Internship Syllabus

Marist College – School of Communication

Communication & Media Studies Internship Syllabus


Internship Director: Gerry McNulty

Phone: 845 575-3655     FAX:  845 575-3696

Office: Lowell Thomas 150

Office Hours: Weekdays 9:30-12 PM / 1:30-4 PM



(revised  July 2013)




The main objective of the Communication Internship is to gain professional experience. Students will spend time in a professional setting, under the supervision of media professionals. Students will have an opportunity to learn skills unique to their field; they will gain valuable insider knowledge about their industry and meet the people who may someday be their co-workers and/or supervisors, gaining advantage in the job market. Increasing personal skills and knowledge and enhancing professional competencies are key goals of the internship.



In order to qualify, a student must meet these requirements:

  • Earn GPA of 2.5 or above
  • Pass the 1-credit course CRDV 100N Employment Practicum prior to the start of internship.
  • Earn 60 or more credits (transfers students must have earned at least 12 credits at Marist)
  • Meet in person with internship director to confirm qualification and approval of the internship site & schedule.

(there is NO electronic registration for internships)


Definition of ‘Communication internship’

The term “internship” is often used to mean a variety of things. The Communication Internship Program defines internships as a specified amount of time spent by the student in a professional work setting, with the student receiving feedback from a designated media professional.  The amount of time spent in the work setting, the type of work produced and the student’s academic assignments determine the number of credits the student may earn. p The main goal is that the student gain practical “real world” experience and make key contacts in his/her chosen field. An internship may be a paid position or an unpaid position. The student intern must be enrolled at the start of the semester during which the work experience occurs and is therefore a candidate for college credit. Internships are often referred to “experiential learning” opportunities. To be effective, experiential learning requires the student intern to engage fully by integrating the “concrete experience” of the workplace with “reflective observation” which leads successful students to “abstract conceptualization” about the work experience.  Written assignments, such as periodic reports and a Final Paper, are the means by which students analyze and measure their experiences and engage in reflection. College internships are governed by federal law. Both sponsoring employers and students face restrictions under that law. (For more information, see )

The 3-way-partnership

The credit-bearing internship requires a three-way partnership: College-Student-Employer. The student is at the center of this arrangement in which he/she is benefiting from opportunities offered by both the school and the employer. The college offers credits and official support; the employer gives the student an opportunity in the “real world.” Ultimately, the student is responsible to balance the needs of two “bosses.” The most successful students are those who bring a mature and responsible attitude and remain flexible and realistic, seeking ways to balance the sometimes conflicting needs of school and internship schedules.


Course Offerings Internship courses are offered during the traditional 15-week Fall, Spring and Summer terms.No winter break internships are available. All internship registrations are subject to the approval of the internship director prior to the start of the internship. No retroactive credit is available; students must be enrolled at the beginning of each term (Fall/Spring/Summer) in order to receive credit in that term. A wide range of credit options are available (see chart) There is no limit on the number of credit-bearing internship placements in which a student may participate. However, students can not earn more than a total of 14 internship credits.


Required vs. General Elective

Internship credits are required only for Sports Communication majors. For all other Communication & Media Studies majors the internship is a "general elective," which means the internship credits count toward the diploma, but DO NOT count toward Communication concentration or major requirements. 


Communication Internship Credit Chart





       Total Hours

       Per Term

COM 306 1 45  
COM 404 2 90  
COM 308 3 135  
COM 360 4 180  
COM 405 5 225  
COM 309 6 270  
COM 361 7 315  
COM 362 8 360  
COM 406 9 405  
COM 450 10 450  
COM 451 11 495  
COM 408 12 540  


Media Studies Internship Chart





Total Hours

Per Term

MDIA 360 1 45
MDIA 361 3 135
MDIA 362 6 270
MDIA 460 9 405
MDIA 461 12 540
MDIA 14 630


Internship Schedules

Students should review the chart above to calculate minimum hours per credit sought.  Remember, this chart is focused on the “credit bearing” requirements. For example, a student enrolled in a 3-credit internship must work a total of 135 hours over the term, or an average of 9 hours per week. Students MUST complete internship work hours WITHIN the specific semester in which they are registered. However, students should also note the above mentioned hours are the MINIMUMS; it is perfectly all right to work more than the minimum if a student wishes to do so. Ex: Enroll in 3-credit internship, but work 2 days per week rather than 1. It is best to discuss scheduling with the Internship Director prior to the start of the internship. We measure time by hours worked “on the job.” Travel time does NOT count toward internship hours. The Learning Contract form, filled out and signed by student and employer/supervisor at the start of the internship, is the document used to formalize scheduling.


Required Forms

  • The Learning Contract Form, which specifies a student’s work schedule and job description, must be completed and signed by both student and immediate supervisor (Please do not give this form for a Human Resources representative). The Learning Contract form is due the SECOND WEEK OF THE INTERNSHIP.
  • Time Logs: Students are required to submit two Time Logs that track and verify the number of hours worked at the internship site. One form is due at the mid-term term; the second is due at the end of the semester. The student intern’s direct supervisor must sign and verify the time worked.
  • An Evaluation Form will be mailed to the student’s immediate supervisor near the end of the term. (more details on evaluations below)



There are numerous resources available to students seeking internship. First, the pre-requisite class, CRDV100, offers instruction in resume writing, cover letter writing, job searching, interview preparation and other skills and techniques. Foxquest, the Marist College jobs/internship datatbase, lists thousands of opportunities. Students are not limited to these contacts, but may seek an internship with any company or organization engaged in mass media enterprises. Numerous books and trade publications available in the Internship Program Office and at Center for Career Services located in the Marist Library provide a great deal of information about careers and employers


Instructional formats

This course consists of fieldwork and written assignments. Professionals at each site supervise interns in the workplace environment. Students establish the details of their internship job description and work schedule in collaboration with supervisors at the workplace. The College reserves the right to approve all schedules in advance. Also, the internship program director reserves the right to conduct status checks via telephone, email or in-person.


Internship Assignments

Students are required to submit a series of writing assignments as part of the internship program:

  • Writing assignments in the form of reflective and/or analytical reports are to be submitted to the program staff. The number of assignments varies by number of credits attempted. Ex: 1-credit interns submit 4 reports; 9-credit interns submit 10 written assignments. (for details, see “Assignments”  in your iLearn course shell). All written assignment topics are posted on the iLearn (online) system. All students are required to use their Marist accounts to access this system.


  • A Final Paper is due Final Exam Week. The paper should be an analysis of the internship, reflecting on the range of duties performed, lessons learned. As per the stated instructions, the Final Paper should explore how the internship experience compared/contrasted with theories taught in class. The student should explain the value of the internship experience as a supplement to classwork. (see instructions for details)


WARNING: LATE reports/final papers WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. Late assignments are grounds for failing the internship course. Stay current, follow the schedule and meet deadlines.


Student Conduct & Attendance

 Students are expected to demonstrate mature, responsible behavior in their internships. They are expected to fulfill their work schedules as planned (See the Learning Contract form). They are expected to behave in a professional manner, treating all co-workers with courtesy and respect at all times. Problematic behavior will be considered grounds for failure of the internship course.

In addition, excellent attendance is critically important. Students whose attendance is questionable or who have substantial absencesrisk failing the internship course. The internship credit chart (above) denotes minimum hours that must be worked to reach each credit threshold. Students should keep their employer/sponsor fully informed regarding any illness or personal issues that prevent them from attending the internship as schedule. Also, students should inform the internship director in the event they face an extended absence of more than a few days.


Outcomes & Evaluations

The Internship Director uses the following methods for outcomes evaluation.

1)     calculation of number of hours student worked at internship site, verified by supervisor

2)     assessment of the quality of the written assignments,

3)     review of the employer’s evaluation of the student and,

4)     exit interviews with the student intern and/or the internship employer supervisor. The internship program retains the right to conduct a “site visit” to evaluate the student’s progress or conduct a telephone interview for evaluation purposes.



Internships are Pass/Fail. In order to obtain a passing grade, students must:

  • Complete the required number of hours/per credits enrolled
  • Turn in written reports and your Final Paper in a timely manner
  • Obtain a satisfactory evaluation from their supervisor

* Students who do not meet these requirements risk failure



INTERNSHIP REGISTRATION MUST BE FINALIZED IN PERSON WITH THE INTERNSHIP DIRECTOR NO LATER THAN THE END OF THE FIRST WEEK OF THE TERM. Registration deadlines are posted on the website and on the bulletin board outside the Internship Office at LT211-A.



Enrolled interns are advised to make every effort to complete their internship requirements. Quitting an internship prematurely places the student at risk of failing the internship course and losing the credits sought. Students are strongly advised to remain in close communication with the Internship Program Staff regarding questions or concerns about their internships.




of Credits


Variety of options available. Consult the credit chart or speak with Internship Program Staff


Requirement by Concentration

Sports Communication – Yes


All Others – No



At Start of each semester.

All registration is handled in-person at the Internship Program Office


Electronic Registration



Retroactive credits

None available



60+ credits completed (Transfer students – see Internship Program Staff)

2.5 or above GPA

Passing grade in CRDV100 Employment Practicum


Required forms

Learning Contract form

Time Log

Evaluation Form


Written Assignments

Periodic Reports (varies by credit load)

Final Paper (reflection/analysis)