If you meet these four requirements and are interested in completing this practicum, you then need to find a company, grassroots organization, or institution in which to intern. To help you find an internship, the department regularly emails announcements to Communication students. You can also stop by Dr. William Husson's office (SS 363) to get the addresses of companies, institutions and organizations that have already hired some of our undergraduate students as interns in the past. Note that the internship can be done in the Albany area (pdf) or New York City (pdf) unless done in the summer, with Dr. Husson's approval. The number of credits you will be awarded depends in part on what the quality of the learning experience will be and on the number of hours per week spent in the internship. For more details, see the COM 390 - Part-time Internship Guidelines.
Once you have found an organization that is ready to have you as an intern, you then need to ask your future on-site supervisor to fill in and sign the COM 390 - Part-time Internship Contract. Once this contract has been signed by you and your future on-site supervisor, you then need to submit it as well as any supporting information to Dr. Husson for final approval.
To be approved, the internship must include an ongoing learning component in which you are tutored and supervised by an experienced professional. This internship should provide you with a chance to get entry-level experience and at the same time a chance to receive active guidance from experienced practicioners. A paper that reflects the learning aspect of the internship must be submitted at the end of the semester in order to receive a passing grade. Com 390 does not count as an upper-division course in the major or minor; it counts as a lower-level elective. For the details concerning the internship paper, and grading of the internship, see COM 390 - Part-time Internship Guidelines.
The Full-time Internship Practica (COM 392 / COM 393Z)
You can also choose to complete one (and only one) of the two full-time (15 credit) undergraduate internships that the Department of Communication offers.
The first full-time internship, called Communication Internship Practicum, is offered in fall, spring and summer and places students in communication related professional settings including, but not limited to, radio, television, public relations and corporate communication.
The second full-time internship, called State Politics Internship Practicum is only offered in spring and involves work in state government or lobbying agencies and has a stipend attached.
Either full-time internship is worth 15 credits: 6 credits count as upper-division, intensive writing, courses in the major (COM 393Z), while the 9 other credits count as general electives (COM 392). If you are accepted in one of these two internships, you are not allowed to take any other course work during the semester. Acceptance into the program is competitive.
Here are the three requirements to be eligible to these two internships:
- You must have junior or senior standing
- You must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher
- At the time of registering for COM 392 or COM 393Z, you don't need to be a communication major or minor. However, if you are a communication major, you must have already completed COM 265 and if you are a communication minor, you must have completed at least six credits in Communication.
An application has to be submitted the semester before the one during which you want to complete your internship (for example, you need to fill in the application form in spring if you want to do your internship in fall). There is no full-time internship offered during summer. For more details regarding the schedule of application, please contact Debbie Bourassa, the secretary of the department, at 442-4871.
While the department maintains previous successful placement files, it is up to the student to find a work site and to generate a letter of acceptance from that agency.
Students in the full-time internship courses are required to:
- Attend an internship seminar meeting once a week
- Maintain a daily work journal
- Write five book reports that compare and contrast their placement with the book that they are reading
- Prepare a weekly reaction paper to some communication related event that they observed or participated in during the work week.
It should be noted that the course grade is based primarily on the academic component -- the daily journal, papers and seminar participation.