Internships

Internships help students better understand their career interests, and frequently to lead to employment opportunities after graduation.
Although few entry-level occupations include "anthropologist" in their title, the anthropological perspective is excellent preparation for a wide range of occupations. The need is growing for analysts and researchers with sharp thinking skills who can manage, evaluate and interpret the large volume of data on human behavior. The extent of occupational flexibility reflects the emphasis on breadth, diversity and independence of thought. What we know about the future marketplace indicates a need for the type of global, holistic knowledge that an anthropological perspective brings. Anthropology majors can serve one or more internships during their time at UC Davis.

Benefits of internships

The advantages of being an anthropology major are only as good as you can translate them for a potential employer in terms of concrete skills acquired through actual work experiences. An internship is a valuable and practical way to start developing these skills and experiences.
Students benefit from internships in numerous ways, the most important of which is gaining firsthand experience about how their academic preparation relates to actual work settings. Through internships, students may discover new areas of interest, and can gain insights about subject matter in which they wish to advance their academic study.
Some internships may qualify students for academic credit applicable toward the bachelor's degree.

Academic credit

Depending on the type of internship, students who have completed 84 total UC Davis units may be eligible to receive academic credit.
An internship may qualify for academic credit if:
  • Students are able to apply the concepts and methods of one or more academic disciplines to an appropriate work experience or field setting.
  • Students are able to grow intellectually by extension of the general intellectual tools of one or more academic disciplines to the workplace; and
  • Faculty sponsors are able to assess the quality of academic work that the student completes.
Clerical, routine maintenance or service work does not qualify for academic credit.
Generally, one unit of credit is earned for a commitment of three hours of internship service per week over a course of 10 weeks.
If you wish to serve an internship, consult the Undergraduate Advising Office (1282 SS&H). You must obtain the agreement of a faculty member who will sponsor your internship, and you must fill out an application.
Please read and follow the directions included with the application. Fill out the required areas and then submit the Internship Application as indicated.
To receive unit credit for internships, group studies or independent studies (which usually involves assisting a faculty member with their research), please download and fill in the Variable Unit Form, obtain the signature of your Department of Anthropology faculty sponsor. Return the completed form to the advising office to receive the course registration number (CRN) to enroll in ANT 92, 192, 197T, 198, or 199 for unit credit. Please try to turn this form in by the 12th day of the quarter in which you want to receive credit.

UC Davis resources

You may identify potential internship and job opportunities with the assistance of any of these UC Davis campus resources:
  • Aggie Job Link, which posts more than 100 internship and job availabilities, both on and off campus, daily
  • UC Center Sacramento, which conducts a public policy academic program encompassing seminars and internships in and around the state Capitol. 
  • UC Davis Internship and Career Center, which can help you identify internship as well as job opportunities appropriate for anthropology majors
  • UC Davis Multicultural Immersion Internship Program, focusing on social justice and mental health, particularly for students who have had felt oppression in the past 
  • UC Davis Washington Program, which offers eligible undergraduate students an exciting opportunity to combine course work, exciting field research and unparalleled internship experience during a quarter's residence in our nation's capital
  • Undergraduate Research Center, which offers mentorship and internship opportunities as well as undergraduate research activities that can help prepare participants for graduate school 
Additional internship resources:
  • American Anthropological Association: the world’s largest association for professional anthropologists, with more than 10,000 members. The Association, which is based in Washington, D.C., was founded in 1902, and covers all four main fields of anthropology: cultural anthropology, biological and physical anthropology, archaeology, and linguistic anthropology.
  • American Association of Physical Anthropologists: a leading professional organization for physical anthropologists. Formed in 1930 and based in McLean, Virginia, the AAPA now has more than 1,700 members throughout the world. Membership in the AAPA is open to professional physical anthropologists, advanced students, professionals in related scientific disciplines, and others who have demonstrated qualification by publication or professional activities.
  • Society for American Archaeology: an international organization based in Washington, D.C., and dedicated to the research, interpretation, and protection of the archaeological heritage of the Americas. With more than 7,000 members, the society represents professional, student, and avocational archaeologists working in a variety of settings including government agencies, colleges and universities, museums, and the private sector.
Anthropology majors have found internship opportunities with businesses and organizations in many fields, including:
  • Archaeology
  • Cultural resources management
  • Education
  • Environmental conservation
  • Forensics
  • Government
  • Healthcare
  • Human rights
  • Immigration
  • International development
  • International NGOs
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Museum curation
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Nutrition
  • Social policy organizations
  • Social services agencies
  • Technology firms