TENNESSEE BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
INTERN PROGRAM GUIDELINES
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Intern Program, which is administered by the TBI
Human Resource Office, is a valuable learning experience for college and university students
interested in a criminal justice or forensic career. The length of the internship is ten weeks with
semesters in the Spring, Summer and Fall.
Interns for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation receive a $9.00 per hour stipend during the
course of the internship. Stipend payments are treated as taxable income and are subject to all
applicable taxes. We also work with the students, as necessary, to assist them in receiving
academic credit from their school for their work with TBI.
Applicants must meet the following criteria:
A. A United States Citizen at least 18 years of age.
B. Senior status at a college or university for Forensic Crime Laboratory Interns and
Junior/Senior status or first year graduate students for all other Intern positions.
C. Recommended by their college or university faculty member to participate in the
D. Students must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above on a 4.0
scale for the Forensics Crime Laboratory and 2.5 or higher for any other unit.
Applicants for internship in the Forensic Crime Laboratory must have completed a
minimum of eighteen semester hours in chemistry.
E. Be willing to work five full workdays if assigned to the Forensic Laboratory and a
minimum of two full workdays (15 hours) per week if assigned to any other unit in
the Bureau. More hours may be required when completing an internship for college
F. Willingness to participate for a term of at least 10 weeks.
G. Pass an extensive background check.
To apply for an internship with TBI, the following information must be submitted:
1. A resume.
2. A 500 word essay on why you want to intern with TBI and how the internship fits in
your overall plans for your career.
3. A letter indicating what semester you wish to intern and where you want to intern:
Memphis, Jackson, Chattanooga, Cookeville, Knoxville or Nashville.
4. A recommendation from a faculty member.
5. A copy of your transcripts.
The deadline for submittal of requests for each semester is:
October 1 – Spring Semester
May 1 – Fall Semester
March 1 – Summer Semester
To apply, send requested information to the TBI Human Resource Office at 901 R. S.
Gass Boulevard, Nashville, TN 37072. If you have any questions, you may call 615-744-
4114 or email Jane.M.Birdwell@state.tn.us.
Initial selections will be based on your essay, the recommendation from a faculty member,
life/work experience, academic achievement and relevant skills. Preference will be given to
applicants pursing one of the following degrees:
Criminal Justice Medical Technology
Psychology Computer Science
In the second phase of the selection process for the program, applicants will be interviewed at the
location of the available internship.
Applicants selected from the interview and one alternate will receive a conditional offer letter to
serve as an intern. The TBI will offer a maximum of eight (8) internships statewide each
semester. Those students who are not selected will be notified by mail. Final official
notification of acceptance into the program is contingent upon the successful completion of the
Each selected intern will be fingerprinted and be given a background application. As the
background investigation will take several weeks to complete, the completed background
application should be submitted to the Human Resource Office within ten days. Incomplete
applications will not be accepted. Applicants will not be admitted to the intern program if the
background investigation reveals any of the following items:
• Prior convictions for a felony or for misdemeanors of a high and aggravated
• Deliberate misrepresentation or falsification of any application or background
• Conduct or activity which reflects a disregard for state or federal laws or which
conflicts with the standards of behavior or ethical principles of the TBI.
• Deliberate misrepresentation of illegal drug history in connection with the
• Illegal use of any drug, other than experimental use of cannabis.
• Deliberate association with individuals who participate in criminal activity.
• Driver’s history that suggests a pattern of disregard for the law.
• Credit history that suggests fiscal irresponsibility.
The intern program is designed to provide students with an opportunity to explore and refine
career goals within the criminal justice field. All interns will receive an orientation to TBI. The
orientation will include an overview of agency statutory authority, a tour of operations,
internship rules, and program assignments. All interns will be given writing assignments and be
evaluated. Interns will also be expected to provide constructive feedback on the internship
program. The Human Resources Office will work closely with interns who are receiving credit
for the program to ensure all requirements are met.
Interns interested in investigator (special agent) positions will be rotated through the Criminal Deleted: all sections in TBI where
investigators are assigned.
and Drug Divisions in TBI. Interns interested in legal, forensic science, communication or
computer careers will be assigned to a division related to their career interest. Daily journals will
be required and a 1,500 word essay will be due at the end of the internship. Projects will be
assigned by the intern’s sponsor and the intern will be evaluated for skills relevant to a career in
the assigned division. Interns will be evaluated throughout the internship. These evaluations are
intended to provide feedback on the intern’s skills and suitability as an investigator.
Deleted: These interns will be required
to complete short essay for each section
of the rotation and a 1,500-word essay at
The Investigator (special agent) interns may have opportunities to go out with agents. Although the end of the internship. Investigator
interns will be exposed to as much of the
TBI will not expose interns to unreasonable risk, all field operations are unpredictable and daily operations as possible. If law
potentially risky. enforcement training classes are available
during the internship, interns will attend
classes. These classes could cover
financial crimes, computer crimes,
interviewing techniques, public
corruption, ethics, or crime scene
processing. Interns will also participate
in field operations when possible.
Deleted: Interns will be evaluated
several times during the internship.
These evaluations are intended to provide
feedback on the intern’s skills and
suitability as an investigator. ¶
Interns interested in legal, forensic
science, communication or computer
careers will be assigned to a division
related to their career interest. Daily
journals will be required and a 1,500
word essay will be due at the end of the
internship. Projects will be assigned by
the intern’s sponsor and the intern will be
evaluated for skills relevant to a career in
the assigned division.