An internship is a requirement for all students in the School of Communications. Recent developments have called into question whether students will be able to complete an internship in which they are currently enrolled, or find an employer who will allow an on-site or virtual internship this summer and next fall. In an effort to assist students in meeting this academic requirement, the school is maximizing opportunities for students to earn internship credit across a range of potential barriers. The school has provided the following options for students who have difficulty finding on-site internships or who are not comfortable working in an on-site environment during this period.

Summer/Fall 2020

All students must receive approval of the school’s internship director. Typically, students complete coursework in COM 110 and COM 210/220 prior to taking an internship.

COM 381, 1-2 credit hours

  • On-site: Students may complete a traditional on-site internship if an employer is willing to allow a student to work onsite. The requirements of a traditional internship are defined in the current course syllabus.
  • Virtual: Students may complete a virtual internship only if an employer is willing to accommodate an off-site experience. The requirements for a virtual internship will be determined in conjunction with the expectations of the employer. The out of class assignments will be tailored for students completing a virtual internship.
  • On-campus: Students may complete an on-campus internship experience with an administrative or academic unit that is related to their field of study. The student must apply and receive approval from the unit for this experience. The requirements of an on-campus internship would be the same as a traditional off-campus internship as defined in the current course syllabus.

Rising Juniors and Seniors only

COM 381, 1-2 credit hours

  • On-campus Media/Organization: Students may complete a work experience with selected campus media or communication organization sponsored by the School of Communications or the university’s Media Board. The faculty advisor of the campus media or communications organization will serve as the site supervisor. The requirements for these media/organization experiences will be determined in conjunction with the advisor of that organization. Officers in that student media organization could still be paid, but they would also receive a grade, just like paid internships afford.

499 (in JOU, STC, CTA, CDE, or MEA), 1-2 credit hours

  • Independent Research/Project: Students may substitute an independent applied research or creative project supervised by a faculty member. Consistent with university requirements, the expectations for a research/creative project will be determined and graded by the selected faculty member, and with approval of the student’s academic advisor, and department chair or program director. Only special topic research or creative projects that are pre-approved for this purpose will substitute for the internship requirement.


Spring 2020

Students currently enrolled in COM 381 should contact their internship course instructor immediately to determine a specific course of action. The following options are being provided for students who are enrolled in an internship this semester.

COM 381, 1-2 hours credit

  • Virtual Internship: Students may complete a current internship if an employer is willing to provide an additional virtual experience. Alternative requirements for off-site completion of the internship will be determined in conjunction with the expectations of the employer.
  • Canceled Internship: A student who is currently enrolled in an internship may substitute contact-hours on-site by completing additional required assignments, scaled based on the number of work hours outstanding as determined by the COM 381 internship director.
  • Change Internship Credit Hours: Students who have completed a portion of an internship may request that the number of credit hours be reduced to the equivalent of the internship work hours completed at the time of the request. For example, a student may request that an internship be reduced from 2- to 1-credit hour.

COM 381, 4 credit hours (or other study abroad program)

  • Study Abroad Internships: Ordinarily, students who complete a 4-credit hour internship in London, Florence, or other study abroad sites receive two COM 381 credits and two GEN 3XX elective credits.  Students who were unable to complete the full internship abroad may apply to complete the requirements of this experience under COM 381. Additional related work will be determined by the School of Communications’ internship director. Also, assignments to garner the two additional GEN 3XX (general credits toward graduation) are available.

Sport Management Majors

Sport Management majors should contact their respective faculty advisers regarding their internship requirements.