Project and Internship Option
|List of Completed Projects|
Thesis & Project: A Distinction
A thesis builds on the literature of a given field or discipline with less immediate applicability to practice. A project is grounded in the practicalities of practice and or service within a specific organization. Another way to think of the difference between the two is the thesis typically involves basic research while the project is applied research.
Although the project option does not necessarily have to be associated with the practicum/internship, students are encouraged to develop a project in conjunction with their practicum/internship. The project is a practical application of knowledge and skills to an existing problem of practice/service associated with an organization, often the one that sponsors the practicum/internship. The project is different from the thesis in that the project has immediate application to the organization. A project may involve an evaluation or the formulation of new program or process associated with the organization.
1. JUST 897 Project must be taken in conjunction (prior or concurrent) with JUST 950 Internship.
2. Project Process
The instructor leading the JUST 897 culminating project course will serve as chair of the project committee for all students. The instructor will assist the students in selecting a Justice Studies faculty member to serve as a second reader of the project. Together, the chair and reader will make up the student's project committee.
The proposal will, at a minimum, describe the problem of practice the project will address. The proposal shall include a short literature review of the problem, or list of some of the sources, so as to position the problem within the field. Lastly, the proposal will describe the method or process and any instruments associated with the project. Work on the project will continue only after the committee has approved the proposal. If
the methodology involves research on human subjects, the master’s candidate shall secure IRB approval before starting the gathering phase of the project.
Projects will typically have the following components:
(1) An introduction to the problem addressed by the project. What is this project and why is it important and to whom is it important are issues that should be addressed in the introduction.
(2) The literature review is of sufficient depth that the reader will know where the project is situated within the field and how the literature informs the project.
(3) The project shall comprise the major portion.
(4) Findings, recommendations, and conclusions shall be the last portion. In this section the student shall discuss how this project contributes the problem of practice, which focused the study. This section shall also discuss any next steps to follow the project.
The project shall be accepted if both committee members agree. In the case of a split decision, each committee member will prepare a summary of the rationale for the decision. The project and the summary shall be given to the Director of the program who shall ask a member of the Justice Studies faculty to read the project and summaries and to cast the tie-breaking vote.
3. Appeal Process
The appeal process established by the Graduate School shall be followed in student appeals of project decisions.
JUST 950 Internship
Placements: Most placements deal directly with the legal system. Possible placements include police departments (state
and local), juvenile service agencies, district courts, probation and parole offices, various correctional institutions and
programs, prosecutors' offices, and public defenders' offices. Those interested in pursuing an internship with the state
police or a federal agency must contact the Justice Studies Office well in advance. It must be understood that these
internships are subject to availability. It can take up to two semesters to plan such internships due to the extensive
background checks conducted by these agencies. Please contact the office at 862-1716 if you are interested in one of
Credits: The Justice Studies 950 internship is limited to 4 credits.
Course Requirements: Students should expect to spend between 10 and 15 hours per week at their placement.
In addition to hours spent working in the field, students are required to attend a weekly class meeting, keep an activity
journal and complete weekly assignments relating to their placements.
How to Register: Enrollment in Justice Studies 950 is by permission only. An informational meeting will be held a few
weeks before registration to answer any questions about the program. At this meeting, an appointment will be set for the
student to discuss possible internships and placement procedures with the Field Placement Coordinator. After meeting with
the Field Placement Coordinator, the student will be given permission to register.