What is the criteria for obtaining internship approval from the School of Communications?

The internship must meet the following guidelines:

  • Student has completed some COM core courses, including Creating Multimedia Content/Web & Mobile Comm. & Media Writing; and student is at least a sophomore.
  • Intern’s list of duties demonstrates practical application of skills and education in a student’s declared discipline of study (Cinema & TV Arts, Journalism, Media Analytics, COM Design, Strategic Com). For example, Strategic Communications students should primarily have PR/advertising tasks.
  • The student has a supervisor with expertise in the student’s discipline at an established non-Elon (off campus) organization so that the internship is an academic learning experience.
  • The student must work in a professional environment that provides the software, equipment and other facilities to perform required tasks. On-campus and virtual internships will not be approved. A student also will not work for family members. Approval will not be provided for internships in a student’s family owned business, or in departments under the direction of a student’s family members.
  • The student must enroll in the course at the same time she is completing the internship for the full term and a minimum of four (4) weeks in the summer. The School of Communications does not provide retroactive credit.
  • The student may complete a maximum of four (4) internship credits, domestic or abroad, within the minimum 132 required for graduation. Students may enroll in one (1) or two (2) credits during a term: fall, winter (1 only), spring and summer.  All credits count for COM electives. The School of Communications requires a minimum of one (1) internship credit prior to graduation; two credits are recommended. 1 credit=80 work hours; 2 credits=160 hours.

Who may sign up for an internship?

The internship is defined as an “advanced-level work experience,” so internship credit generally is limited to those who have completed at least 30 credit hours, and some of the Core classes. All students are encouraged to gain as much experience in the communications field as possible regardless of whether they seek academic credit for the internship.

Is there a GPA requirement?

Yes, students must meet the university minimum of a 2.0 GPA and have approval from the internship director. The School of Communications recommends that students have a quality GPA, prior experience with student media or other appropriate outlets and a strong interest in the field of study.

How many hours should I work?

The School of Communications allows students to choose 1-2 academic credits per semester. Students should complete a maximum of four (4) Communications internship credits, domestic or abroad, within the minimum 132 required for graduation. Also, students should complete at least 80 hours of work, in addition to the academic workload, for each academic hour of credit. We strongly encourage students to gain as much work experience as possible at the site.

Is credit given for past work experience?

No, the internship is an academic experience that includes written papers, reflection, analysis and grading – all completed simultaneously with the work experience.

Is an internship required?

Yes. We believe experiential learning is valuable in whatever way the learning occurs, and internships are required in the School of Communications. Our students are encouraged to find multiple communications work experiences while at Elon. In addition to experiencing an internship at Elon University, our students often work many hours in student media or may work with professional media or corporate communications organizations without academic credit for the experiences. For example, students may write articles for local newspapers on a free-lance (“stringer”) basis, and a number of students work part-time jobs at area television stations. All of these are valuable real-world experiences in communications.

May a student receive academic credit if an internship is paid?

Yes. In fact, we tell companies that a paid internship often attracts better applicants. Some pay interns; some don’t. Our main focus, of course, is on the academic elements of the internship such as the written papers.

How do I register for an internship?

You should do thorough research, seeking out the type of organization you would like to work for in the region of the country in which you prefer to live during the time of your intern work. Research the organization, check out its internship requirements and deadlines and apply for a position. You must prepare a resume, recommendations and work examples before approaching the prospective employer. This all takes a great deal of time and energy, so you must work ahead! Once you have located a workplace at which you have been accepted for an internship, you must complete an internship registration form for the school’s Internship Director. With the completed and signed registration form, the Internship Director will register you for the course. Also, please see the intern checklist to the right.

To find out more about internships, contact the internship director at cominternships@elon.edu.

How do I obtain academic credit for an internship abroad?

If you are completing an internship abroad in an Elon-approved program, you must complete the COM internship prep seminars and include COM 381 on your Course Review Form, as part of your application. If approved, you will get credit for COM 381 and complete your School of Communications requirement. If you are completing an independent internship (not a part of any Elon program or self-arranged), then you must follow the same School of Communications’ guidelines and steps for obtaining credit and complete the Independent Program (IP) process PRIOR to your departure. Any questions regarding the IP process can be directed to the Isabella Cannon Global Education Center (GEC).

How can international students complete an internship in the U.S.?

If you’re an international student, you must get prior approval from the GEC for any U.S. internships.

How can international students complete an internship outside the U.S. (and including their home country(ies)?

If you are completing an internship abroad in an Elon-approved program, you must include COM 381 on your Course Review Form, as part of your application. If approved, you will get credit for COM 381 and complete your School of Communications requirement. International students who are completing an independent internship (not a part of any Elon program or self-arranged), then you must follow the same School of Communications’ guidelines and steps for obtaining credit and must complete the Independent Program (IP) process PRIOR to your departure. Any questions regarding the IP process can be directed to the Isabella Cannon Global Education Center.