Communication Studies majors are well positioned to take advantage of internship opportunities in a wide variety of communication-related fields including public relations, television production, event planning, non-profit management, and health communication. Since the college is located outside of Trenton in between Philadelphia and New York, many major companies and organizations regularly solicit interns from the department. Qualified students in every track who meet the requirements are encouraged to apply.
How to Apply for an Internship
- Attain a letter of intent to hire from the company or organization with which you are working. The letter must include the number of hours per week you will be working, the duties you will be performing, and your supervisor and his or her contact information.
- Seek out a supervising faculty member in the Department who you would like to work with. Your faculty supervisor will provide more information on the Internship Proposal and will provide you with their Method of Evaluation.
- Complete the Internship Contract, which is comprised of the Internship Enrollment Form and the Internship Proposal. See below for details about the Internship Contract.
- Submit the complete application (letter of intent to hire, Internship Enrollment Form, Internship Proposal, and Method of Evaluation) to the Department office for the chair’s approval. From there, if approved, the application will be forwarded to the Dean’s office. If the Dean’s office approves, it will be forwarded to the Office of Records & Registration so that the internship will appear on your schedule in PAWS. This process can take up to two weeks.
Credits, GPA, and Requirements for an Internship
- Enrollment is limited to students who have completed a minimum of 3 course units at TCNJ with at least a 2.0 GPA in that program.
- A minimum of 45 on-the-job hours should be required per quarter course unit of credit.Actual professional situations where the student experiences the requirements of employment must be used.
- The internship is an applied experience. In the internship, the student must apply what she/he has learned in the classroom. This academic foundation must be identified in a general way in the course offering proposal. Specific knowledge, methods, skills, activities, etc. must be listed for each intern in the proposal. (See below.)
- A substantial written assignment (or portfolio) requiring research and/or creative work should be required. A simple log describing activities may be included but in and of itself is not sufficient to satisfy this requirement. Exceptions may be approved by the department chair in fields where there is an extensive professional component already required (e.g., in the Journalism/Professional Writing major where the intern’s duties may be public relations, researching, reporting that constitute a substantial writing, research, and creative experience).
- The intern should be paid a salary whenever possible.
- Internships may be offered on either a graded or pass-fail basis.
- Second internships within the same program should be limited to those situations in which the student will be able to apply essentially different knowledge, methods, skills, etc. (still program related) than those applied in the prior internship. This limitation does not apply to a second internship in a different program (e.g., a second major, minor).
- Maximum internship course units to be counted toward a degree by any one student are three units. Maximum course units for a single internship are two units.
The Internship Contract
An internship contract consists of two parts: the proposal and the Internship Enrollment Form to be developed by the Office of Records and Registration. The student will prepare a written proposal meeting the following requirements:
- The proposal should state the number of credit hours from any previous internship, as well as the semester taken and the firm or agency where the internship was done.
- The proposal must explain exactly how credits are to be earned and what on-the-job activities will be required of the intern.
- The proposal must describe the method of evaluating the internship to be used by the faculty supervisor.
- The proposal must identify the firm or agency where the internship will be done.
- The proposal must identify the professional person at the firm or agency who will supervise the student during the internship.
- The proposal must be approved by the department chair or his or her designee before a student may proceed with the internship.
- The approved proposal must be delivered to the Office of Records and Registration by the end of the first week of the semester in which the internship is to be completed.
- Copies of the approved proposal should be provided to the student, the faculty supervisor, the department, and the firm or agency supervisor.
- If the circumstances of the internship change, it is the responsibility of the student to notify the faculty supervisor. At which point, the faculty advisor will send an addendum to the proposal to the Office of Records and Registration.
- Students who wish to intern for credit in the summer are required to pay tuition for those credits.
The following are some of the places our students have interned in recent years:
Public and Mass
Lourdes Health Systems
Family Resource Center
The Charlie Rose Show
Princeton HealthCare System
John Wells Productions
The Daily Show/The Colbert Report
New Jersey Motion Picture Office
Edelman Public Relations
Toy R Us
OUT in New Jersey
Superior Court of New Jersey
Princeton Professional Associates
U.S. Department of Labor