Internships for Anthropology Majors

Texas State University > College of Liberal Arts > Anthropology

Anthropology majors can earn credit in ANTH 4390 (Internship) by completing a one-semester spring, summer, or fall internship at an organization of their choice after working with the Department's internship coordinator, Dr. Neill Hadder, to obtain placement.

ANTH 4390 counts as an anthropology elective and also counts toward the fieldwork/lab techniques requirement for Bachelor of Science students. Interns submit a weekly journal and write a final internship report that relates their internship experiences to anthropology.

Internships generally consist of 10-20 hours of work per week, are usually unpaid, and provide a genuine apprenticeship experience with flexible hours to accommodate the student's other commitments. Some of our former interns have continued at their organizations long after completing their requirements, either as employees or simply for the added experience. The main benefits of an internship are:


At a minimum, all the following must be true when registering for ANTH 4390 Internship:

Contact Dr. Hadder to get started:

IMPORTANT: You must begin working to obtain your internship placement during the semester prior to the one in which you want to intern. internships in some areas (especially forensics and bioanthropology) are competitive.

What Internships Are Available?

Although there are several organizations that like to keep a steady stream of interns from our department, students discover or create new opportunities every semester. Between Austin and San Antonio, plus summer internships around the world, you can gain experience in virtually any field through an internship. It's up to you to know what you want, though.

The following internship areas comprise some of our students' most common interests. It is not comprehensive. In fact, every semester students discover new opportunities that add to the list, and we have arranged internships from Hawaii to Washington, D. C.

Archaeology laboratories - Learn the stages of processing and curating artifacts. Processing is an ongoing need due to the immense amounts of material that either comes into the lab or, for older collections, is in need of repackaging according to preservation standards. Our students routinely staff the Gault lab and Center for Archaeological Studies (both here on campus) as well as the Texas Historical Commission in Austin and other labs. Special projects in each lab arise from time to time.

Material culture - Learn to analyze historic artifacts, antiques, or museum collections, learn about techniques for their conservation, and research their provenance. Our students frequently apprentice themselves to the assistant curator of Latin American collections at the San Antonio Museum of Art and also work in the Historic Sites Division of the Texas Historical Commission. There are also occasional opportunities at local auction houses, children's museums, and more.

Death investigation - Accompany death investigators to scenes (often these are overdoses, hospice, suicides, etc., in addition to crime scenes), collect and photograph evidence, witness autopsies, assist in processing bodies, and learn the clerical procedures surrounding deaths reported to the Medical Investigator's office. Interns rarely encounter skeletal remains, but prior coursework in Osteology and methods of forensic identification allow interns to take advantage of more opportunities during the internship. Both Travis ME and Bexar ME accept our students competitively.

Law enforcement and forensic science - The APD Forensic Science Unit accepts interns occasionally in their various labs, such as ballistics, toxicology, or finger printing. A separate mainstream APD internship program introduces students to administrative procedures and investigation in particular departments such as homicide, organized crime, etc.

Forensic anthropology - The most meaningful internships for students bound for graduate training in forensic anthropology focus on science and require osteology as a prerequisite. Many of our students who are advanced in their biology or chemistry minors have assisted in osteoporosis research at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio. Our own GEFARL lab also accepts 1-2 interns per semester for special projects and for processing bodies.

Primate behavior - Students with some prior course work in primate behavior have assisted in research at the M.D. Anderson primate facility in Bastrop, as well as providing basic care and enrichment for primates at wildlife sanctuaries. Our students have lived on-site during summer internships at the Born Free primate sanctuary and Primarily Primates, Inc., both outside San Antonio. Animal care internships at the Austin Zoo and other sites are also possible.

Medical anthropology - Students with backgrounds in basic statistics and biology can provide valued assistants in cutting-edge research on diabetes, heart disease, population genetics, and related issues at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio. Other internship possibilities include county and city-level emergency preparation and management, as well as occasional competitive opportunities with the Texas Department of Public Health. Biology is not a requirement for all internships in this area, but students should generally have completed a course in medical anthropology.

Social-issue non-profits - For every conceivable social condition facing groups of people, there exist non-profit organizations that are eager for motivated volunteers. Our students have had life-changing internships in refugee resettlement through Caritas and Refugee Services of Texas, organized naturalization workshops for new immigrants, supported environmental causes, collected the oral histories of people involved with capital punishment with the Texas After Violence Project, organized events for visiting foreign dignitaries through the International Hospitality COuncil, and worked with populations ranging from children in domestic abuse legal cases to GLBT youth, the homeless, community gardeners, and kids in after school programs. Non-profits comprise the largest category of internships, but there are so many possibilities that we start with your strong pre-existing interest in a particular area, and then we find the internship.