Doctoral Internship information

Counselor Education doctoral students are required to complete two 3-credit doctoral-level internships of 300 clock hours each: one in counseling and one in teaching.

Specific requirements for the counseling internship include performing most of the activities of a regularly employed professional in the chosen setting. Students may complete the counseling internship on either a full-time or a part-time basis, with specific arrangements (hours, duties, supervision) worked out between the student, the internship site supervisor, the student's adviser, and the doctoral coordinator. Internships can be paid or unpaid experiences and are expected to meet or exceed the following standards:

  • documenting the time spent for both internships using the appropriate internship logs, which will be kept in the student's permanent file

  • must receive one hour per week of individual supervision and regular small group supervision by a supervisor with a doctorate in counselor education or a closely related field

  • a written evaluation completed by the site supervisor and submitted to the student's faculty adviser at the conclusion of the counseling internship must be shared with the student

  • the student must submit a written evaluation of the experience to his or her faculty adviser, which will be given to the doctoral coordinator, and then kept in the student's permanent file

Specific Requirements for the Teaching Internship which must be completed at University Park under the Supervision of Counselor Education faculty are as follows:

      • co-teaching one 3-credit course with a faculty member
      • hours spent as a teaching assistant will not count towards the internship
      • students must receive one hour per week of individual supervision provided by their faculty co-instructor
      • the doctoral coordinator will be informed when students are completing their teaching internship
NOTE: Pennsylvania laws require all prospective employees of agencies serving children (Act 33) and public and private schools (Act 34) to acquire criminal history clearance and child abuse history clearance (Act 151) prior to employment. Many school districts require volunteers and others working directly with children to have these clearances. Accordingly, the College of Education requires all students enrolled in field experiences to have both Act 34 and Act 151 clearances. Out-of-state residents must, in addition, present evidence of an FBI background check. These Acts were intended to cover employees of agencies and schools, however, some agencies and school districts are also requiring these background checks for interns. The necessary forms for Act 33 (agencies) can be secured through the internship site supervisor or personnel director. Forms for Act 34 (schools) can be secured in the College of Education Advising and Certification Center, 228 Chambers Building, Penn State University Park campus.   

At the time of this publication, the PA State Department of Public Welfare Child Abuse Clearance costs $10:;
the State Police Request for Criminal Record Information costs $15.00:
and the FBI charges $28.75 for a Fingerprint Record search:
Interns who are required to do this should make arrangements to obtain these clearances at least six weeks prior to the beginning of the internship. Failure to do so could result in termination of the internship placement.

All practicum and internship students must maintain professional liability insurance. The following company provides a policy of malpractice and personal liability insurance specifically for students: Maginnis and Associates, 332 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60690. Insurance can also be purchased through ACA if you are a member: American Counseling Association, 5999 Stevenson Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304 (703) 823-9800, (800) 347-6647, The program is not endorsing either of these organizations, just making students aware of some options available to them. Students should carefully examine these and other companies to select a plan that best meets their needs. The enrollment dates you choose should include the semester of your counseling practicum and internship.