Rules and Regulations

Looking for internship credit? First you must contact the department's internship coordinator, Pam Luecke, lueckep@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. Journalism, Business Journalism and Strategic Communication majors must have at least two 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 Strategic Communication sequence may intern with news organizations; public relations, marketing, or advertising firms; or a communications department within a company, non-profit organization or governmental entity.

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 J258 (Beat Reporting) before interning. Waivers are possible in special circumstances.
3. Strategic Communication majors must take J201 (Intro to Reporting) before interning; ideally, they will have also completed J227 (Public Relations Writing). Again waivers are possible.
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 Summer Term. You will receive a "work in progress" grade until the internship requirements are completed in the fall.  Three-credit journalism internships appear as J453; three-credit communication internships as J463. Two-credit journalism internships appear as J452; two-credit communications internships as J462, etc.

During your internship summer:

1. You must keep a daily journal about your workplace activities. While you are working, simply jot down a few sentences each day on what you did and why, with occasional longer entries on the more significant moments. This may be a Word document or an actual hand-written journal, as long as it is legible. 
2. You must work: 300 or more hours for three credits; 200-299 hours for two credits; 100-199 hours for one credit.
3. It's possible to take more than one internship in a single summer or to take internships in two consecutive summers. But six internship credits are the maximum allowed for your Journalism or Strategic Communication major. 

After your internship summer:

1. In late September/early October, you must give a 10-minute presentation to faculty, adminstrators and other students about your internship.
2. You must attend one other presentation session in addition to the one in which you speak.
3. You must hand in a paper about your intern experience by early October. Three-credit internships require a 10-page paper; two credits, seven pages; one credit, five pages.
4. 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.
5. You must hand in a portfolio of your internship work by early October.