The Bachelor of Arts in Communication
In the ever-changing communication industries, having real experience is integral. Communication majors in every concentration can benefit greatly from the experience and the contacts that internships can bring. The Department of Communication offers two types of internship opportunities for students: Internal and External.
The Internal Internship offers students credit for working on campus-based media outlets, such as radio and television, and in theatre. Permission from the instructor in charge of the specific area and the internship coordinator is needed for students to enroll. Past internal internships have included management positions at WPSC, the university's radio station and the roles of producer or director of an on-campus show broadcast on WPTV-6, the university's television channel.
How to register for COMM 3301: Communication Practicum (Internal)
To enroll in an Internal Internship it is important to first discuss it with the instructor in charge of the area in which a student wishes to intern. After this has been done, contact the internship coordinator.
The internship coordinator for Internal Internships is Professor Barry Morganstern.
For more information, contact
103 Hobart Hall
The External Internship is open to juniors and seniors with a minimum 2.5 grade point average. Students receive credit for interning at any of a large number of media outlets, including the major news networks and talk shows, as well as public relations agencies, newspapers, film production companies and Fortune 500 corporations.
Those students interested in pursuing a media production internship (broadcast journalism, print journalism, radio, film, TV or audio production) please contact Prof. Liz Birge at BirgeE@wpunj.edu.
Those students interested in pursuing an internship in public relations, print journalism, interpersonal communication or theater/comedy please contact Prof. Lorra Brown (BrownL50@wpunj.edu)
To start the process:
- Students should visit the Career Advisement Center (3rd Floor Student Center) for resume, cover letter and interview assistance.
- Visit the Blackboard Communication Internships Resources web site (open only to COMM majors) for a listing of hundreds of possible internship sites, current internship postings, search tips, industry specific resume/cover letter samples and more.
- Students also are encouraged to work with their professors and advisors to fine tune industry specific resumes, many of whom have outstanding professional contacts.
- Students are encouraged to proactively explore and pursue opportunities. The dept. internship coordinator will assess the quality of the internship to determine its viability as an approved site.
How to register for COMM 3300: (External) Internship
This course will be open to all qualified students during registration. Once approved for the course students are required to:
- Confirm that you agree to the terms of the syllabus
- Complete a minimum of 120 hours on the site or more as arranged in advance
- Submit a weekly online journal entry and complete a paper as described in the syllabus
- Receive a satisfactory evaluation from the internship site supervisor
How to register for external (off-campus) internship if you know where your internship will be. You must be:
- communication major (any communication major is acceptable)
- at least 58 credits completed by the start of the internship course
- cumulative GPA of 2.5 at the start of the semester when you're taking the course
Fill out the internship application by clicking here.
You will be contacted if your permit to register is approved.
The course remains open to qualified students through all registration periods, but you must be registered by the time the registration process for the semester ends.
How to register if you don't know where you will be doing your internship:
You may register before you have a confirmed site following the procedures above. If you do not have a confirmed site by the start of the semester but expect to find one, be sure to register before registration ends. Once registration ends, you cannot add the internship course.
If you are not able to find an internship site but you have registered for the course, to avoid failing the course you must withdraw from the internship course by the deadline for withdrawing from a course, usually about six weeks into the semester.
External Internships Frequently Asked Questions
Students matriculated in any major in the Communication Department can choose to do one or more off-campus (external) internships while they are enrolled at William Paterson University. Doing an internship is recommended but not required for any of our majors.
Do many students do internships?
William Paterson Communication Students complete close to a hundred off-campus internships each year. While you are not required to do an internship, our department strongly encourages this valuable professional experience.
Where have William Paterson Communication majors done internships?
There is a listing of all recent sites on Blackboard. Our majors have done internships in virtually all of the New York-based media outlets, PR firms, event marketing companies, fashion houses, talent and casting agencies, production and post-production houses, sports venues and with sports teams. Students are given assistance in finding an appropriate internship site and are encouraged to explore diverse opportunities.
How many credits do internship students earn?
The Communication Department internship course offers three credits per internship, with a limit of one internship a semester.
Is there a limit on how many internships one student can do?
There is a limit of one internship a semester, but students may repeat the external internship course to earn a total of six credits. In situations where students want to do additional internships beyond six credits, they may enroll in the course but the credits will not count toward graduation.
Do I need to earn credit to do an internship?
Most larger media companies require that students earn college credit for their internships so the company will not be violating labor laws or union contracts. However, some sites do not require credit, in which case a student can choose whether to enroll in the internship course.
Is it OK to be paid as an intern and still earn credit?
We encourage students to explore paid internship opportunities. While most media outlets rarely pay, many public relations firms or corporations do provide paid experiences. Students may receive pay as interns and still earn credit. Some sites provide a small stipend or travel expense reimbursement, which also doesn’t affect earning credit. The course only gives credit for internships—it doesn’t give credit for regular work experiences.
For additional information:
MAJOR AREA: Media Production, Media Studies, Broadcast Journalism, Journalism - Editorial
Prof. Liz Birge BirgeE@wpunj.edu
MAJOR AREA: Public Relations, Interpersonal Communication, Theatre/Comedy, Journalism - Editorial
Professor Lorra Brown BrownL50@wpunj.edu
Download Internship Application.
Download Internship Handbook 2013.
Download Internship: How to register.