Psychology majors have the opportunity to earn departmental elective credit for their fieldwork experience in areas related to psychology. The Psychology Department offers Psych 497, a weekly seminar open to students who are also engaged in work in the community. Students have the chance to gain valuable training and work experience in the fields of counseling, social services, criminal justice, education and human resources. In conjunction with the field experience, the Psych 497 seminar helps students to further define their educational and career goals by encouraging the exploration of larger academic questions which relate to the fieldwork they are doing.
Resources for Finding a Fieldwork Site
Locating a fieldwork site usually takes several weeks and may require training or a background check. Students should begin searching for a fieldwork site the quarter before enrolling in Psych 497.
Tips on how to find a Fieldwork Site:
- Search organizations on the Fieldwork Opportunities site . These are sites where past psychology students have worked and is a good starting point. You do not need to select a site from this list.
- Look for internships on Handshake (a list maintained by the UW Career & Internship Center ) or at the United Way of King County or Volunteer Match or Idealist.
- Contact an organization that does psychology related work. Some organizations don't post all positions.
- Talk with your friends, family, & relatives. Often students have found positions by using their personal connections.
- Look in the Psychology Undergraduate Newsletter.
- Talk with Cy if you need any additional help.
- International F-1 students review the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) on the International Student Service (ISS) website before searching for a fieldwork site. International students need to be enrolled in 497 prior to submitting the CPT. CPT processing will take a minimum of 2 weeks. International students may not start their experience until the CPT request is fully approved.
- Exploring & Finding Internships
- International Students & Internships - Helpful information about CPT
- Stats and facts on finding internships in Handshake (21-22)
- How to create learning goals for your experience
- How to maximize your internship, according to employers
- Strategic analysis & reflection on your experience
- What to do after your experience
Overview of Psych 497
Psych 497 offers students the opportunity to learn and observe many things about the application of psychology in the working world. In turn, the class allows students to reflect on their fieldwork experience. As a result of enrolling in Psych 497, students should increase proficiency in the following:
- An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
- An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities and make informed judgments that consider the impact of solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts.
- An ability to recognize the ongoing need for additional knowledge and how to locate, evaluate, integrate, and apply this knowledge appropriately.
- Ways to collaborate in order to inspire and manage change.
- Function effectively on teams that establish goals, plan tasks, analyze risk and uncertainty.
- Understanding cultural and structural work place issues and dynamics.
Psych 497 is credit/no credit (CR/NCR). To earn credit, students attend a weekly class, submit assignments, and complete the required fieldwork hours.
The weekly class topics and assignments include ethics, diversity, resume review, informal interviews, graduate school prep, and fieldwork site presentations.
Course Information & Registration Process
In general, 1 credit = 3 hours of work per week (30 hours in a quarter). However, credit accrual differs between first-quarter 497 students and continuing 497 students. See below for more information.
As a first-quarter student, you must attend a weekly class and complete site hours. The class will count for 1 credit, while site hours will make up the remaining credits. The minimum number of hours at a site is 3 hours per week (30 hours a quarter) for 2 credits. The maximum number of hours is 12 per week (120 hours a quarter) for 5 credits. Typically, students enroll in 3 credits to fulfill the experience requirement. See chart below for a break down:
|Class & Homework
Hours Per week
|Total Site Hours
As a continuing Psych 497 student, attendance for an in-person class is not required. Instead, credits will be awarded based on the number of site hours completed and submitting assignments through Canvas.
|Site Hours Per Week
|Total Site Hours Per Quarter
Psych 497 is offered only during the academic year (autumn, winter, and spring quarters) and is for Psychology major students only, though few non-major registration exceptions are allowed.
Students have two options to enroll:
- Enroll in PSYCH 497 during the quarter you plan to complete your fieldwork (the class and site hours are done concurrently). This is the most common option for students who complete their fieldwork during the academic year (not during a vacation/summer quarter).
- Enroll in PSYCH 497 the quarter following the completion of the fieldwork experience. This option is only for students who completed their experience during the summer (vacation quarter for international students). Since PSYCH 497 is not offered in the summer, this option allows students to complete work during the summer quarter and earn credits by enrolling in Psych 497 during autumn.
- Both domestic and international students can defer summer fieldwork hours to autumn quarter.
- International students must maintain full-time enrollment (12 credits minimum a quarter) during the academic year (autumn-spring). When in their final quarter, to qualify for reduced credit load, International students must complete 497 alongside an academic class.
- Complete the registration request survey to indicate your interest in enrolling for the quarter.*
- Accept a fieldwork position that is related to psychology.
- Submit the learning contract on Handshake. (Information found in next drop-down)
- After your supervisor approves the learning contract, you will qualify for registration. Cy will use information from the registration request survey to register you into PSYCH 497 (no add codes are give).**^^
*To prevent registration delay, please select 497 section(s) that do not conflict with classes in your schedule.
^^Priority registration may go into effect for spring. Priority will be given first to graduating seniors, followed by seniors and then juniors.
Can't Access the Registration Request Survey?
The survey is accessible with a valid UW netid. If a Microsoft sign-in screen appears, a) enter your UW email and password to access the survey and/or b) switch your web browser to incognito or private mode then use your UW NetID.
The learning contract is an understanding of the expectations between you and the fieldwork site. You will answer reflection questions on how the position relates to the field of psychology, your duties, supervisor's name and contact information. It will be helpful to meet with your site supervisor to discuss the goals, expectations, and time obligations of your experience before submitting the contract.
To submit your learning contract, please follow these steps:
- Log into Handshake using your UW net ID.
- Click Career Center at top.
- Click Experiences
- Click Submit an Experience
- Choose Psych 497 - Fieldwork from the Experience Type drop down.
The enrollment timeline below lists the starting date for registration. Once your supervisor approves the learning contract, you will qualify for registration into 497. Students will be registered from the start date until the first week of the quarter. Priority registration is in effect for winter and spring. Priority will be given first to graduating seniors, seniors, and juniors.
Please follow up with your supervisor if your status in Handshake is still "In progress". Your supervisor will receive an email from Handshake asking to review your learning contract. The email's subject line is "Approve experience for [Your Name]."
Students enroll in PSYCH 497 during the same quarter the fieldwork experience is completed. For summer experience completion, students enroll during autumn quarter.
Quarter of Enrollment
Registration Request Survey Opens
Registration Request Survey Closes
CPT Submission Date*
|January 19, 2024
|February 21, 2024
|March 21, 2024
|March 4, 2024
|497 is not offered. Read "When do I enroll in Psych 497?" above.
|April 12, 2024
|May 15, 2024
|September 20, 2024
|September 11, 2024
|October 11, 2024
|October 13, 2024
|January 2, 2025
|December 23, 2024
April 12, 2025
February 26, 2025
March 27, 2025
March 17, 2025
*For International students. This date allows for a two week review window prior to the first day of the quarter that ISS often requires. CPT review can take more or less time after being submitted. Your CPT will need to be approved prior to starting site hours.
A critical component of a student's fieldwork experience is the training and supervision they will receive at the field site. Below is an outline of expectations for site supervisors. Students, please remember these guidelines and refer to them when talking with the agency you plan to do your fieldwork. In addition, if the student or supervisor has any questions or concerns regarding the agency's training or supervision, please don't hesitate to contact Cy Delgado in the Psychology Advising Office.
The field site supervisor must agree to the following:
- Provide a good learning and training environment for the student, including adequate orientation to the program and regular supervision, as necessary, keeping routine work such as data entry and filing to a minimum.
- Work directly with the student and make explicit arrangements concerning the student's overall learning objectives, communication, expectations, and records of the student's hours and performance.
- Complete an evaluation of the student's performance. A final evaluation will be emailed to the site supervisor toward the end of the quarter. It must be returned to the Psychology Advising Office before the student can receive credit.
The relationship with your site supervisor is very important. When you first meet to discuss your fieldwork experience, please discuss the following topics:
- Discuss what you would like to learn about the organization and the work that they do.
- Discuss your future career goals and interests and how this experience may prepare you for that work.
- Discuss the type of work they will expect from you at this organization
- Discuss the quality of supervision and the type of training you will receive as a volunteer.
- Discuss the number of hours you will be expected to perform and your schedule.
- Decide how many credits you want to receive (see drop-down above, "how do I earn credit?").
Except for reviewing, approving or amending the student’s Learning Contract at the beginning of the quarter and completing the end-of-the-quarter final evaluation, the site supervisor has no additional duties beyond their typical duties of performance feedback and support.
Supervisors will rate the student’s performance from poor to superior in 9 areas: competence, initiative, ability to learn, relationships, leadership, creativity, quality of work, quantity of work, and dependability. Supervisors will also confirm the number of hours the student has completed and have an opportunity to include additional comments.
The psychology department does not have affiliations with organizations for undergraduate students. Supervisors and organizations are not required to have an affiliation agreement with the department.
Students: If the position has an affiliation requirement, please check if you must be in a graduate program. If yes, you do not qualify for the position.
In most cases, students will have a supervisor. However, a few sites, such as Crisis Text Line (CTL) and Learn to Be, do not have a direct supervisor. While volunteering with CTL, students will receive training and can also turn to crisis counselors for help if they encounter a challenging situation.
When completing the Learning Contract for CLT or Learn to Be, list Cy Delgado as your supervisor. At the end of the quarter, Cy will email you a request to submit a screenshot of the number of hours completed. If students are not volunteering with CTL or Learn to Be and their fieldwork site does not have a designated supervisor, please email Cy Delgado at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Psychology covers many areas, from child development to mental health, animal behavior, to sensory perception. Many different types of experiences are related to psychology. You are encouraged to reflect on your psychology coursework to identify how your volunteer experience may be related.
Keep in mind that psychology is the study of human and animal behavior. With your experience, you will want to seek positions where you will have many interactions with people or animals. A job with duties limited to filing, answering phones, copying, stacking goods, cooking, or food prep does not provide in-depth interactions with others. The goal is to find an experience that allows you to grow from observations and be involved in deep, meaningful conversations.
A conversation with the site supervisor may help identify if their needs match your goals. Cy and the other Psychology Advisers are available to help you with this process. When you submit your Learning Contract, you will be expected to include specific ways your fieldwork experience relates to psychology.
Some sites may have a system for students to log hours. If that is not an option, students should track hours in a notebook or on your computer (daily or weekly). Towards the end of the quarter, students should speak with their supervisors about the number of hours completed. A final evaluation will be sent to your supervisor, asking about performance and confirming the number of completed hours.
Don't have a supervisor? See "what if I don't have a designated supervisor?" information above.
Hours are based on the number of credits have registered for.
There are no weekly hour requirements; students may adjust weekly hours to fit their schedule. However, speaking with your supervisor at the start of your experience and throughout the quarter is essential to clarify scheduling expectations.
At the end of the quarter, site hours should total the hours required for registered credits. See "How do I earn credit" in the Course Information & Registration section above for more information.
For first-quarter students, you may register for a minimum of 2 credits. Continuing students can register for a minimum of 1 credit. Students may register for a maximum of 5 credits every quarter. Students can earn up to 10 credits of Psych 497 towards the Psych degree. Once maxed, registration into 497 will be restricted. Overall, students may only apply 18 credits of Psych 496-499 towards their 180 credits for the BA or BS.
Students must be registered in 497 before being eligible to apply for CPT. An email is sent to all students who have been registered in 497, and you may apply for CPT once you receive the email. Questions? Watch the introduction to CPT video for more information.
Note: If you have submitted your learning contract and a few days have passed, please check with your supervisor to see if they have received and approved it. If your supervisor has approved the contract, please contact Cy at email@example.com to know if he has received their approval and for Cy to register you in 497.
If you want to extend your internship end date, you must submit a new CPT request in MyISSS. If you wish to cancel, shorten, or change the credit for CPT, you can update your CPT by completing the CPT Update Form in MyISSS.
Yes, students may earn up to a maximum of 10 credits of Psych 497 by registering in the continuing 497 section.
Yes! While most sites are volunteer, the rationale for being paid is that wages provide compensation for the effort you put forth in the internship/fieldwork itself. Whereas academic credit provides compensation for completing assignments demonstrating that the learning takes place in an internship.
It is best to find one fieldwork site for various reasons (e.g., time demands, travel concerns, supervisor coordination, etc.); however, it may be possible to do two sites and combine the hours for credit. Please contact Cy or Dr. Nelson for final approval, depending on which section you register in. If approved, you must complete separate learning contracts for both fieldwork sites.
If you have already been working at a site for some time or before registering for Psych 497, you are encouraged to do an additional project or take on additional responsibilities to further your learning.
No. Except for hours completed during the summer because 497 is not offered, Psych 497 is intended to grant students credit for academic work (the class) done concurrently with the fieldwork experience.
Yes! Students who want credit for the hours completed during the summer may do so by registering for 497 in autumn. Hours completed during summer may only be applied to the autumn quarter and can not be applied towards the winter or spring hour requirement.
For autumn, students have 3 options to complete their hours: 1. Students may complete their hours in the summer, or 2. from summer through autumn, or 3. in autumn. You should review the credit vs. hours chart above to determine how many credits to register for 497 in autumn. If you complete your hours during the summer, your final performance evaluation will be sent to your supervisor sometime during the first few weeks of autumn quarter.
International students on an F-1 visa are strongly encouraged to review the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) information available through the International Student Service (ISS) office during the spring or prior to starting your search for a summer fieldwork site.
If you have questions, contact Cy Delgado before the summer quarter begins to discuss this process.
First-quarter students must attend the weekly class and must make time in their schedule to do so. Continuing students do not have a class and will receive assignments through Canvas.
If 497 is full, your name will be added to the waitlist, and once a space is available, you may be added. Please adjust your schedule or plan to take 497 the next quarter if you can not resolve time conflicts.
For students who can not register for 497 or complete non-psychology-related internships, you can apply for General Studies 350 credit. The General Studies 350 class is managed through the Community Engagement & Leadership Education (CELE) Center at 171 Mary Gates Hall. International students may register for GEN ST 350 and apply their CPT to the course. Please contact the Carlson staff for assistance at 206-543-4282 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
No, Psych 496, 497, 498, 499 are experience courses and will not fulfill the upper divisional academic course requirements.