Determine eligibility. Undergraduate students can do 4 credits of internship as part of MFJS majors (for some majors, an internship is required, for others it is an elective); after completing the major, you may do an additional 4 credits of internship for general DU elective credit. To be eligible to do an internship, you must have 12 credits in your MFJS major, including the following coursework: For Journalism Studies students, "Newswriting & Reporting" and "Online & Visual Journalism"; for Strategic Communication students, "Strategic Planning" and "Strategic Messaging"; for Film & Video students, "Intro to Film Criticism" and "Intro to Field Production & Editing".
Graduate programs have varying eligibility requirements. Please contact the internship director for more information.
Finding an internship. It is up to students to find their own internships, but we have many resources to help you. If you'd like help with your resume and cover letter, contact the DU Career Center to schedule an appointment. To begin your internship search, you are welcome to make an appointment with the Director of Internships to discuss what you are looking for and how to get started. You may also do your own research and networking to find an internship that fits your goals.
Additional resources to help with your search include:
registering an internship
1. Download the forms: For Fall, Winter, or Spring internships, download the Contract and the Experiential Learning Registration Form (ELRF). For Summer internships, download the Summer Contract along with the ELRF. After downloading the forms, type in all of the required information. (NOTE: See the DU Schedule of classes for the CRN for the internship, which changes each quarter.)
2. Determine number of credits. Students must work 40 hours for each credit registered. While many students choose to do 4 credits in one quarter, others might register just 1, 2, or 3 credits. Note that for students wishing to spread an internship over multiple quarters (for example, 2 credits in winter and 2 in spring), it is necessary to re-submit the registration forms for the new quarter.
3. Get the forms signed. Sign both forms and have your internship supervisor sign BOTH forms.
4. Obtain a detailed job description on the organization's letterhead.
5. Turn in all paperwork. Students may either drop paperwork off in Dr. Polson's faculty mailbox (in the main office of the MFJS building) or scan the forms and send them via email.
During the internship period, students are required to participate in a private online-discussion forum with other interns. At the end of the internship, students and internship supervisors are given evaluation forms, where they are asked to provide reflection and feedback about the internship experience.
Based on all of these measures, a grade is given for the internship course.
Interns: know your rights!
If you register an internship for DU credit, we expect you to be working in a safe and respectful learning environment with a supervisor who is committed to providing professional guidance and mentorship. If you end up in an internship situation where there is no supervision, mentorship, or feedback, or where you are frequently asked to do menial tasks that are unrelated to the goals of the internship as laid out in your detailed job description, you are encouraged to contact the Director of Internships immediately. The Director will work with you to develop strategies to address the problem, and get involved with the supervisor directly if necessary.
You are allowed to receive credit for both paid and unpaid internships. If you do an unpaid internship, you should know that the US Department of Labor has put together a set of guidelines to help "for-profit" organizations to know if their unpaid internship meet the rules laid out in the Fair Labor Standards Act, the most important of which is that the "internship experience is for the benefit of the intern" .
Although those specific guidelines do not apply to non-profit organizations, we still expect non-profit internship hosts to provide supervision, mentorship, and constructive feedback.