Continue your learning outside the classroom

At Springfield College, we believe that education is all about taking action, which is why you have the opportunity to work in the field and gain valuable experience during your time here.

A male student looks through a microscope in a Springfield College classroom

Internships are a great way to gain hands-on experience. Think you may be interested in conservation science, but unsure what that means on the day to day? Internships can be life-changing in that they provide a great opportunity to both experience different real-world aspects of a job you are interested in, AND provide professional contacts that can change the trajectory of your career. The Biology/Chemistry Department has cultivated relationships with several institutions that will facilitate your ability to take part in these experiences. You can take internships for 1-3 credits, depending on how many hours you are working. Participating in an internship opportunity does not require that you take it for credit. You can also participate in a particular internship site without applying for the credits, but just to get the experience. We can help students find experiences with institutions outside the affiliation list if students are interested in other experiences without applying for credit. There are lots of ways to get hands-on experience, make sure to talk with your advisor about the multiple options.

Because we are not a department that grants a clinical degree, we do not offer clinical internships for credit. If you are interested in clinical experience, job shadowing may be a better place to start.

How to apply:

  1. Talk to your advisor! Start early—the semester BEFORE you want to do one! Discuss the type of experience you’re looking for, the amount of time you are able to invest.
  2. Fill out an Internship Interest Application. This is to help make sure we are matching students effectively.
  3. Upon approval of your internship request, go back to your advisor to contact your specific institution. Many institutions have their own separate application process, including interviews, so get in touch with them as soon as you are approved to do an internship.
  4. Once you are accepted by your desired internship institution, you should register for BIOL 486 on PrideNET and reach out to the listed instructor to coordinate planning the requirements for credit (journal entries etc).

  5. Get out there and get your hands dirty! Take pictures! Make contacts! Let us know how it’s going!

Approved Internship Sites


Faculty member with more info

General category



Forest Park Zoo M. Fowler animal care, education LINK Springfield
Mystic Aquarium (Mystic CT) M. Fowler animal research; options for education and security among a few others. LINK Mystic, CT; housing options are available, but must work full time. Very competitive, but prestigious. Probably only summer
Sierra Club J. Compton environmental policy and advocacy LINK Many options throughout MA
The Nature Conservancy J. Compton conservation and environmental management LINK Many options throughout MA
Connecticut River Conservancy M. Fowler fieldwork, conservation/management LINK Greenfield, MA.
Trustees of the Reservation J. Compton conservation and environmental management LINK Many options throughout MA
Fish & Wildlife Pathways M. Fowler

biology/grants admin/science communication

LINK Hadley, MA
Audubon Society M. Fowler conservation/fieldwork LINK Easthampton, potential for Hamden, MA
MassDEP J. Compton fieldwork, policy, advocacy (environmental justice) LINK Springfield, Holyoke, Chicopee
Springfield Science Museum M. Fowler science education or aquarist/husbandry LINK Springfield
Con-Test Analytical Labs M. Fowler analytical chemical laboratory LINK East Longmeadow, MA; potentially paid
National Marine Life Center J. Compton animal care / fieldwork / conservation / education LINK Cape Cod, MA
Applied Chemistries M. Fowler printing and industrial chemistry LINK Agawam, MA

Job Shadowing

Job shadowing provides a student with the ability to witness how a professional works in a real-life environment. At times, the professional will allow the student to participate in the work. Many students looking to observe some clinical aspects of a career will pursue these opportunities.

These experiences are not for credit, and are often short term in nature, but can give valuable insight into the day-to-day life in a particular career, as well as forming professional contacts for the future. The duration of these experiences can range from just a few days to several hours per week over several weeks. Students will arrange their schedule with the shadowing host.

How to get a shadowing experience:
Faculty do not set up the shadowing experiences, but can help direct you to some resources. We have a number of contacts that your advisor can direct you to (see some example institutions where students have shadowed below). Then you can reach out with the contacts provided to set up a shadowing experience. Keeping track of your hours throughout the experience will be a good practice to catalog your experiences to include on resumes.

The Career Center staff can help students with their resumes as well as prep them with tips for interacting during the experience, but they do not coordinate shadowing experiences. The Career Center also can help look for longer term positions (summer jobs etc) through the Handshake and CareerShift apps.

Examples of previous shadowing placements:

Baystate Health (Nephrology, Podiatry, Anesthesiology)

Mercy Medical Hospital (Emergency Medicine)

UMASS Health Center, Worcester (Radiology)

Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, VT (Neurology)

ATI Physical Therapy

Rockingham Orthopedic Association

Newton Wellesley Orthopedic Associates

New England Osteopathic Surgeons

Private family dentistry

Environmental Science Major, Class of 2022

Nathalie Beltran

"I work with the US Fish and Wildlife Service under the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR), providing support during grant processing, communication, and other tasks. This experience has allowed me to meet and work with important leaders and biologists who put their time and effort into conserving and protecting our wildlife. Also, I have had the opportunity to participate in multiple activities that have allowed me to practice some of the skills learned from my courses. I am extremely fascinated with the service's work, and now I have a clear understanding of what I want to do in the future."

Nathalie Beltran, Environmental Science Major, Class of 2022
Environmental Science '21

Alexis LeBrasseur

"Interning at The Zoo in Forest Park has been one of the best experiences ever! I have been able to work with a number of different animals that I never would have expected to work with. This experience has only increased my love for animals, and it allowed me to finally figure out what I really want to do with my life. I encourage any and everybody to do an internship if they get the chance. "

Alexis LeBrasseur leads a mini pony through Forest Park Zoo
Biology `20

Jacob Johnsson

“I worked with the Audubon Society and the Ventana Wilderness Society collecting data on bird species in Toro Creek, CA. We used mist nets to capture the birds and caught 173 birds in total. I worked alongside many ecologists and field biologists who were so welcoming and eager to share with me their experiences, and as a result, I discovered how passion and a career can meld."

Jacob Johnsson holds a bird during an internship.
Sports Biology `20

R. Parker Cronin

“I worked at Mystic Aquarium educating guests. I taught people of all ages about all of the animals that live at the aquarium and would answer any questions they had. As a future career, I want to teach others and this was a fantastic experience doing so. I got to talk to thousands of people a day. Not only was the experience I gained helpful, but the chance to 'try out' what I want to do as a career and see if I actually liked it was very helpful."

R. Parker Cronin at his internship petting a penguin
Biology/Secondary Ed.`20

Julia Rodrigues

“I received a lot of hands-on animal husbandry experience at the National Marine Life Center in Buzzards Bay, Cape Cod. While working in the hospital, I was able to observe different medical procedures administered by veterinarians and animal care staff. I also worked in the Discovery Center where I spoke to the public about what the Center does and ran educational programs for children.  Not many places allow students to get a hands-on experience like this; the internship was very valuable to understand the rehabilitation process. “

Julia Rodrigues works with a seal at her internship