Here’s what you need to know about lining up a valuable communication studies internship.
Because we believe that our interns are capable of making valuable contributions to organizations, we ask that they be paid at least minimum wage. But that is not a requirement, and you can receive college credit whether or not the internship is paid. Internship credits are subject to the standard tuition and fees.
You should work for the organization anywhere from 150 to 300 hours over the course of a 15-week semester, depending upon how many credits you wish to earn. For example, 50 hours of work earns one credit hour, 100 hours of work is good for two credits, and so forth.
Generally, students will register for 6 credits (that’s 300 hours of work) usually only over the summer semester. By comparison, most academic-year internships are 3 credits. Students interested in an unpaid internship (COMM 479) can earn only 3 credits in any one semester, but up to 6 total credits in internships.
The work schedule is set by you and the site supervisor.
To arrange an internship, you must apply with the academic supervisor the semester prior to the internship, have an interview with the organization, and obtain for the academic supervisor a job description on company letterhead that indicates job responsibilities and hours to be accumulated. The academic supervisor and chair of the department will either approve the internship or return the application for more information.
Once the internship has been approved, you will meet with the academic supervisor and review work log and term paper guidelines. Complete the Graduate Internship Application Form
How the Internship Works
Keeping a Log
Upon obtaining an internship, you are required to turn in a work log every other week during the semester to the academic supervisor. The log states when you worked, what you did, and how those duties relate to your course work.
At midsemester, you’ll have the opportunity to meet with the academic supervisor and the site supervisor to discuss your work (summer interns generally do not have this meeting because many internships are done at remote locations). Evaluation forms will be provided for the site supervisor at midsemester and at the end of the semester.
End of the Semester Evaluations
You are required to turn in a final report about the internship at the end of the semester. Guidelines will be given to you by your academic supervisor.
The academic supervisor meets regularly with students to review their progress and work logs. The evaluation forms, along with regular meetings and your final typed report, will dictate your grade for the internship. You and the site supervisor will determine the salary (if it is paid), work schedule, and specific job description.
For more information, contact the communication studies department's director of internships, Peggy Fisher.