For Alumni and Parents


Welcome back!

Marist has no greater strength than its very own alums. For decades Marist alums have paved the way for thousands of students who came after them. Now you can be part of that legacy too. Here is how you can help:

  • Offer an internship opportunity - Tell us about internships with your company or organization. Contact the Internship Director with your details and we'll get the word out to students. For more information on posting an internship, see the link on this site called "For Employers"
  • Visit the campus - We welcome alums returning to campus to give talks to classes & clubs. Visits can be arranged through the Internship Director, or by contacting the relevant instructor or Department Chair, or the leadership of a club.  
  • Join the Alumni Career Network. The Alumni Career Network is maintained by the Center for Career Services. It creates a link between active alums and current students. Students may seek out alumni to conduct informational interviews and network with leading professionals to learn more about opportunities in their career fields. It's fast & easy to sign up. ?Visit the Career Services Center web pages for more information.


The internship search and learning process can be as confusing to parents and guardians as it is to students. Let's demystify things a bit:

What is a credit-bearing internship?

- Marist offers students the opportunity to earn college credits through its internship program, which formalizes an approved field experience in a professional setting. Students can earn from 1 credit to 14 credits during a given semester. Students work 45 contact hours per credit hour that they seek. Ex: 3 credit internship requires 135 "contact hours," which is time spent at the internship work site. In addition to the contact hours at the internship site the student is required to submit a series of reflective/analysis papers and blogs to document the field experience and learning process.    

Why are some internships "for pay" and not for credit?

There are several types of internships and numerous uses and applications of the term "internship."  Some employers offer "paid" internship, which are essentially jobs, under federal law. Other employers allow students who have been approved by a college or university to work for brief periods in their workplaces. These students are referred to as "credit interns" and this formal process exempts the students from federal compensation law. This is called an "unpaid" internship. Also, students may opt to volunteer at a non-profit organization. Some of these experiences are referred to as internship, although they are both unpaid and not supported by credit.

For a more detailed explanation, read our Guidebook for Parents.

What laws govern the college credit/field experience process?

Historically, the guiding law for college credit internships is the Fair Labor Standards Act, which formalized a series of criteria that allow "trainees" to perform work in a supervised setting exempt from pay or salary. This the rule that governs the most popular form of college internship - the unpaid internship. Federal guidelines for college internships were revised in January 2018. Here is an excerpt of those guidelines:

"Courts have used the “primary beneficiary test” to determine whether an intern or student is, in fact, an employee under the FLSA.2 In short, this test allows courts to examine the “economic reality” of the intern-employer relationship to determine which party is the “primary beneficiary” of the relationship. Courts have identified the following seven factors as part of the test:

  1. The extent to which the intern and the employer clearly understand that there is no expectation of compensation. Any promise of compensation, express or implied, suggests that the intern is an employee—and vice versa.
  2. The extent to which the internship provides training that would be similar to that which would be given in an educational environment, including the clinical and other hands-on training provided by educational institutions.
  3. The extent to which the internship is tied to the intern’s formal education program by integrated coursework or the receipt of academic credit.
  4. The extent to which the internship accommodates the intern’s academic commitments by corresponding to the academic calendar.
  5. The extent to which the internship’s duration is limited to the period in which the internship provides the intern with beneficial learning.
  6. The extent to which the intern’s work complements, rather than displaces, the work of paid employees while providing significant educational benefits to the intern.
  7. The extent to which the intern and the employer understand that the internship is conducted without entitlement to a paid job at the conclusion of the internship.

The complete guidelines publication can be found here: Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs Under The Fair Labor Standards Act/US Dept of Labor

Who is eligible for a credit-bearing Communication & Media Studies Internship ?

- Internship credit is available to Juniors & Seniors who have a 2.5 or above GPA, and have completed a prerequisite career prep course. Internships are considered field experience. It is the opinion of the faculty that younger students are not well prepared to perform adequately and thus maximize a professional field experience.

How does internship registration work? When are the deadlines?

- Students must register at the START of each semester (Fall, Spring & Summer only; we do not offer credit-bearing internships during the Winter Intercession term).  No retroactive credit is available. Information about internship registration is available to students on this website and is regularly disseminated via email blast, and announcements on social media sites linked to this site. 

Why do internship credits vary?

- Internships are included in our curriculum to afford students the opportunity to advance their education through experience in the professional world. We seek to make that opportunity flexible so students can match schedules with class work. Therefore, students can enroll in as little as 1 internship credit and as much as 12 internship credits. Overall, there is a 14 credit cap of all internship experiences performed during a student's college career.

Why does the college charge for credit-based internships?

- The college charges for internship credits because we apply staff time, talent and energy to our internship program. Prior to and throughout the internship process students are coached and monitored. During the internship students submit academic assignments, which are graded by the program staff. Additionally, registered interns are carried under the college's insurance programs and have the college as a partner and means of support.

What national standards exist to govern practice and evaluation of educational internships?

- The Communication & Media Studies Internship Program adheres to best practices for internships as espoused by leading academic professional associations and societies. For example, we closely follow the "Eight Principles" established by the National Society for Experiential Education and the guidelines for internships published by the National Association of Colleges & Employers.


Resource: Internship Guidebook for parents

Guidebook for parents