Determine eligibility. Undergraduates majoring in Strategic Communication, Journalism Studies, and Film Studies & Production are required to do 4 credits of internship. Media Studies and Emergent Digital Practices (EDP) majors are allowed to do an internship as an elective for your major. To be eligible to do an internship, you must have completed 12 credits in the major, including the following coursework: For Journalism Studies students, "Storytelling & Reporting" and "Multimedia Journalism"; for Strategic Communication students, "Strategic Communication Planning" and "Strategic Messaging"; for Film & Video students, "Intro to Film Criticism" and "Intro to Filmmaking". Media Studies and EDP majors simply need any 12 credits in the major. After completing all requirements in their major, all MFJS or EDP majors may do an additional 4 credits of internship for general DU elective credit.
NOTE: Interns are NOT allowed to use DU equipment for their internships; equipment must be provided by the employer.
Graduate programs have varying eligibility requirements. Please contact the internship director for more information.
Finding an internship. It is up to students to find their own internships, but we have many resources to help you. If you'd like help with your resume and cover letter, contact DU Careers to schedule an appointment. To begin your internship search, you are welcome to make an appointment with the Director of Internships to discuss what you are looking for and how to get started. You may also do your own research and networking to find an internship that fits your goals.
You should also monitor the PCO Careers Database maintained by the DU Career Center for opportunities.
Registering an Internship
NOTE: To get credit, internships must be registered during the same quarter in which you are actually doing the internship.
Your internship will be registered you after you complete the following:
1. Determine number of credits you will register. You must work 40 hours for each credit registered. While many students choose to do 4 credits in one quarter, others might register just 1, 2, or 3 credits. Note that for students wishing to spread an internship over multiple quarters (for example, 2 credits in winter and 2 in spring), it is necessary to re-register for each quarter that you do an internship.
2. Obtain a signed Internship Offer Letter, which summarizes your job description, the dates of the internship, and the hours you'll work, as well as the name and contact info for the person who will be your supervisor. You'll need to upload that letter to the registration website as part of the process.
3. Log in to PCO and an Internship Approval page should open
4. Click on the red button that says "New Experience" at the top, right side of the page.
5. Follow the instructions in the box at the top of the page. Note: Under the field "Experiential Learning Type", select either "Media, Film & Journalism Studies Internship - Bachelor's & Master's" or "Emergent Digital Practices Internship - Bachelor's & Master's"--depending on which department you are in. At that point, new detailed instructions will appear in the box at the top of the page. Follow those instructions and note the following:
- Where it asks for the DU Internship supervisor, write: Dr. Erika Polson
- Only put internship dates that correspond to the quarter you are registering (even if you are continuing the internship to a later date)
- DO NOT FORGET to upload your signed internship offer letter to the "Documents & Forms" tab (this is the most common error).
6. Once you follow all the instructions through the Pioneer Careers Online process, your internship will automatically be submitted to Dr. Polson for approval; After your internship is approved, you will be registered and added to the Canvas course for either MFJS or EDPX 3980 (undergrad) or 4980 (grad student); the internship credits will be billed as a normal course in your tuition bill.
7. SUMMER internships: Note that you will receive a tuition bill for internships registered for credit in the Summer.
8. If you have questions at any time, email Dr. Polson at email@example.com.
During the internship period, students are required to participate in a private online-discussion forum with other interns. At the end of the internship, students and internship supervisors are given evaluation forms, where they are asked to provide reflection and feedback about the internship experience.
Based on all of these measures, a grade is given for the internship course.
Interns: Know Your Rights!
If you register an internship for DU credit, we expect you to be working in a safe and respectful learning environment with a supervisor who is committed to providing professional guidance and mentorship. If you end up in an internship situation where there is no supervision, mentorship, or feedback, or where you are frequently asked to do menial tasks that are unrelated to the goals of the internship as laid out in your detailed job description, you are encouraged to contact the Director of Internships immediately. The Director will work with you to develop strategies to address the problem, and get involved with the supervisor directly if necessary.
You are allowed to receive credit for both paid and unpaid internships. If you do an unpaid internship, you should know that the US Department of Labor has put together a set of guidelines to help "for-profit" organizations to know if their unpaid internship meet the rules laid out in the Fair Labor Standards Act, the most important of which is that it "provides educational benefits to the intern".
Although those specific guidelines do not apply to non-profit organizations, we still expect non-profit internship hosts to provide supervision, mentorship, and constructive feedback.