Internship Program

“An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent” (www.naceweb.org).

The Department of Communication academic internship program helps communication majors build a professional portfolio. Students should think carefully about their goals for an internship and discuss these goals with faculty members, advisors, the internship coordinator, and the site supervisor. The site supervisor must be a professional from whom the student will learn. The site supervisor must not be a family member or be employed by a family member. Students may not work in the private home or home office of an internship employer. Virtual office internships are allowed upon approval of contact structure.

Students are responsible for finding internships and may utilize the resources of the University Career Center, listserv announcements from the internship coordinator, their personal network, as well as many other sources. The internship coordinator will review all internships for appropriateness prior to granting permission.

The department structures its internship program around two courses, COMM386: Experiential Learning and COMM288: Communication Internship. COMM 386 is an upper level course with prerequisites and can apply to the communication major. COMM288 is a lower level course open to any student doing a communication related internship. COMM288 credits will not apply to communication major requirements. Students enroll in an academic internship course during the same semester in which they are doing the internship. Please note that if the internship occurs during the summer/winter the student will enroll in the summer/winter academic internship course and will incur tuition costs and fees applicable for courses taken during that term.

COMM386 Prerequisites According to Track:

Social Influence

  • One of the following: COMM400, COMM402
  • One additional 300 or 400 level communication course

Rhetoric and Political Culture

  • One of the following: COMM401, COMM450
  • One additional 300 or 400 level communication course

Public Relations

  • COMM350 or COMM201/298P
  • COMM351 (or COMM231/331, COMM232/332 and COMM400)

Communication Studies

  • One of the following: COMM400, COMM401, COMM402
  • One additional 300 or 400 level communication course

Additional prerequisites for COMM386: Students must be majoring in communication and have at least 60 credits with a minimum grade point average of 2.5 overall. Students must have completed courses with a grade of C- or higher appropriate to their chosen track in the communication major. Students having questions about whether they meet the prerequisites should consult with an academic advisor or the internship coordinator. If students wish to request exceptions to policy they must write a letter to the director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Communication explaining the circumstances in detail, accompanied by any relevant documentation. The director of undergraduate studies will decide such requests in consultation with the internship coordinator.

Students may earn three to six credits for a COMM386 internship or one to six credits of COMM288. Students choose a credit level based on how many hours they will work at the internship site. The standard formula is a minimum of 45 hours of work per credit (135 for 3 credits, 270 for 6 credits). Three credits of COMM386 may apply toward the communication major. COMM288 credits will not apply toward the communication major. Any additional credits may apply toward requirements in the College of Arts and Humanities. The student should discuss the usefulness of these credits with an ARHU advisor. COMM386 is not repeatable. COMM288 may be repeated up to a total of six earned credits for that course.

For more information, please read the Steps to a Successful Internship.  To apply for the COMM288 or COMM386, you must complete the application found here

Submit internship applications to the internship coordinator:

Julie S. Gowin
Outreach Coordinator
Office: Skinner 2101A
Phone: (301) 405-7323
Fax: 301-314-9471
Email: gowin@umd.edu