Biology Internship Program-BIO 380

1–2 hours of credit

Both January Term and regular semester internships provide an opportunity for students to learn about potential career choices. All internships involve a direct association with an institution or professional individual and are distinct from independent study. Internships are generally work-oriented and observational rather than academically-oriented. Students cannot be compensated for their internship experience (or be employed part-time at their place of internship). One to two credits are awarded; evaluation is Cr/No Cr.

One major goal of this experience is to allow students a firsthand look at the professions they plan to enter. While this may dissuade a few students from entering a certain profession, most students who intern are motivated to work even harder to prepare themselves for their chosen career path.

A second goal of this program is education. We feel that valuable learning derives from the volunteer service and observational experience made possible through this program. During the internship, we ask the students to (1) keep a logbook of their observational experiences, (2) write several reflective essays, and (3) write a short reference paper using professional journals appropriate to the type of internship in which they are participating. We also request that the student’s off-campus supervisor fill out a very short evaluation of the student at the end of the program. These materials provide the means by which we evaluate the educational merits of the internship.

January Term Internships
January Term internships (2 credits) require full-time involvement for a minimum of three weeks during January. The experience fulfills the JII (study away) general education requirement. Regular semester internships require at least 40 interning hours for 1 credit, in a minimum of one three-hour block of time per week during the semester (three hours/week of actual observation; travel time to and from the site of internship is not included). Note: Bio 380 credits do not apply toward the biology major. Summer internships will be negotiated individually, but in general, a shorter period of full-time observation (e.g., two weeks) is recommended over a longer period of observational “blocks.” The students are expected to abide by all the codes and ethics of the particular profession they are observing and to conduct themselves as mature individuals. Supervisors have discretion to implement policies appropriate to their place of employment and profession.

Prerequisites: In general, 12 credit hours in biology (including Bio 151 & 152) and approval of the Biology Department.  With departmental consent, applicants may be able to substitute other science coursework for portions of the 12 credit biology requirement.

Specific requirements for this course include:

    1. writing a daily log of observational activities
    2. a weekly (or monthly if semester-long internship) reflective essay on the most/least attractive aspects of the profession you are in and what strengths/weaknesses you would bring to this profession.  Specific guidelines will be provided.
    3. a short paper (3-5 pages) appropriate to the type of internship in which you are participating, which involves some research in the profession's literature and/or journals.  Specific guidelines will be provided.
    4. an evaluation of your participation by your immediate Off-Campus Supervisor(s) during the internship experience.

      In general, students planning an internship are expected to take the initiative for making direct arrangements with off-campus professionals and/or institutions. Students seeking currently available internship opportunities should visit the “Career Connection” link on the Luther Career Center’s website. To log in, click on “Students” and use your complete Luther email address as the username and your Luther ID number for the password. It’s best to establish initial contact with an internship site through a brief introductory email or letter that states who you are and how you learned about the internship site. Offer to contact the site within a week’s time to see if an internship experience is possible. Detailed arrangements should emerge in follow-up contacts. Students should take responsibility for contacting the internship site in order to minimize the professional’s time in the process.

      There are exceptions to this student-initiated process:

      1. Health Care Internships: The department selects students to participate in the following programs that allow students to shadow medical doctors:

      • Decorah Medical Clinic (Gundersen), Decorah, IA (1–2 students)        
      • Winneshiek Medical Center (Mayo), Decorah, IA (1-2 students)        
      • Family Care Clinic, Decorah, IA (1 student) 

      Apply for the above internships through the Biology Department only (application deadline—October 15th)

      2. Research Internships: The department selects students to participate during January term in undergraduate research at the University of Arizona–Tucson; St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix and the University of Utah–Salt Lake City also have winter term opportunities. A January Term research internship program with the University of Iowa Biosciences Program is another likely possibility. See Dr. Enos-Berlage if interested in any of these programs.

      3. Research Internships (Mayo Clinic): There is an independent selection process for doing undergraduate research at Mayo Graduate School, Rochester, MN. Request applications from Dr. Enos-Berlage. The application deadline for January Interim internships at Mayo Clinic in Rochester is October 15. If you are accepted, you must still complete an Internship Registration Form for Luther College. 

      Internship application forms are available in SHL 231 (Lynn’s office). Due dates for internship applications through the Biology Department are as follows:

      • SEPTEMBER 1 for fall internships 
      • October 15 for departmental J-term internships or Mayo Clinic research internships
      • December 1 for January internships other than “departmental” internships
      • February 1 for spring semester internships
      • May 1 for summer internships

        Completed forms should be returned to the Biology Department (Michelle Einck, SHL 231).  On the form, make sure to indicate what year you are at Luther (1st-4th), regardless of your credit-based status.

        • If applying for departmental internships complete the following:
          • Internship registration form, but do not complete the specific location for internship or the internship description.
          • Biology departmental internship application form.
          • Student Internship Agreement form
        • If applying for student-designed internships complete the following:
          • Internship registration form, include the complete site location details and contact information for supervisor(s)
          • Biology student-designed internship form
          • Student Internship Agreement Form

         For further information or questions, contact

        Jodi Enos-Berlage, Faculty Internship Advisor
        Department of Biology
        Luther College
        700 College Drive
        Decorah, IA 52101
        Phone: (563) 387-1556
        Email: [email protected]