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Washington and Lee University

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Rules and Regulations

Looking for internship credit? First you must contact the department's internship coordinator, John Muncie, munciej@wlu.edu, as early as possible in the academic year preceding the summer in which you want work but no later than the third week of November. You may receive up to 3 credits for an approved internship. Journalism and Business Journalism majors must have at least 2 internship credits to graduate.

Your internship may be anywhere in the world. For Journalism and Business Journalism majors, it must be with a news organization. These include newspapers, magazines, radio stations, TV stations, or internet news organizations.

Students in the Mass Communications sequence may intern with news organizations; public relations, marketing, or advertising firms; or a communications department within a company or a non-profit organization.

The internship search process can be long and frustrating. You should begin looking during the fall before the summer you want to intern. Many students schedule interviews during Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks.

Typically, students get their internship credits in the summer between their junior and senior years. But you can intern earlier if you have the academic prerequisites. Nor do you have to take an internship in summer. Just make sure you get the internship coordinator's permission for an internship during academic semesters.

Internships can be paid or unpaid. The department has some money available to help students with unpaid internships.

To receive credit for an internship through the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications here are the steps:

Before your internship summer:

  1. You must be a declared major in the department.
  2. Journalism majors must take J253 or J263 (beat reporting -- print or broadcast) before interning. Waivers are possible in special circumstances.
  3. Mass Communications majors must take J201 (intro to reporting) before interning.
  4. You must find your own internship. The department will not grant credit for an internship obtained through a paid finder service. Department faculty and staff will be happy to help you in your search.
  5. Credit for the internship will be granted in the Fall Term. Therefore, when you register in spring for the the Fall Term, you must register for internship credits as an overload -- that is, you must register for at least 12 credits in addition to your internship credits. Three-credit News internships appear as J453; 3-credit Communications internships as J463. Two- credit News internships appear as J452; 2-credit Communications internships as J462, etc.

During your internship summer:

  1. You must keep a daily journal about your workplace activities. A few notes on what you did and why, with occasional longer entries on the more significant moments at work.
  2. You must work: 300 or more hours -- for 3 credits; 200-299 hours - 2 credits; 100-199 hours - 1 credit.
  3. It's possible to take more than one internship in a single summer or to take internships in two subsequent summers. But 3 internship credits are the maximum allowed.

After your internship summer:

  1. If you did not register for your internship credits as an overload in spring, you must do that now. You must register for at least 12 credits in addition to your internship credits. Internship credit will NOT be granted if you have not registered for all your required credits by the end of the fee-free drop-add period at the beginning of Fall Term. Three-credit News internships appear as J453; 3-credit Communications internships as J463. Two- credit News internships appear as J452; 2-credit Communications internships as J462, etc.
  2. In late September/early October, you must give a 10-minute presentation to faculty, staff and other students about your internship.
  3. You must attend one other presentation session in addition to the one in which you speak.
  4. You must hand in a paper about your intern experience by early October. Three-credit internships require a 10-page paper; 2 credits, 7 pages; 1 credit, 5 pages.
  5. The paper must outline your summer activities, explain how or if W&L's Journalism and Mass Communications department helped you in your job, and briefly outline your company's history, size and importance.
  6. You must hand in a portfolio of your internship work by early October.