INTERNSHIPS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNICATION STUDIES
An internship can provide a valuable opportunity for students to extend their learning beyond the classroom and the Communication Studies Department supports these efforts. However, there are very specific guidelines, which govern these internships when students wish to earn academic credit for the experience. The following guidelines are an attempt to clarify the requisites for internships where academic credit is desired.
1. Students requesting an internship must be a Communication Studies major or Plan A minor who are in their junior or senior year. There are not exceptions to this rule.
2. Students must have completed, prior to the internship, a minimum of 12 credits of communication coursework including Communication Studies 200 or 201.
3. Students must be in good academic standing. The department reserves the right to deny internship credit to students whose academic standing is deemed to be in peril. Internships are a showcase of the department’s strongest students.
4. INTERNSHIPS MAY NOT BE TAKEN FOR CREDIT UNLESS APPROVED BY A FACULTY SPONSOR PRIOR TO THE START OF THE INTERNSHIP. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS RULE. SO PLAN AHEAD.
5. THE INTERSHIP WILL BE GRADED ONLY WITH THE PASS/NO PASS OPTION. STUDENTS SHOULD NOT REGISTER FOR A GRADED OPTION BECAUSE THE HIGHEST GRADE YOU WILL RECEIVE WILL BE A “C”!
If you qualify under the above guidelines you may proceed to establish the internship. Below are the steps you will need to take in chronological order.
A. Through research locate an opportunity for an internship, which compliments your career objectives. While departmental counselors are happy to discuss ideas with you, the actual securing of an internship opportunity is your responsibility. Generally speaking, you may not assume that a job (paid or unpaid) will qualify for internship credit. You must be prepared to establish that your internship has a link to the field of Communication Studies or at the very least requires communication skills.
B. Once an appropriate opportunity has been identified you will need to write a two to three page prospectus outlining clearing the following information:
- The name and address of the organization where you will be interning
- The name, title, email address, and telephone number of your supervisor where the internship is to take place.
- Your job title and a detailed explanation of the duties you will assume.
- The commitment you are making (number of hours per week, length of contract).
- Most importantly, explain why this opportunity is one that you believe will enhance your education and contribute to your understanding and learning about the field of Communication Studies.
- State within the prospectus how many credits for which you plan to register. Please see “D” below regarding credits.
- Take great care in crafting this document as it is essentially your opportunity to justify the internship as a credit worthy experience.
C. You will now need to locate a member of the faculty who will be willing to take on the supervision of your internship. Not all faculty members have the time to supervise internships and graduate teaching assistants may not supervise internships unless approved by the department chair.
Please remember that any faculty member who agrees to do an internship that this constitutes taking on responsibilities beyond a faculty member’s regular commitments. It is best to discuss your internship with someone you know and who knows your work. Ideally that faculty member will also be one of the departmental specialists in the area most appropriate to your internship opportunity.
Submit your prospectus to the faculty member to gain his or her agreement to take on the supervision of your internship. After he or she reads the prospectus it may be approved or returned to you for additional information. When the prospectus is in proper order both the student and the supervising faculty member must sign it.
D. You should next ask your supervisory faculty for the course code which you will need in order to register for credit. BE ADVISED THAT ONLY 3 CREDITS MAY APPLY TOWARD YOUR COMMUNICATION MAJOR. Typically a student would not register for more than 3 credits for an internship. There may be occasional exceptions. If you and your supervising faculty determine that the internship is suitable for up to 6 credits please look carefully at your transcript. Again, you may only use 3 credits toward your major although the other 3 may be used as general electives. Normally an internship for three credits would require 10-12 hours a week over the term of the semester. Therefore, 6 credit internships would involve substantially more work. Communication Studies 490 is strictly a P/N course.
E. Although you faculty supervisor may have additional requirements for your internship, typically you will be asked to maintain a regular journal which will be a repository for your accounts of specific incidents which arise which are pertinent to your field of study. Some examples might be incidences of: small group dysfunction, organizational communication problems, public address debacles, etc. Clearly you may also record examples of strong communication practices as well! This journal will be the basis of the paper, which you must write and submit to the supervisory faculty at the end of the internship. The 6 to 8 page wherein you speak to the overall experience and where you specifically discuss issues, which you witnessed that relate to theories that you have studied in the classroom. You will be expected to meet the rigorous standards which apply to all research papers. The journal should be submitted along with the paper to your faculty supervisor. Remember that this paper will be a reflection of the internship and its value. This is due within one week after the internship is completed.
F. Lastly, you must have your workplace internship supervisor submit a letter or email to your faculty supervisor evaluating your work. The letter should speak to the duties, which you undertook as well as to your performance on the job.
For additional information, contact one of the Communication Studies academic advisors.
Please complete the following worksheet and attach it to the prospectus.
Your Name: _________________ ID:__________________
Address:____________________ Telephone: ___________
Academic status (junior/senior) ___________GPA: ______________
Comm Studies 200 (date completed and instructor’s name):
Comm Studies 201 (date completed and instructor’s name):
Location of proposed internship:_______________________________
Site supervisor of proposed internship: _________________________
Email address of site supervisor: _________________________
Telephone number of site supervisor: ___________________________
Duration of commitment (number of weeks, months): ______________
Number of hours per week: __________________________________
Number of credits desired (remember that no more than 3 credits may be applied to the
Communication Studies degree): ______________________________________________
Prospectus for internship approved--date: ________________________________________