Internships for Students

Welcome to the WCU Department of Communication Studies internship webpage.

This site is designed to answer as many of your questions about the internship program as possible, so you should read it thoroughly before you contact the Internship Director to discuss your internship options.

What internships are available through the Department of Communication and Media?

If you are a current major or minor in any of our programs, you can view our Approved Internships List. This list is updated frequently with new offerings. If you want to pursue an internship that is not on the Approved Internships List, set up an appointment with the Internship Director, Dr. Edward Lordan, at elordan@wcupa.edu to discuss your options.

Is an internship required for graduation?

Internships are not required for students majoring in Communication, but they are very highly recommended.Students who entered the Media and Culture program prior to Fall, 2021 are not required to complete an internship, although internships are highly recommended. Students who enter the Media and Culture program after Summer, 2021 are required to complete an internship or a practicum as part of their requirements to complete the program.

What is an Internship?

An internship is an opportunity for you to work in a communications-related professional setting in order to learn more about your major and explore the post-graduation jobs that might be of interest to you.

Why should I take one?

Professionals in the field of communication and media frequently note that the best way to improve your marketability during your undergraduate program is to complete an internship! Internships offer five significant advantages: 1) Allowing you to apply the theories and lessons you’ve learned in the classroom in a professional setting; 2) Helping you to determine what you want to do upon graduation; 3) Providing you with professional experience; 4) Strengthening your resume, and 5) Helping you to begin establishing the professional network that will assist you throughout your career.

What is the Course Number for Internships in The Department of Communication and Media?

If you are majoring in Communications, you will be enrolling in the COM400 Internship program. If you are majoring in Media and Culture, you will be enrolling in the MDC494 Internship program.  Please note that in the MDC major, the internship can also be used to fulfill the capstone requirement.

What requirements do I have to meet to take an Internship?

If you are a Communication Studies major or minor, you need to complete ALL FOUR of the following requirements:

  1. You must be accepted in WCU’s Communication and Media major or minor at the time that you take the internship.
  2. Your cumulative grade point average (GPA) must be 2.8 or better. (If your GPA is below 2.8, you can still meet with the Internship Director to discuss your options for the program.)
  3. You must have completed COM 209 and COM 211 as well as ONE of the following: COM213 or COM214 or COM215, with a grade of C or better in each. (These courses must be completed by the time you start your internship - you may not take them at the same time as the internship.)
  4. You must have completed at least one 300-400 level Communication Studies course with a grade of C or better. (This course must be completed by the time you start your internship - you may not take it at the same time as the internship.)


If you are a Media and Culture major or minor, you need to complete ALL FOUR of the following requirements:

  1. You must be accepted in WCU's Communication Studies and Media major or minor at the time that you take the internship.
  2. Your cumulative grade point average (GPA) must be 2.8 or bettetr. (If your GPA is below 2.8, you can meet with the Internship Director to discuss your options for the program.)
  3. You must have completed MDC250 and MDC251with a grade of C or better in each course. (These courses must be completed by the time you start the internship - you may not take them at the same time as the internship.
  4. You must have completed at least one 300-400 level MDC course with a grade of C or better. (This course must be completed by the time you start your internship - you may not take it at the same time as the internship.)

When should I take the Internship?

You can take the internship in your sophomore, junior or senior year, as long as you meet the requirements listed above. Internships are available in the Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters. Summer internships can be taken in the first, second or third Summer session or across sessions. Internships are not available during the winter session.   

How many credits can I earn for the Internship?

You are required to work 45 hours for each credit of your internship. The number of hours you work will depend on the number of credits you enroll for in the course.

Credits Minimum Number of Hours for the Semester
3 135 (one eight-hour day per week of the Fall and Spring semester)
6 270 (two eight-hour day per week of the Fall and Spring semester)
9 405 (three eight-hour day per week of the Fall and Spring semester)
12 540 (four eight-hour day per week of the Fall and Spring semester)

The Summer session window for completing an internship consists of ten weeks, from the beginning of the first Summer session to August 15. This is shorter than the Fall or Spring semesters, so there is less time to complete the required hours. The maximum number of credits a student can receive for the Summer session is six hours, requiring a minimum of 270 hours.

What will I be required to do for the internship course and how will I be graded?

Along with the work you will do at the internship, you are also required to submit materials during the semester to your instructor. These materials will make up your grade for the course.  You will receive instructions via D2L explaining in detail what you need to submit and when it needs to be submitted. All of your submissions will be made via D2L. The submissions are as follows, listed with the percentage of your grade each submission represents.

Daily Log (first half of the term) -  10%
Midterm Evaluation from Supervisor -20 %
Internship Supervisor Interview with Internship Director - 15%
Daily Log (Second half of the term) - 5%
Portfolio – 20%
Final Paper - 15%
Final Evaluation from Supervisor - 15%

You are also required to participate in a mid-semester zoom meeting with the Internship Director that is part of your grade.

When should I get started on the process?

If you’re thinking about an internship somewhere in your undergraduate program, you are encouraged to schedule a meeting with the Internship Director at any time – you don’t have to wait until the specific semester you’re taking the course to discuss your plans. If you are planning to take an internship in the upcoming semester, schedule a meeting with the Internship Director prior to scheduling for classes. You have up until the start of the term to participate in the program, but your chances of identifying and obtaining an internship and qualifying for the program increase the earlier you plan for it.   

Can i get paid for an internship and also receive credit?

Yes

Can I take an internship with the same organization more than once?

Yes

I am already working in an internship - can I get credit retroactively?

No, you can not. Because internships require ongoing reporting to the Internship Director, it is not possible to get credit for an internship in progress. You can only get credit for internships that you are registered for before the beginning of the term.

Can I take more than one internship during my undergraduate program?

Yes. You can take up to twelve credits of internship in any one semester and up to fifteen credits of internship during your undergraduate program. (Internships are only offered in three-credit increments.). For example, you can take a six-credit internship followed by a nine-credit internship. Generally, the more internship opportunities you take advantage of, the more marketable you will be upon graduation.

Do I have to do the internship for credit?

No, you can do an internship without having it count for a course at WCU. However, be aware that many organizations will not offer internships unless you are receiving college credit for the experience. (Consult with the organization where you would like to intern to determine their policy on credits.) If you wish to obtain an internship without receiving credit, contact the organization you’d like to work for directly. (If you wish to, you can also discuss this option with the Internship Director.)

Where does the internship course fit in my academic program?

If you are a Communication Studies major, the course will count as either a Communications and Media elective or a general elective. The course number for the Communications major internship is 400, BUT IT DOES NOT COUNT AS AN UPPER-LEVEL COURSE FOR THE MAJOR.

If you are a Media and Culture major, the course will fulfill your internship/practicum requirement.

What if I've identified an internship opportunity on my own?

Some students identify internship opportunities on their own. Students can intern with organizations on their own, but in order for the internship to count for university credit, the organization must be approved by the Internship Director prior to the student applying for the course. The Internship Director – not the organization – determines whether a particular opportunity qualifies for credit. More information on whether and how organizations qualify for internship credit.

What are the responsibilities of the internship supervisor?

The internship supervisor will be responsible for reviewing, signing and returning the Internship Agreement made between the university and the organization. This must be completed and returned BEFORE the beginning of the internship. Interns can not begin working or recording hours until the agreement is signed and returned.

During the semester, the internship supervisor will be responsible for completing the midterm evaluation and the final evaluation, and conduct a brief interview toward the end of the term with the Internship Director to discuss the intern’s performance.

How do I enroll for credit for an internship?

You do NOT register for the course on your own – you apply to the program and, if you are approved, the Internship Director will register you for the course.

Once I begin pursuing an internship, what are the next steps I need to complete?

You can begin the paperwork needed for the course as soon as you have identified an internship you wish to pursue. You will need to obtain two security clearances: The Child Abuse History Certification and the Criminal Record Check from the Pennsylvania State Police. You are required to pay the fees associated with both. For instructions on how to complete the applications for these clearances, click here . When you obtain the clearances, please forward them to Ms. Suzanne Loeffler in the dean’s office at sloeffler@wcupa.edu

Once you have identified the internship you wish to pursue, notify the Internship Director so that he can instruct the dean’s office to email a copy of the internship agreement to your supervisor. This agreement must be signed and returned to Ms. Suzanne Loeffler in the dean’s office at sloeffler@wcupa.edu. NOTE: PLEASE BEGIN THIS PROCESSS AS SOON AS YOU HAVE IDENTIFIED THE INTERNSHIP. THIS PAPERWORK TAKES TIME TO COMPLETE, AND YOU CAN NOT BEGIN WORKING AT THE INTERNSHIP UNTIL ALL OF THESE DOCUMENTS HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED TO THE DEAN’S OFFICE.

After you have read this, your next step is to schedule a meeting with the Internship Director (Dr. Edward Lordan) at elordan@wcupa.edu. Lordan’s office is 237 Wayne Hall. The internship meeting will be used to determine 1) whether you qualify; 2) whether the internship opportunity qualifies, and 3) the number of credits you’ll receive for the course.

In order to enroll for the course, you must provide the Internship Director with the following information:

  • Name of internship organization
  • Name of onsite supervisor
  • Email address of onsite supervisor
  • Number of credits you are applying for (3/6/9/12)
  • Whether you are COM or MDC
  • Whether the internship is paid or unpaid
  • One-line description of the work you’ll be doing for the internship

You don’t need to be completely committed to an internship before meeting with the Internship Director! You may be planning a few semesters ahead, want to talk about career options or are just interested in additional information about the program - if you’re at any stage in the internship process, you can schedule a meeting to learn more.

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