Four credit hours of internship (40 hours per credit X 4 = 160 hours of work) are required for students who choose the internship option. Students may elect to do one or more internships (adding up to a total of 4 credits) relating to their program focus, with media/communications agencies, non-profit or NGOs, corporations, or government, in the Denver area, or elsewhere in the US or abroad. Internships may be taken for 1 to 4 credits during any one term.
All internships will be administered and supervised by Prof. Erika Polson, the Director of Internships for the IIC Program in the Dept. of Media, Film and Journalism Studies (email@example.com). Students must meet with the Dr. Polson to obtain approval, forms, and instructions for internship registration (MFJS 4980: Internship). Note: internships must be secured or be in the process of securing in the quarter before graduation.
NOTE: Peace Corps Fellows have specific obligations required by the Peace Corps. All returning Peace Corps Fellows receiving the 8-credit course discount MUST do a 4-credit internship serving a high needs community in the United States. This is based on the third goal of the Peace Corps: “to promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.” DU and the IIC Program are not allowed to waive this requirement. PC Fellows students who wish to do another internship that does not fit this criteria, may be able to do it as an independent study, although this option requires finding a professor to supervise the study and may require additional coursework. If an IIC/PC Fellow wishes to avoid the Peace Corps’ restrictions s/he may forgo the PC Fellowship and take the additional 8 credits for the regular IIC program.
INTERNSHIPS: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do students find an internship? Students have several resources at their disposal. They can meet with the Internship Director in the MFJS department, or seek out internship listings on the MFJS website, at the DU Career Center, and at the Center for Career and Professional Development in the Joseph Korbel School of International Studies. (Please note regardless of where IIC students locate an internship, they must sign up for internship credits through the Media, Film & Journalism department.) The MFJS department updates the “featured opportunities” on the website frequently.
Students are also welcome to conduct their own research to find a suitable internship. Students should get a job description of the internship to ensure that it is offering graduate-level work. The internship director guides students in choosing an appropriate project, informs students of expectations, and monitors student progress. Once students have completed their internship, they and their supervisors will be asked to complete a form evaluating the quality of work and the overall experience.
When is the best time to look for and complete an internship? It is recommended that students wait until they have completed at least half of the 56 credits required for the completion of the degree. Having taken some of the IIC coursework before the commencement of the internship, students have an opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom. Students should start looking for internships early (e.g., early in winter quarter for summer internships), because some internships have early deadlines or require students to undergo security checks.
How many hours per week are students expected to work? The number of hours students will work per week varies depending on the number of credits they register for the internship. Generally, 40 hours of work is equal to 1 credit. For example, if a student registers four (4) internship credits, s/he must work 160 hours (equal to 16 hours each week during a 10-week term). Students may split the 4 credits between two internships, or split the 4 credits across quarters if they want to continue working at an internship position beyond the initial term, BUT must re-register each quarter and work the total number of hours that corresponds to the number of credits registered in a quarter.
Are internships paid? Most internships are unpaid; however, there are a number of paid positions. To earn supplemental income, some students hold part-time jobs while completing their internships. Depending on the amount of hours, it is also possible to find external funding sources that award scholarship money for volunteerism. For example, the UCAN Serve Program is an AmeriCorps initiative that rewards volunteers for their time. Also, the Peterson Scholarship (available through the Korbel School of International Studies) provides some travel assistance for students who do internships abroad (contact the Korbel office of Student Affairs for more information).
How many total credit hours are students allowed to take for an internship and can students complete more than one internship? In the IIC program students must register for 4 hours of internship credit. They may complete one or more internships as long as the total is 4 credits. Students have the option of completing an internship or a thesis, although some do both. If a student chooses the internship option, they MUST complete 4 credit hours.
For more information on internships, contact Erika Polson, the MFJS internship director at 303.871.3831 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Mira Morton Luna, the IIC coordinator for the Korbel Career & Professional Development Center at 303.871.2552 (email@example.com), and the DU Career Center are useful resources in your internship search.