The Department of Media 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.
Internship Application Deadlines
The deadline for formal application for internship is listed in the Boise State academic calendar. The calendar page can be accessed here.
Determine the semester in which you wish to register for internship and go to the academic calendar for that specific term. If you will scroll down, you will find a deadline for adding internship credits.
Please be aware this is the absolute deadline to register. Students should contact their prospective internship coordinator for the purposes of completing paperwork at least a week before the deadline. If your initial contact with the internship coordinator is less than a week before the formal deadline, you may not be able to get documents in order and receive credit for that term.
How to Apply for an Internship
These are the steps you must take in order to register for internship credit with the Department of Media. Please review them carefully before beginning the application process.
STEP 1: Read the Internship Guidelines
Information: Carefully read the Internship Guidelines below 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: Gather the Necessary Information
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: Submit an Internship Verification Form
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: Submit the Internship Application for Academic Credit
Enroll: Once you have received notice that your Internship Verification Form has been processed and approved by the department, you will be instructed to submit an internship application with Career Services. This triggers an email to the Internship Provider and to your department Internship Coordinator asking for verification. Once the Career Services 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.
The information listed here is specific to the Department of Media which offers Integrated Media, Media, Public Relations, and Strategic Communications internships. Read and understand the guidelines before making arrangements with a potential site or supervisor. Do not commit to an internship until you have read the following and have completed the Internship Verification process.
When to Complete an Internship:
Internships can be completed in your junior and/or senior year. We recommend that you complete an internship in the final semester of your senior year.
An internship helps you to network and gain entry-level career skills. Completing an internship in your final semester provides both experience and 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 save your internship credits until you have a better idea of your career interests.
Minimum GPA for internships:
Students must demonstrate a history of academic success in order to qualify for an internship. You must have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher to register for internship credit. GPA is visible in your advising report on myBoiseState.
An internship extends what you have learned in the classroom. You should have taken many integrated media and/or strategic communications classes related to your desired internship before you apply. For example, we won’t approve an internship in video production if you have not taken any video production classes.
Public relations and strategic communications students have additional prerequisites:
- PR 201 Intro to PR
- PR 301 PR Campaign Strategies
- MEDIA 300 and MEDIA 300L Media Writing with Lab
- PR 351 Media and Social Media Strategies
- Additional courses that support the type of 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.
You may not do the same internship twice, just like you can’t take the same class twice. In addition, you cannot complete more than one internship with a particular organization. You will learn more working with a new organization than you would by working with the same one a second time. This also means that you may not complete an internship where you are or have been employed.
Visit Career Services to explore available internships through Handshake. Check the websites of organizations you are interested in for internships, which are typically listed with employment opportunities. You may also contact the Media Department internship coordinators for advice.
Avoiding Non-legitimate Internships:
Many opportunities advertised as internships are actually volunteer or contract work. They 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, mentors, 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 the social media requested; independently creating media content such as blogs, articles, and/or video for publications or outlets; promoting or distributing products on behalf of an organization; and/or door-to-door sales.
You register for internship credits in the same way as regular classes, with the same associated costs. Part-time students pay by the credit. For full-time students, internship credits are part of their normal load. If the internship credits push a student’s credits to “overload” (more than 17 credits), overload fees will apply.
All of the rules for internship apply during the summer. A three-credit summer internship costs the same as a three-credit summer class. Do note that financial aid is handled differently during the summer and plan accordingly.
Requirements for Internship Sites and Supervisors:
- High-quality internship. You will benefit most from an internship at the highest possible level related to your professional goals. Try to find an organization where you will work with local, national, or international professionals who have both formal education and a proven professional track record. We’d like you to learn from the best and to have respected organizations on your resume when you graduate.
- Established organization. An organization must have the means to instruct, mentor, and support an intern. Organizations that have been established for a minimum of 3 years are more likely to be able to provide this necessary support. Therefore, start-up organizations are not eligible to provide internships.
- Qualified supervisor. You need a formal, designated internship supervisor. The supervisor should be able to instruct and mentor you as you learn. If your supervisor knows less about the area than you do, quality learning is highly unlikely. Therefore, supervisors must have either:
- A degree in field related to the internship and 3-years full-time post graduate experience in their current capacity
- Seven (7) or more years of experience in their current capacity if they do not hold a degree.
- If this is the first time they are supervising a Media Department intern, we may request a copy of their resume.
- 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.
- New learning opportunity. You may not do the same internship twice, just like you can’t take the same class twice. In addition, you cannot complete more than one internship with a particular organization. You will learn more working with a new organization than you would by working with the same one a second time. This also means that you may not complete an internship where you are or have been employed.
Internship Application Process:
Once you have carefully read these guidelines and are sure that you meet the basic qualifications for an internship, complete and submit the online Internship Verification Form, available below. This initiates the review process with a Media Department Internship Coordinator.
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.
Each semester, the university has a formal deadline for internship registration listed in the Academic Calendar on the Registrar’s page. This is different from the department deadlines. 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 listed at the top of this page.
Starting and Finishing an Internship:
You may not receive internship credit for work completed before you are registered for your internship, or in an earlier period. University policy forbids a student from doing work one semester and registering for credit in another. Don’t start your internship before receiving notification that the internship is officially approved.
Plan to finish your required internship hours at least two weeks before the end of the semester when the internship evaluation process takes place. You must have completed your internship so that your supervisor can evaluate your performance, and you can evaluate your internship supervisor and learning experience. Both evaluations must be received for your internship coordinator to post your grade.
Internship Verification Checklist
Department of Media internships require pre-approval. The Internship Verification Form allows us to determine the acceptability of your proposed internship. We evaluate: 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 that your internship is a valuable learning experience. You can view a Sample Internship Verification Form here. A link to the Internship Verification form is available below.
Gather the following information before attempting to complete the Internship Verification Form:
Information about you
- Contact information
- Courses taken related to internship, including grades and instructor, and how they relate to the proposed internship
Information about the organization
- Contact information
- When the organization was established
- Number of employees in organization and at the internship location
Information about the proposed supervisor
- Contact information (be sure that you have the correct email for your proposed supervisor)
- Educational background (degrees held, when and where they were earned)
- Employment experience (positions held that give them the necessary expertise to teach and mentor an intern, including employment dates)
Information about the internship
- How many credits (45 hours = 1 credit)
- Learning objectives – what you will learn by completing the internship
- Internship duties that will help you meet your learning objectives
- Explanation of how this internship will further your personal and/or career goals
Once you have gathered the necessary information, click on the link below to complete the Internship Verification Form.
For Spring 2023 internships, instead of filling out the online form, email Rick Moore (email@example.com) with the Information for your Internship (see Bullet Point list above).
Internship Application for Academic Credit
Do not submit the Internship Application for Academic Credit until you have received notice from your internship coordinator that your Internship Verification Form has been approved by the department.
Once you have received notice that your Internship Verification Form has been processed and approved, you will complete the Internship Application for Academic Credit linked below. The link takes you to the Career Center internship page where you will find additional information about internships. You will need to scroll down the page to reach the link to the application.
Upon submission of the university application, a copy is sent to the Internship Coordinator to verify that the internship was approved by the department.
After the Coordinator confirms, an email is sent to the internship supervisor listed on the application. The supervisor must respond to the email in order to complete the registration process.
Once the Internship Coordinator and the Internship Supervisor have both affirmed that the internship is approved, the information is sent to the registrar’s office and the internship is added to your schedule.
The application process can take several days. You will see the internship listed on your class schedule once it has been processed by the registrar.
MEDIA 493: Media and Integrated Media Internship Coordinator
Dr. Rick Moore