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Information on Internships

Students are required to fulfill internship requirements. The Department of Journalism and Mass Communication organizes an Internship and Job fair on campus each January, attracting about 40 employers from around the region. Examples include firms, agencies, television stations, magazines, and newspapers.
This event provides an opportunity for students to interview with multiple employers in one setting. Students sharpen their interview skills and show their portfolio to employers. 
Here are answers to frequently asked questions about the internship requirements.

Q: Who do I talk to about my internship? 

A: Betty Nelson is our Internship Coordinator. She will discuss the requirements with you, give you paperwork to fill out, and approve enrollment in the internship course. She will also send information to your supervisor and follow-up with them at the end of your internship. See Betty before formally accepting any internship to make sure it’s approved by the department. Your adviser can also provide internship guidance.

Q: When should I complete my internship?

A: Students are required to complete three internship credit hours for 360 hours. These credit hours can occur in a single semester or can possibly carry over into the next semester, if needed. Make sure to discuss that with Betty Nelson. Students must enroll in the course DURING the time period they are completing the internship. Students are encouraged to gain as many internship experiences as they can so don’t limit yourself to one internship. Note that, if you do more than one internship, you only pay for the three credits that you are claiming for MCOM 494. Other internships would simply give you more experience for the workplace after graduation.

Q: What are the requirements?

A: You must complete 360 hours, provide Betty Nelson with information about your supervisor, and turn in a professional looking portfolio two weeks after completing your internship. The portfolio must be hard copy (no digital portfolios please). Also included in your grade for this class will be your supervisor's evaluation of your work. 

Q: How do I find an internship?

A: The department hosts an Internship Fair each spring (normally the last Friday in January), but you can also seek out an internship on your own. Some internship opportunities are posted here.

Q: Can I use my current job position as my internship?
A: An internship cannot be the same position at a job a student currently holds. All internships must be a “new” position with a current employer or one the student currently does not have or has ever had before.  A new position is one that has not been part of his or her previous job description.

Q: What support is provided?

A: MCOM Internship Fair, faculty will review resumes, Career Planning Center (mock interviews), Journalism Club holds an internship panel each fall, the department holds resume and interviewing workshops sponsored by Journalism Club and sometimes the Advertising Club.

Q: What should I do once I find an internship?

A: Contact Betty Nelson to get approval and enroll in the internship course. You will need to set up a meeting with Betty in her office in order to get the needed paperwork to register for the course. Contact Betty at 605-688-4171 or email her at

Q: What is the internship class?

A: MCOM 494 is our internship course. Students must enroll in the course DURING the time period they are completing the internship (i.e. summer). Discuss one credit versus two: The course can be one summer for 3 credits or two summers, 1 credit and 2 credits. CHECK if this is the case: at least two credits of the internship must be scheduled after you’ve completed the junior level courses for your major.