Scan through this list of questions to find the information you need. Learn how to apply, how long internships last, where to find an internship, how to propose an internship to an employer, how to set up an internship, and most importantly, how to get credit for an internship.

What is an internship?
English internships are supervised, on-the-job, working-and-learning assignments for undergraduate English majors and minors (juniors/seniors) and graduate students. Internships provide specific opportunities for you to use the research, critical thinking, and professional writing skills you have learned in your courses. These experiential education assignments also help you to narrow your career choices and professional goals.

Why should I apply for an internship?
Employers want to know that a potential employee is able to perform the job. Students often have the education, but lack actual experience. Internships act as a bridge between academics and the real world. The experience gained during an internship shows employers that you already successfully encountered situations similar to the job. You can enter the job-seeking process with confidence, knowing you have the experience and knowledge necessary to interest potential employers.


  • Apply classroom knowledge and skills in specific work assignments.
  • Learn new related skills for success in the professional field.
  • Acquire essential job-search skills for use in seeking employment after graduation.
  • Develop greater independence, maturity, and confidence.
  • Establish professional contacts for later full-time employment searches and letters of reference.
  • Clarify and/or focusing career choices and professional goals.
  • Earn academic credit for working-and-learning assignments.

How long does an internship last?
Internships are generally contracted for a 15-week semester or a 10-week summer term; they may be part-time or full-time, and students may earn up to 12 semester hours of academic credit, three of which can be counted toward an English major or minor (the basic formula for assigning credit: 7.5 hrs/week for a 15-week semester earns 3 credit hours). We encourage you to have a variety of experiences by applying for more than one internship during your college career.

Where can I find an internship?
Any job that involves English skills (research, writing, editing, etc.) can be considered an internship. Even if an organization does not currently have an internship program, you can still receive internship credit as long as the position involves the use of your English skills.

To help with your internship search:
Click on the links below or stop by the English Department programs office in Robert Bell 297 to pick up a packet of materials with everything you’ll need to get started.

How do I propose an internship?
Find an internship that you think sounds interesting or rewarding and either call or email the organization. Or, if you know of somewhere else where you would like to intern, contact them. Either way, be sure you are prepared to sound professional and be thorough in both your inquiries and responses.

Familiarize yourself with the internship program so that you can answer any questions they might have. Additionally, be sure to get to know the organization you are contacting. Visit their Web site and show them that you’ve done your homework.

Consider using the following script when calling or e-mailing your potential employer:

      “Hello. My name is [name]. I am currently a [junior/senior/graduate student] at Ball State University.
As part of the English Department, we are encouraged to gain professional experience [in reading/writing/editing] through the English internships program. I am familiar with [name of organization] and I believe that my classes have provided me with a set of skills that would make me an asset to your organization.
I would be happy to send you information about our internships program that details your role in the partnership. You can also find the information on our Web site. I can be reached by phone at [number] or by e-mail at [e-mail address]. Thank you for your time.”

How do I set up an internship?

After the employer agrees to provide you with an internship, follow these three easy steps: 

       1. Contact Katie Atkinson in the English Department main office for the name of the acting director of internships. He or she serves as your faculty supervisor. 

       2. Turn in the following materials to the director of internships in the English Department programs office in Robert Bell 297:

  • Completed internship application
  • Internship agreement signed by your work site supervisor
  • Course request form signed by your faculty supervisor.

      3. Register for credit. The course reference number must be obtained in the English Department main office in Robert Bell 297: to register for the approved number of credit hours in:

  • ENG 369 Undergraduate Internship
  • ENG 669 Graduate Internship.

What are the requirements for credit?
For internships to be translated into academic credit, you must fulfill the requirements and expectations of both the job-site supervisor and the faculty supervisor.

Expectations of the intern:

  • Accept and complete internship assignments.
  • Ask questions if any assignment isn’t clear.
  • Be professional (dress appropriately, arrive on time, etc.).
  • Cooperate with other staff. 
  • Use good judgment. If uncomfortable or faced with an ethical question, contact your faculty supervisor.
  • Learn from your job-site supervisor’s suggestions and criticism. 
  • Take initiative.