Practicums and Internships
Gain Professional Experience While You Learn
Students gain hands-on sport industry experience and earn elective credit by taking advantage of our practicum and internship courses. Regardless of a student’s professional background, these courses offer an excellent opportunity to broaden your exposure to the sport industry and explore areas of interest. Though it is NOT required for graduation, we strongly recommend that you take advantage of these opportunities while you are in the Online Sport Management (OSM) master’s program. Many sport industry practicums/internships are available exclusively for students who are receiving college credit for the experience. Though these opportunities typically are unpaid or provide only a small stipend, they are a career investment that our OSM students find invaluable.
Differences Between the Advanced Practicum and Graduate Internship
UF’s Online Sport Management graduate program offers two courses to help students gain real-world sport industry experience and credentials while earning their master’s degree ― Advanced Practicum (SPM 6948) and Graduate Internship (SPM 6947). They both involve a student working on-site in a sport setting, but there are differences regarding prerequisites, time commitment, and level of responsibility.
The Advanced Practicum can be completed any time during the online sport management program. Students in practicums typically spend 5 to 10 hours per week on-site engaging in activities like shadowing a sport manager.
The Graduate Internship can be taken only after you have completed at least 18 hours of coursework in the OSM program. This prerequisite helps ensure that students have enough sport industry knowledge to successfully perform their internship duties. Students in internships typically spend 20 to 40 hours per week on-site and may have management responsibilities.
What is a Practicum?
Being proactive will help you find a practicum, and the benefits will be worth the effort. “Practicum” is an academic term, so we recommend that students use the more common term “internship” when looking for these opportunities. Internships with sport organizations can be completed for practicum credit and some practicums offer students more responsibilities than others.
How Do I Find a Practicum or Internship?
In addition to searching job sites, we encourage students to network. Many practicum-level positions are not posted publicly; students find them through personal contact with or outreach to an organization. Our Gator Marketing, Sports Information and Compliance departments, for instance, provide practicums to on-campus students who ask for them. We encourage our online students to be creative and explore practicum opportunities that may be available to them at their local sport organizations. Organizations to consider include professional teams, colleges, leagues, associations, private clubs, and community athletic centers.
Please note that you cannot complete a practicum/internship for your employer unless it is outside your department with different duties than those for which you are paid.
Some Helpful Resources
We are available to provide you with individual guidance based on your interests, but you are responsible for securing your own practicum/internship. Some excellent resources include:
- Organizations where UF students have completed practicums and internships
- College athletic program websites (e.g., Florida Gators)
- Professional league websites (e.g., NFL)
- Professional team websites (e.g., Kansas City Chiefs)
The Proposal and Approval Process
Please contact your Faculty Advisor for approval before applying to any practicums/internships on websites that are not listed above. If your practicum/internship application with the sport organization is accepted, you must submit the Online Sport Management Practicum/Internship Proposal to your Faculty Advisor for official approval to receive course credit. This proposal requires detailed answers to questions regarding your learning goals and objectives; the timeline of your experience; and the academic paper/project that you will complete as part of the course. It also requires that all parties involved sign a contract (page 3). For detailed information about the proposal, please visit Graduate Internship/Practicum Proposal.
Students completing the Graduate Internship are required to submit these additional forms:
Practicum/Internship Proposal submission due dates:
- Fall – August 1
- Spring – December 1
- Summer A/C – April 1
- Summer B – June 1
Once your Faculty Advisor approves your completed proposal, you will be registered for the course credit. Your Faculty Advisor then will establish due dates for submission of the following materials:
- Midterm Evaluation (completed by site supervisor)
- Midterm Reflection (completed by student)
- Midterm Time Log (completed by student)
- Final Evaluation (completed by site supervisor)
- Final Reflection (completed by student)
- Final Time Log (completed by student)
- Academic Paper/Project (as discussed with Faculty Advisor)
Students can enroll for 1 to 3 credit hours of the Advanced Practicum (SPM 6948) or 3 to 9 credit hours of the Graduate Internship (SPM 6947) per semester. Students can complete multiple practicums/internships in different positions and with different sport organizations during their time in the OSM program, but they can complete no more than 6 credit hours of Advanced Practicum (SPM 6948) and 9 credit hours of the Graduate Internship (SPM 6947). Only a total of 12 of these hours may be applied to the online degree’s required 15 credit hours of electives.
Students must complete a minimum of 48 clocked work hours for each academic credit hour registered. Students cannot retroactively add or drop credit hours to/from the course. All work must be completed during the semester for which a student has registered. Failure to complete practicum or internship hours and duties will result in a grade penalty.
We are Here to Help
If you have any questions or need assistance, contact your assigned Faculty Advisor. If you have not been admitted into the OSM program and have questions or need assistance, please contact your Academic Coordinator by phone at (877) 665-3860 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.