Communication Studies majors are well positioned to take advantage of internship opportunities in a wide variety of communication-related fields including public relations, television production, event planning, non-profit management, and health communication. Since the college is located outside of Trenton in between Philadelphia and New York, many major companies and organizations regularly solicit interns from the department. Qualified students in every track who meet the requirements are encouraged to apply.
How to Apply for an Internship
- Attain a letter of intent to hire from the company or organization with which you are working. The letter must include the number of hours per week you will be working, the duties you will be performing, and your supervisor and his or her contact information.
- Seek out a supervising faculty member in the Department with which you will like to work.
- Complete the Internship Contract, which is comprised of the Internship Enrollment Form and the Internship Proposal. See below for details about the Internship Contract. These forms are available in the Department office.
- Submit the letter of intent to hire, the Internship Enrollment Form, and the Internship Proposal to the Department office for the chair’s approval. From there, if approved, the application will be forwarded to the Dean’s office. If the Dean’s office approves, it will be forwarded to the Office of Records & Registration so that the internship will appear on your schedule in PAWS. This process can take up to two weeks.
Credits, GPA, and Requirements for an Internship
- Enrollment is limited to upper division program majors or minors with at least a 2.5 GPA in that program.
- Appropriate prerequisite courses must be identified and be completed successfully prior to the internship experience. Additional requirements may be established by the department.
- Actual professional situations where the student experiences the requirements of employment must be used.
- The internship is an applied experience. In the internship, the student must apply what she/he has learned in the classroom. This academic foundation must be identified in a general way in the course offering proposal. Specific knowledge, methods, skills, activities, etc. must be listed for each intern in the proposal. (See below.)
- A minimum of 50 on-the-job hours should be required per quarter course unit of credit.
- A substantial written assignment (or portfolio) requiring research and/or creative work should be required. A simple log describing activities may be included but in and of itself is not sufficient to satisfy this requirement. Exceptions may be approved by the department chair in fields where there is an extensive professional component already required (e.g., in the Journalism/Professional Writing major where the intern’s duties may be public relations, researching, reporting that constitute a substantial writing, research, and creative experience).
- The intern should be paid a salary whenever possible.
- Internships may be offered on either a graded or pass-fail basis.
- Second internships within the same program should be limited to those situations in which the student will be able to apply essentially different knowledge, methods, skills, etc. (still program related) than those applied in the prior internship. This limitation does not apply to a second internship in a different program (e.g., a second major, minor).
- Maximum internship course units to be counted toward a degree by any one student are three. Maximum course units for a single internship are two.
The Internship Contract
An internship contract consists of two parts: the proposal and the enrollment form to be developed by the Office of Records and Registration. The student will prepare a written proposal meeting the following requirements:
- The proposal should state the number of credit hours from any previous internship, as well as the semester taken and the firm or agency where the internship was done.
- The proposal must explain exactly how credits are to be earned and what on-the-job activities will be required of the intern.
- The proposal must describe the method of evaluating the internship to be used by the faculty supervisor.
- The proposal must identify the firm or agency where the internship will be done.
- The proposal must identify the professional person at the firm or agency who will supervise the student during the internship.
- The proposal must be approved by the department chair or his or her designee before a student may proceed with the internship.
- The approved proposal must be delivered to the Office of Records and Registration by the end of the first week of the semester in which the internship is to be completed.
- Copies of the approved proposal should be provided to the student, the faculty supervisor, the department, and the firm or agency supervisor.
- If the circumstances of the internship change, it is the responsibility of the student to notify the faculty supervisor. At which point, the faculty advisor will send an addendum to the proposal to the Office of Records and Registration.
- All internship applications must be submitted before the end of the add/drop period each semester.
- Students who wish to intern for credit in the summer are required to pay tuition for those credits.
The following are some of the places our students have interned in recent years:
Public and Mass
Lourdes Health Systems
Family Resource Center
The Charlie Rose Show
Princeton HealthCare System
John Wells Productions
The Daily Show/The Colbert Report
New Jersey Motion Picture Office
Edelman Public Relations
Toy R Us
OUT in New Jersey
Superior Court of New Jersey
Princeton Professional Associates
U.S. Department of Labor