Experiential learning is about giving you real-world experience, so you have experience in your field outside the classroom.

It's about building your professional experience as well as your confidence in your academic path. With such an important component of your education, we want to make sure you have every opportunity to gain that hands-on experience. 


The Internship/Field Experience in psychology (PY495) is a 3-credit-hour course designed to provide students an opportunity to gain practical experience in professional psychology settings. As such, it serves the purposes of providing students with marketable professional work experiences related to their academic training, an opportunity to apply their knowledge and research skills, and an opportunity to develop new skills relevant to the profession of psychology. 

Students will regularly meet with both their site supervisor and course professor, complete daily/weekly activity logs, and gain experience integrating academic/research knowledge into applied training through a variety of in-class and out-of-class presentations. It is understood that the Internship/Field Experience requires a commitment for an entire semester and a minimum of 120 hours. 


  • Facilitate the integration of knowledge gained from course work in psychology with applied experience 
  • Expose students to real-world situations where they will gain experience in the application of psychological principles 
  • Promote the development of skills relevant to the profession of psychology (e.g. communication, problem evaluation, and documentation) 
  • Provide students with marketable experience that can assist them with future employment or admission to graduate school 

Learning Outcomes 

  • Interns will evaluate current practices regarding ethics (including common practices, potential risks for ethical violations, etc.) and diversity (including race, gender, disability, experience, etc.) used at the placement site. 
  • Interns will demonstrate ability to locate and synthesize research regarding one issue of practice identified at the placement site. 
  • Interns will demonstrate ability to meaningfully reflect upon personal and professional growth through weekly documentation of skills and experiences obtained at the placement site. 


Students must complete the following in order to apply for an internship/field experience: 

  • Major in Psychology 
  • Passing grade for PY 370 (C or above) 
  • A cumulative 2.5 GPA (Grade Point Average) in Psychology. 
  • Completion of at least 75 credit hours. 
  • Instructor consent 

Students may repeat the course for credit. 

Selected Sites 

Serenity Point/Family Counseling Center Behavioral Health: Programs and services designed to address problems in an individualized manner under conditions that assure client safety, comfort and confidentiality. Services provided include: Adolescent Comprehensive Substance Treatment and Rehabilitation (CSTAR) and Women’s and Children’s Comprehensive Substance Treatment and Rehabilitation (CSTAR). 

Community Counseling Center: Provides a full array of comprehensive behavioral health services via 41 programs and 350 professionals and staff working together so that residents living within CCC’s service region of Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Madison, Perry and Ste. Genevieve Counties receive the treatment they need. 

Cottonwood Children’s Center (part of Community Counseling Center): Residential treatment facility for children (ages 6-17) diagnosed with a mental health issue. The center also houses a day treatment center for children 6-17 years of age who have been identified by Cape Girardeau or Jackson school as a student in need of “treatment” services for a mental health issue that is interfering with his/her ability to function in a regular classroom. 

Girardot Center (Division of Youth Services): Collaborates with Southeast Missouri State University and houses boys ages 12 to 17 who have been involved in criminal activity and have received a court order to live at the center for a predetermined amount of time. While at the center, boys focus on decision making, building better relationships with their families and community service using many adventure-based treatment strategies. The normal stay lasts six to eight months, and residents are normally returned to their communities after their stays. 

Contact Information 

For fall Internships, schedule an interview with: 

Dr. Shawn Guiling 
Scully 427E, MS 5700 
(573) 651-2450 


Students in the Department of Psychology and Counseling can become a member of the Research Participant pool where they will receive research credit by completing studies in labs or online. This is an optional requirement for students and alternatives can be made for students who refuse to participate in departmental research.

Counseling Clinic

The Counseling Clinic is to promote excellence in counselor training by providing high quality counseling services to University students. Graduate interns work with clients with issues of homesickness, anxiety, depression, relationship concerns, grief and loss, academic concerns, family problems, roommate conflicts, low self-esteem, drug or alcohol use, oppression, LGBTQ+ and identity, sleep difficulties, and more. It provides a needed service for the campus community while allowing valuable experiential learning opportunities for students.

Center for Play Therapy Education

Play therapy is a mental health modality practiced by thousands of licensed mental health professionals within and outside of the United States. The Registered Play Therapist credential allows mental health professionals to enhance their marketability in the community or within school-based settings and specialize in an evidence-based, trauma informed modality. The Play Therapy Sequence, consisting of two courses, is designed to meet 135 of the 150 hours of Play Therapy instruction required for the RPT.

Office Location
Scully 404
Mailing Address
One University Plaza, MS 5700
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701