Internships can be an important and meaningful part of your program of study, especially if you are headed directly toward a career in a Communication-related field. Our Department strongly encourages students to pursue internship opportunities, when relevant to their area of interest—and some of our specializations require one!
Please read the following information carefully before you start planning for your internship experience! After you have reviewed this information, contact Prof. Juanita Weaver by appointment. Her office is Garey B6B, and her office phone is 9-4794. Prof. Weaver or the Department Chairperson must approve any internship for academic credit in Communication.
An internship is a great way for you to get some entry-level experience in some area of Communication, fulfilling basic roles for a for-profit or not-for-profit organization. However, an internship is much more than “practical experience.” Internships are opportunities for students to integrate their academic studies with a specific profession, in order to show the strong connection between theory, research, and practice within the field of Communication.
Both the Communication Department and the College of Arts & Sciences have updated information regarding a host of organizations that have internships available to undergraduate students, but the exact number and variety of openings changes each semester. Look for opportunities sent to Communication students via email. In addition, check the university Handshake website maintained by the Career Center.
You also can find internship opportunities on your own, through personal networking, via the web, or by talking to a faculty member here at VU.
Regardless of how you find your internship opportunity, you should first determine whether it requires you to receive academic credit. Even if your COM specialization requires an internship, this does not mean that you have to receive credit for it; however, particular organizations may require that you receive credit in order to participate in their internship program. Either way, you can receive payment from the organization—just because you receive a small stipend or salary, in other words, doesn’t mean that you have to forego the academic credit in the process (but in reality expect most internships to be unpaid).
If you are doing an internship for no credit, but the internship is meant to fulfill the requirement within your COM specialization (including Journalism, Public Relations, or Media Production), you must first have the internship approved by the faculty area coordinator and then fill out the necessary forms.
Interning for Credit: Getting Started
First set up a meeting with our Department’s Internship Coordinator, Prof. Juanita Weaver. She will be able to talk to you about the internships that best fit your specific interest in Communication, will help you determine whether you meet the requirements for internships, will approve a given internship as meeting the requirements for Communication credit, and will assist you in taking the next step in the application process. After receiving approval from Prof. Weaver or the COM Department Chair, to register for internship credit you will fill out an application on the OUS website or visit the OUS office.
Interning for Credit: Requirements
Students interested in receiving academic credit for their work as an intern may choose to earn this credit in the summer, as well as during the fall or spring semesters. Typically, depending upon the hours worked, an internship earns 3 or 6 credits, but more extensive internship programs may earn students more credits. Students may earn a total of 15 academic credits for internships during their 4 years at Villanova. However, regardless of the number of credit hours desired for the internship, note that there are academic requirements, set by the College of Arts & Sciences, that must be met before a student is allowed to register for an internship—which means that you must meet these requirements before you apply for an academic credit internship. The requirements are as follows:
3.0 overall GPA (spring/fall internships) or 2.7 overall GPA (summer internships). Please note that the Communication Department does not grant any exceptions to these minimum requirements;
At least 6 credit hours completed in Communication; for some internships (such as many in public relations, media production, or journalism) you must also have introductory coursework in that specific area of Communication;
A completed application for internship credits, submitted to OUS; complete an online application by clickiing here. *But remember that you must first have the internship approved by Prof. Weaver or the Department Chair before completing the application.
Interning for Credit: Academic Component
Once you’ve been enrolled for your for-credit internship, you need to ensure that you fulfill the academic requirements for receipt of internship credit. For the Communication Department, this means that, in addition to completing the duties central to your internship, you must:
Complete all requirements as specified by OUS;
Submit a proposal to the COM department internship coordinator, Prof. Juanita Weaver for your research paper by a date designated by OUS. [After enrolling for the internship, you will meet with Prof. Weaver to generate ideas for your research paper;
Submit your 7-10 page research paper to Prof. Juanita Weaver by a date designated by OUS.
Once all of these have been completed and assessed by the Department’s Internship Coordinator and OUS Director of Professional Development, then you will receive a satisfactory grade for your internship credits!
Please note that academic credit cannot be awarded retroactively for an internship experience. Students are enrolled in an internship course during the duration of the internship.