When can I do an internship and receive credit for it?

If an internship employer doesn’t require you to earn academic credit while serving the internship, you may pursue that opportunity without special permission (or permits) from the department.

However, if the employer requires that you earn academic credit while serving the internship, here are the prerequisites the department has before issuing you a permit to register for internship academic credits.

Finding an Internship or Professional Practicum

There are many ways to track down the internship that’s right for you.  The department posts internship opportunities on its site and on bulletin boards in our office.  Students also may start with a telephone call to area newspapers, magazines or other news organization. Students are encouraged to register with USFSP’s Career Center’s internship and job posting site (Recruit-A-BULL).

There are also a wealth of journalism internships and practica available online. Click here for resources in the Tampa Bay area.

The right opportunity for you

Ideally, the opportunity you have found will fall into your area of professional interest. But sometimes you may want to use an internship or practicum to explore a new area or to simply round out your journalist skills. One of the best ways to determine if an opportunity is right for you is to talk to your adviser about it.

Applying for a internship or practicum (Revised November 2015)

JMS majors wishing to do an internship for credit will enroll for MMC 4945 if an undergraduate; graduate students enroll for MMC 6945 (“Professional Practicum”). Each is for three credits.

Beginning in spring, 2016, for a first internship, the requirement for undergraduate majors is 9 credits in the major, consisting of:

  • MMC 3602 (Mass Communication and Society)
  • MMC 2100 (Writing for Mass Media)
  • VIC 3001 (Intro. to Visual Communication)

Graduate students who want to enroll in Practicum must first complete 12 credits toward their degree. Students’ job sites are not appropriate internship/practicum settings.

Prior to receiving permission to enroll in either course, students must first submit to the internship instructor the following:

  • A full description of the duties required at the proposed internship and the skills the student expects to either learn or improve as a result of the internship.
  • Full contact information, including name, title, phone number and e-mail address of the student’s on-site supervisor.
  • Verification that the number of required hours for the internship (see below) will be met and a tentative schedule of days and hours to be spent at the internship.

In general, internships will be approved if they involve print, radio/television or on-line journalism, media design as it relates to journalism, some aspect of visual journalism, or media relations. In general, internships will NOT be approved if they involve activities relating to disc-jockeying, radio station promotions, filmmaking, fundraising, or with record companies. Internships involving public relations or marketing may be approved on a case-by-case basis.

The following are required of ALL interns:

  • The completion of a minimum of 120 hours at the internship.
  • The submission of a weekly e-mail to the internship instructor, due at the end of each week. This e-mail will recount the accomplishments of the previous week and a look ahead to what the intern will undertake the following week.
  • Completion of a final journal describing the skills learned and an overall evaluation of the internship’s value from the intern’s perspective, due the day after classes end.
  • A written evaluation by the on-site intern supervisor on a form provided by the department, due the day after classes end. The evaluation questions may be downloaded here: Internship Supervisor Evaluation Questions.

Internships will, in general, not be considered or approved beyond the first two weeks of a semester, or in the case of a summer internship within the first two weeks of either session A or session B.

Students who choose to do an internship during the summer will be supervised by the Journalism and Digital Communication Department Director.  The same rules and policies apply in summer as in fall/spring.

Credit for an internship completed in the summer term will not be transferable to either the fall or spring terms.

Multiple internships or practica

Both undergraduate and graduate students in JDC can take up to two internships for credit. Internships carry variable credit, from 1-3 credits, depending upon the amount of work involved and the number of hours worked.

In addition, on a case-by-case basis, and at the discretion of the internship supervisor, a student who has completed substantial work, either for the campus newspaper, The Crow’s Nest or on an ad-hoc basis for Neighborhood News Bureau, may be granted permission to enroll for a first internship with 6 credits from the above.

Students who remain in the major have the option to enroll later in the program for a second internship which should be in an area of journalism or media that is substantially different from the first internship, thereby creating the opportunity to learn new skills or refine those learned from the initial internship experience.

Internship applications may be accessed through the JDC website. Internships will, in general, not be considered or approved beyond the first two weeks of a semester.

Summer Internships

Students may choose to do an internship during the summer term. In that instance, they will be supervised by the Department Director. The same rules and policies apply in summer as in spring/fall. When registering for an internship, summer students will, in general, register for the “C” session.

Credit for an internship completed in the summer term will not be transferable to either the fall or spring terms.