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California State University, Sacramento

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Department of Recreation, Parks & Tourism Administration

College of Health & Human Services

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Internships

All recreation majors, and many of our graduate students, complete professional internships, consistent with the accreditation standards for our undergraduate programs.

Undergraduate students are required to have at least 600 hours of pre-internship work experience and 400-560 hours of supervised internship experience. The exact requirements vary based on the degree program and further information may be found within RPTA's "Internal" webpages (for current students and faculty).

Are you interested in having Sac State students intern for your agency?

Supervising an intern can be a rewarding experience and a chance for an agency to help educate the next generation of recreation, parks, and tourism managers.

All students in our department are required to complete an internship. The internship requirements are based on the standards set by the Council of Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT).

How to Get an Intern:

  1. Send a flyer or email description to the department (rpta@csus.edu, subject line: Internship Announcement) by the dates suggested below. Make sure the announcement includes:
    1. Agency name and location
    2. Dates (semester) of internship
    3. Description of the internship duties
    4. Minimum requirements
    5. Paid or volunteer
    6. What is required to apply (resume, etc.)
    7. Where/how to send resume, application, etc.
    8. Contact for additional questions
  2. Once an intern is selected, please review the intern’s goals and objectives and sign the internship paperwork (these will be provided by the prospective intern).
  3. Direct any additional questions to the Department Chair, Dr. Tony Sheppard (tony@csus.edu) or the intern’s faculty advisor.

When to Announce Internships: Our students may sign up for internships in Fall, Spring, or Summer. Timing is crucial for you to gain an intern, so we ask that you send flyers/announcements for internship opportunities at least six months ahead of registration periods. Students register in:

  • May (and August) for the Fall Semester
  • December for the Spring Semester
  • April for the Summer Session

Additional details for Recreation Therapy internships

  • Supervision: Interns must work directly under the agency's Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) (agencies that do not have a CTRS cannot have a Recreation Therapy intern).
  • Students receive course credit (RPTA 195D).
  • Payment: Internships may be paid or unpaid, depending upon agency resources.
  • Hours for National Certification: 560 minimum hours (equivalent to 14 weeks of full-time work)
  • Hours for California Certification: 600 minimum hours (equivalent to 15 weeks of full-time work)
  • Insurance: Students are covered by university liability by registering in the 195D course.
  • Internship Project: All interns are required to complete a project approved by the agency supervisor.
  • If you are interested in setting up a contract as an internship site with Sacramento State, please send the following information to Geraldine Nicholson:
    • Name and title of person legally authorized to sign contracts on behalf of the facility
    • Phone number and email address of the above
    • Full name and address of the facility
    • When this information is received, it will be sent to the university's contract officer who will contact the agency contact to negotiate details of the contract.

Additional details for Recreation & Park Management Internships*

*Includes Non-profit and Community Recreation, Natural Resource Management and Outdoor Recreation, Hospitality and Tourism Management

  • Supervision: Intern must work under an agency employee who is at the supervisor/management level.
  • Course Credit: Students receive course credit (RPTA 195E, 195B, or 195C).
  • Hour Requirement: 400 hours (equivalent to 10 weeks of full-time work) is required for national accreditation. This can be completed as a full internship (195E) or by combining two partial internships (195B and 195C). Partial internships can be done at different agencies.
  • Payment: Internships may be paid or unpaid, depending upon agency resources.
  • Insurance: Students are covered by university liability by registering in the 195B, C, or E course.
  • Internship Project: All interns are required to complete a project approved by the agency supervisor in consultation with the faculty advisor.
  • If you are interested in setting up a contract as an internship site with Sacramento State, please contact Dr. Elizabeth Erickson.