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Internships


The Department of Communication encourages students to complete internships. Internships provide an opportunity for students to apply knowledge gained in the classroom while learning new skills from and being mentored by communication professionals with expertise in a particular area. Students should look for challenging sites and exceptional supervisors.
  • Steps to Apply – These Must Be Done in Order

    Step 1

    Information: Carefully read the Internship Guidelines for information on internship requirements and the process of registering for an internship. (Students interested in an internship with the Arbiter should also read the Arbiter Guidelines.) You are strongly encouraged to seek internships that will add to your overall learning experience.

    Step 2

    Preparation: Once you are sure that you, the internship, and the internship supervisor meet the department guidelines, work with the proposed internship supervisor to gather the information listed on the Checklist.

    Step 3

    Department Approval: Apply for department approval by completing an Internship Verification Form.  Once your application has been processed, you will receive an email from your internship coordinator indicating whether or not the internship meets department requirements and providing you with further instruction.

    Step 4

    Enroll: Once you have received notice that your internship has been approved by the department, you will submit an internship application with the Career Center. This triggers an email to the Internship Provider and to your department Internship Coordinator asking for verification. Once the Career Center receives responses from both the Internship Provider and the Internship Coordinator verifying that the internship has been offered and approved, the Registrar’s office is notified and the internship is added to your schedule.

    Click here for additional information for internship providers

  • Internship Guidelines

    The information listed here is specific to the Department of Communication which offers Communication, Media Arts, and Public Relations internships. Read and understand the guidelines before making arrangements with a potential site or supervisor. To reiterate, do not commit to an internship until you have read the following and have completed the Internship Verification process. Some students have committed to an internship only to find out that they were not qualified, or that the internship was not acceptable.

    Department of Communication Internship Coordinators:

    COMM 493: Dr. Isbell is the coordinator for Communication internship
    MEDIA 493: Dr. Moore is the coordinator for Media Arts internship in Journalism, Television, Broadcast, or Creative Media Production
    PR 493: Dr. Casper is the coordinator for Public Relations internship
    Coordinator email addresses are available at the bottom of this document.

    When in your college career to enroll in internship:

    Internships can be completed in the junior and senior year; final semester of senior year recommended.

    Internship is a good means of networking and gaining entry-level career skills which serve you best when you are close to graduating. Completing an internship in your final semester provides a fresh, non-academic reference for your post-graduate job search. You are only allowed a limited number of internship credits. It’s a good idea to saving your internship credits until close to graduation when you have a better idea of career interests.

    Minimum qualifications for internship:

    Internships are a privilege for students, not a right. Students should demonstrate significant academic strength in order to participate in internship activities. You must have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher to register for internship credit. GPA is visible in your advising report on my.boisestate.

    Prerequisite courses:

    Internship is an extension of classroom learning, not a substitute for it. You should have taken many Communication, Media Arts, and/or PR classes related to the internship you seek before applying. For example, we are not likely to approve an internship in video production if you have not taken any video production classes.

    Public relations students have additional prerequisites for internship. In addition to the Communication Department requirements, PR students must have successfully completed:

    • PR 201 Intro to PR or COMM 278 Principles of Public Relations
    • PR 301 PR Campaign Strategies or COMM 279 Public Relations Campaigns
    • PR 303 PR Writing or COMM 382 PR Writing
    • PR 351 Media and Social Media Strategies
    Additional courses that support the type of PR internship you wish to complete are recommended.

    Internship Credit Limits:

    For each 45 hours spent working with an organization, a student may earn 1 credit. The maximum allowed for a semester is 135 hours of work for 3 credits.

    Just as you may not take the same class twice, you may not do the same internship twice. We feel an intern will learn much more by moving to a new setting than they would working with the same individuals a second time. Given this, we do not allow more than one internship at a particular site. Similarly, you may not complete an internship at an organization where you are or have been employed.

    Internship Fees:

    Internships are considered equivalent to regular classes. Part-time students will pay for each internship credit. Full-time students will have internship credits considered as part of their normal load. If the internship credits push a student’s credits to “overload” (more than 17 credits), overload fees will apply.

    Requirements for internship sites and supervisors:

    1. HIGH QUALITY INTERNSHIP. You should aspire to intern at the highest possible level related to your professional goals. Ideally, you should find an organization in which you will be able to work with local, national, or international communication professionals who have formal education and demonstrate a proven professional track record. We’d like you to learn from the best and also to have names of prestigious organizations on your resume when you graduate.
    2. ESTABLISHED ORGANIZATION. An organization must have the ability to support, instruct, and mentor an intern. Therefore, we recommend seeking organizations or individuals providing internships that have been established for a minimum of 3 years. Start-up organizations typically are not eligible to provide internships.
    3. QUALIFIED ON-SITE SUPERVISOR. You need a formal, designated internship supervisor on site. The supervisor is in a position similar to that held by a professor and should be able to instruct and mentor you. If the person with whom you are working knows less about the area than you do, quality learning is highly unlikely. Therefore, supervisors must have either:
      1. A degree in communication, journalism, media arts, public relations, or a related field and 3-years full-time post graduate experience in his/her current capacity
      2. 7 or more years of experience in his/her current capacity if they do not hold a degree.
      3. If the person is serving as a supervisor of a Communication Department intern for the first time, we may request a copy of his/her resume.
      4. You will be asked to provide the supervisor’s professional contact information, job title, education, and related employment history for verification. We will not approve supervisors who cannot provide a phone number and email address clearly associated with the organization providing the internship.
    4. YOU ARE NOT EMPLOYED THERE. You will learn much more in a new setting than you would working in a place and with individuals with which you are already familiar. Therefore, you may not complete internships at organizations where you are currently or have previously been employed.
    5. APPROVED INTERNSHIP VERIFICATION FORM. Department of Communication internships require pre-approval. This determines the acceptability of a particular internship by evaluating your readiness; the suitability of the organization offering the internship; the designated supervisor’s qualifications; the internship duties and terms; and the internship learning objectives. The verification process protects you by ensuring your internship is a valuable learning experience. A link to the Internship Verification form is available on the Communication Department website internship page.

    Legitimate Internships:

    Unfortunately, many opportunities advertised as internships are actually volunteer or contract work. These supposed internships ask students to work independently, using knowledge and skills they already have, often without pay. At a legitimate internship, interns work with an experienced supervisor who instructs and supports them as they learn new skills and gain valuable experience. Therefore, we do not approve internships that ask students to serve as campus representatives or ambassadors, or to complete work not currently undertaken by the organization.

    Ineligible opportunities include: independently overhauling a website for an organization without a webmaster; creating social media accounts and establishing a social media presence for an organization that doesn’t currently use social media; independently creating media content such as blogs, articles, and video for publications or outlets; promoting or distributing products on behalf of an organization; and/or door-to-door sales.

    Summer Internships:

    Summer internships are a good option for many students. Please note that a) all of the rules described on this sheet apply during the summer; and b) students who do internship in summer pay the same cost per credit as those registering for classes. In other words, a three-credit internship costs the same as a three-credit summer class. Due note that financial aid is handled differently during the summer and plan accordingly.

    Finding Internships:

    One good option is to check Handshake, which you can access through the Boise State Career Center. Check the websites of organizations you are interested in. You may also contact the department internship coordinators for advice.

    Registration Timetable:

    Each semester has formal deadline for internship registration listed in the Academic Calendar on the Registrar’s page. This is the date by which all university forms must be completed. The department requires that you submit a completed Internship Verification form at least one week (5 business days) before that date to increase the likelihood that all forms can be completed on time. Department deadlines are posted on the department Internship page.

    Internship Application Process:

    Once you have carefully read this list of guidelines and are sure that you meet the basic qualifications for internship, complete and submit an online Internship Verification Form, available on the department Internship page.

    Note: Even if you have discussed an internship with the internship coordinator and have initially received a positive response, the verification process may reveal that the internship does not meet department requirements. Please do not make any agreements with the internship provider or commit to an internship until the internship verification has been approved.

    Starting and finishing an internship:

    You should not do any work on site before receiving a notification that the internship is officially approved. Related to this, you may not receive internship credit for work completed in an earlier period. University policy forbids a student from doing work one semester and registering for credit in another.

    Plan to finish your required internship hours on site by the beginning of dead week of the term for which you are registered. The department needs an evaluation from the supervisor to post your grade, and that evaluation cannot be written until you meet your contractual obligations.

    How to contact an Internship Coordinator:

    COMM 493: Communication Internship Coordinator
    Dr. Matthew Isbell
    matthewisbell@boisestate.edu
    MEDIA 493: Media Arts Internship Coordinator
    Dr. Rick Moore
    rmoore@boisestate.edu
    PR 493: Public Relations Internship Coordinator
    Dr. MF Casper
    maryfrancescasper@boisestate.edu
    or book an appointment at casper.youcanbook.me

  • Internships Checklist

    What information do I need to complete the Internship Verification Form?

    1. Information about you
      1. Contact information
      2. GPA
      3. Courses taken related to internship, including grades and instructor, and how they
        relate to the proposed internship
    2. Information about the organization
      1. Contact information
      2. When the organization was established
      3. Number of employees in organization and at the internship location
    3. Information about the proposed supervisor
      1. Contact information
      2. Educational background (degrees held, when and where they were earned)
      3. Employment experience (positions held that give them the necessary expertise to teach
        and mentor an intern, including employment dates)
    4. Information on the internship
      1. How many credits (45 hours = 1 credit)
      2. Learning objectives
      3. Internship duties that will help you meet your learning objectives
      4. Explanation of how this internship will further your personal and/or career goals

  • Internships Application

    Application Deadline for Spring 2019: February 13, 2019

  • Internships Coordinators

    COMM 493: Communication Internship Coordinator
    Dr. Matthew Isbell
    matthewisbell@boisestate.edu
    MEDIA 493: Media Arts Internship Coordinator
    Dr. Rick Moore
    rmoore@boisestate.edu
    PR 493: Public Relations Internship Coordinator
    Dr. MF Casper
    maryfrancescasper@boisestate.edu
    or book an appointment at casper.youcanbook.me