Internships for Students

Welcome to the WCU Department of Communication Studies internship webpage.

This site is designed to answer as many of your questions about the internship program as possible, so you should read it thoroughly before you contact the Internship Director to discuss your internship options.

What internships are available through the Department of Communication and Media?

If you are a current major or minor in any of our programs, you can view our Approved Internships List. This list is updated frequently with new offerings. (While some of the listings were originally posted a number of years ago, the data contained in the forms are updated every semester.) If you want to pursue an internship that is not on the Approved Internships List, set up an appointment with the Internship Director, Dr. Edward Lordan, at to discuss your options.

Is an internship required for graduation?

Internships are not required for students majoring in Communication, but they are very highly recommended. Students majoring in Media and Culture are required to complete a capstone course which can be either an internship or a practicum. 

What is an Internship?

An internship is an opportunity for you to work in a communications- or media-related professional setting in order to learn more about your major and explore the post-graduation jobs that might be of interest to you.

Why should I take one?

Professionals in the field of communication and media frequently note that the best way to improve your marketability during your undergraduate program is to complete an internship! Internships offer five significant advantages: 1) Allowing you to apply the theories and lessons you’ve learned in the classroom in a professional setting; 2) Helping you to determine what you want to do upon graduation; 3) Providing you with professional experience; 4) Strengthening your resume, and 5) Helping you to begin establishing the professional network that will assist you throughout your career.

What is the Course Number for Internships in The Department of Communication and Media?

If you are majoring in Communication Studies, you will enroll in COM 400 Internship in Communication Studies. If you are majoring in Media and Culture, you will enroll in MDC 494 Internship in Media and Culture. If you are in the graduate program, you will enroll in COM 598. Please note that, unlike other courses in the program, you do not enroll yourself in the internship – you will need to contact Dr. Lordan at to enroll you. 

What requirements do I have to meet to take an Internship?

You must be accepted in WCU’s Communication major or minor or the WCU Media and Culture major or minor when you enroll for the internship. 

Your cumulative grade point average (GPA) must be 2.5 or better when you apply for the internship. (If your GPA is below 2.5, you can still meet with the Internship Director to discuss your options for the program.) 

When should I take the Internship?

You can take the internship in your sophomore, junior or senior year, as long as you meet the requirements listed above. Internships are available in the Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters. Summer internships can be taken in the first, second or third Summer session or across sessions. Internships are not available during the winter session.

How many credits can I earn for the Internship?

You are required to work 45 hours for each credit of your internship. The number of hours you work will depend on the number of credits you enroll for in the course.

Credits Minimum Number of Hours for the Semester
3 135 (one eight-hour day per week of the Fall and Spring semester)
6 270 (two eight-hour day per week of the Fall and Spring semester)
9 405 (three eight-hour day per week of the Fall and Spring semester)
12 540 (four eight-hour day per week of the Fall and Spring semester)

The Summer session window for completing an internship consists of ten weeks, from the beginning of the first Summer session to August 15. This is shorter than the Fall or Spring semesters, so there is less time to complete the required hours. The maximum number of credits a student can receive for the Summer session is six credits, requiring a minimum of 270 hours. 

What will I be required to do for the internship course and how will I be graded?

Along with the work you will do at the internship, you are also required to submit materials during the semester to your instructor. These materials will make up your grade for the course. You will receive instructions via D2L explaining in detail what you need to submit and when it needs to be submitted. All of your submissions will be made via D2L. The submissions are as follows, listed with the percentage of your grade each submission represents.

Daily Log (first half of the term) - 10%
Midterm Evaluation from Supervisor -20 %
Internship Supervisor Interview with Internship Director - 15%
Daily Log (Second half of the term) - 5%
Portfolio – 20%
Final Paper - 15%
Final Evaluation from Supervisor - 15%

You are also required to participate in a mid-semester zoom meeting with the Internship Director that is part of your grade.

When should I get started on the process?

If you’re thinking about an internship somewhere in your undergraduate program, you are encouraged to schedule a meeting with the Internship Director at any time – you don’t have to wait until the specific semester you’re taking the course to discuss your plans. If you are planning to take an internship in the upcoming semester, schedule a meeting with the Internship Director prior to scheduling for classes. You have up until the start of the term to participate in the program, but your chances of identifying and obtaining an internship and qualifying for the program increase the earlier you plan for it.

Can i get paid for an internship and also receive credit?


Can I take an internship with the same organization more than once?

Yes. However, you are likely to get more perspectives, contacts and kinds of work experience by taking a second internship with another organization.

I am already working in an internship - can I get credit retroactively?

No, you can not. Because internships require ongoing reporting to the Internship Director, it is not possible to get credit for an internship in progress. You can only get credit for internships that you are registered for before the beginning of the term.

Can I take more than one internship during my undergraduate program?

Yes. You can take up to twelve credits of internship in any one semester and up to fifteen credits of internship during your undergraduate program. (Internships are only offered in three-credit increments.). For example, you can take a six-credit internship followed by a nine-credit internship. Generally, the more internship opportunities you take advantage of, the more marketable you will be upon graduation.

Do I have to do the internship for credit?

No, you can do an internship without having it count for a course at WCU. However, be aware that many organizations will not offer internships unless you are receiving college credit for the experience. (Consult with the organization where you would like to intern to determine their policy on credits.) If you wish to obtain an internship without receiving credit, contact the organization you’d like to work for directly. (If you wish to, you can also discuss this option with the Internship Director.)

Where does the internship course fit in my academic program?

If you are a Communication Studies major, the course will count as either a Communications and Media elective or a general elective. The course number for the Communications major internship is 400, BUT IT DOES NOT COUNT AS AN UPPER-LEVEL COURSE FOR THE MAJOR.

If you are a Media and Culture major, the course will fulfill your internship/practicum requirement.

What if I've identified an internship opportunity on my own?

Some students identify internship opportunities on their own. Students can intern with organizations on their own, but in order for the internship to count for university credit, the organization must be approved by the Internship Director prior to the student applying for the course. The Internship Director – not the organization – determines whether a particular opportunity qualifies for credit. More information on whether and how organizations qualify for internship credit.

What are the responsibilities of the internship supervisor?

If your internship is unpaid, the internship supervisor will be responsible for reviewing, signing and returning the Internship Agreement made between the university and the organization. This must be completed and returned BEFORE the beginning of the internship. Interns can not begin working or recording hours until the agreement is signed and returned.

During the semester, the internship supervisor will be responsible for completing the midterm evaluation and the final evaluation, and conduct a brief interview toward the end of the term with the Internship Director to discuss the intern’s performance.

How do I enroll for credit for an internship?

You do NOT register for the course on your own – you apply to the program and, if you are approved, the Internship Director will register you for the course.

Once you have obtained the internship, email Dr. Lordan at with ALL of the following information. Do not contact him with partial information – include all of it.  
Name of the organization
Name of the supervisor 
Phone number of the supervisor 
Email of the supervisor 
Number of credits (3/6/9/12) – note: Be SURE that you are able to obtain the minimum number of hours required for the credits you are applying for! 
Paid or unpaid 
Semester for which you are applying 
One-line description of the work 
Also, prior to emailing the information, make sure you have cleared enough credits in your schedule to allow for the enrollment. For example, if you are applying for a three-credit internship and you are already enrolled in fifteen credits, you need to drop a three-credit course to make room to enroll in the internship.  

After you have read this, your next step is to schedule a meeting with the Internship Director (Dr. Edward Lordan) at Lordan’s office is 237 Wayne Hall. The internship meeting will be used to determine:

  1. whether you qualify;
  2. whether the internship opportunity qualifies, and
  3. the number of credits you’ll receive for the course.

In order to enroll for the course, you must provide the Internship Director with the following information:

  • Name of internship organization
  • Name of onsite supervisor
  • Email address of onsite supervisor
  • Phone number of onsite supervisor
  • Number of credits you are applying for (3/6/9/12)
  • Whether you are COM or MDC
  • Whether the internship is paid or unpaid
  • One-line description of the work you’ll be doing for the internship
  • Semester you are enrolling for
  • Add "Undergraduate or graduate"

You don’t need to be completely committed to an internship before meeting with the Internship Director! You may be planning a few semesters ahead, want to talk about career options or are just interested in additional information about the program - if you’re at any stage in the internship process, you can schedule a meeting to learn more.