Internships are an integral part of learning at the School of Media and Public Affairs. Students gain valuable firsthand experience and learn new skills by working with news organizations, federal agencies, lobbying and political firms, digital media companies, advocacy groups and congressional press offices. We provide access to dozens of listings through our exclusive internship database. Often, internships lead to full-time jobs after graduation.
Credit for internships is available for juniors and seniors majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication and Political Communication, as well as minors in journalism. To gain credit, students must apply for an internship appropriate to his or her major (or minor) field of study. Two forms need to be filled out and left for Professor Mike Shanahan at MPA Suite 400: the Application to Receive Internship Credit and the Registration Transaction Form. JMC students may register for one to three hours per internship, and the number of credit hours must be chosen at the time of registration for the internship. PCM students must register for three credit hours per internship.
The SMPA Internship Coordinator, Professor Mike Shanahan, will consider the internship and assign a faculty adviser. Each student must meet with their assigned faculty adviser to complete a learning contract, which lays out reading assignments and a final project to be written or produced before the end of the semester. Students must also complete a Memorandum of Agreement with the sponsor of the internship, who will pledge that work done during the internship will teach the student valuable skills. Internships are graded as pass/fail and students can be awarded a total of up to six hours of academic credit during their time at SMPA. If needed, students may meet with the Internship Coordinator to ask questions during the process.
Employers who wish to list their internships with SMPA should email a text-only job description to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Journalism and Mass Communication Internship Requirements
Journalism internships may be served at news organizations or with groups or organizations that routinely communicate to a wide audience using online tools like social media sites. Each internship must be approved in advance by the Internship Coordinator. All JMC internships will earn three credits (roughly 15 hours per week). A few exceptions may be made for one- or two-credit internships approved in advance by the Internship Coordinator. The exceptions apply mainly to summer when students are charged tuition for internships and may wish to take one- or two-credit internships because of the cost.
Faculty advisers will assign three books or their equivalent to help the student prepare for writing a final project due before the end of the semester. Final projects could be a news feature about the sponsoring organization, a video package or a research paper. The subject will be discussed and decided on in consultation with the faculty adviser.
Students and advisers should meet at least twice over the semester for a discussion about how the internship and final project are progressing. At mid-semester, students will submit a synopsis of the research to the faculty adviser.
Political Communication Internship Requirements
Political Communication majors may be approved for internships with advocacy groups, news organizations, congressional offices or public relations and political consulting firms. All internships will be for three credits (about 15 hours weekly).
Students will write a daily or weekly journal of their observations and activities at the internship, read three scholarly books approved by the faculty adviser and write a 10-page paper that combines the internship experience with concepts from the readings. Papers and journals are due on the last day of class.
Students will meet with the faculty adviser at least twice during the semester to discuss progress in the internship and the final paper.