team Readiness training and Firearms training.

Interns may also be assigned to complete clerical work and observe in non-sworn positions within the Records/Administration Division of University Police. Finally, interns may be assigned to observe court hearings, jury/non-jury trials, or other court related processes.

Requirements & Application Process

University Police interns are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times during their internship. Internship applicants must meet the following minimum requirements and must complete the application process successfully before being considered for assignment.

Minimum Requirements

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Successful completion of a standard employment background check
  • Successful completion of a motor vehicle driving record check (MVR), applicable only of those with a valid driver’s license
  • Successful completion of CLEAN/NCIC federal fingerprinting
  • Currently enrolled as a student attending an accredited school or university
  • Must be in good academic and conduct standing

Note: The internship selection process will be competitive due to the limited number of positions available.

Application Process

Complete an online application at and upload the following documents with the application:

1. Cover letter – stating why you are interested in the internship with Penn State University Police, your relevant qualifications and expectations of the internship program.

2. Resume – a professional resume that outlines work and school activities

If you are selected for an interview, you will also be asked to provide the following:

1. Transcript – an original copy of the current transcript will be required before employment.

2. References – Three (3) professional/academic references with contact information


Fall Internships

  • Fall internships run from September through December
  • Application and all required materials must be received by June 15
  • Interviews will be held by July 15
  • Selections will be made by July 30

Spring Internships

  • Spring internships run from January through May
  • Application and all required materials must be received by October 15
  • Interviews will be held by November 15
  • Selections will be made by November 30

Summer Internships

  • Summer Internships run from May/June through August
  • Application and all required materials must be received by March 15
  • Interviews will be held by March 30
  • Selections will be made by April 15

Funding and Academic Credit

The University Police Internship is in collaboration with the Criminology Department in the College of Liberal Arts and Finance & Business’ Office of Diversity & Inclusion for funding this paid internship.

Internships are the most effective way for students to gain work experience, establish credentials, and make professional contacts. This position is open to students of all departments. The ability exists for students to apply through their college to earn academic credit for this internship. For example, Penn State University Park students majoring in Sociology or Criminology may want to enroll in LA 495 to earn up to 12 credits. Three of these credits may be used to fulfill a 400 level course requirement.  You can find more information about the internship process for Penn State Sociology or Criminology students by visiting the departmental website at