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Internships and Practicums in Media Studies

Most Media Studies internships and practiums semesters are coordinated by Jim Fay, but each specialty area requires consent from that discipline’s director. A typical internship or practicum requires approximately 150 hours of work per 3 credit hours. The exact number of hours is dependent on the nature of the internship or practicum.  Internships are usually done off campus, whereas practicums are done on campus. (Internship students may register for up to 6 credit hours of internship or practicum – 50 hours of work is required for each individual credit hour). 

Practicums are open to Media Studies majors and minors only.  They are not open to students who have any delayed grades outstanding.  Practical work  in the advertising program, the student newspaper, an on-campus agency, or the campus student radio station are typical practicum experiences. In all cases, a practicum must be overseen by a faculty or staff member.

In order to be eligible for an internship, you must have (1) senior standing, (2) be enrolled as a Media Studies major (or in a Certificate program), and /or permission of the Internship Discipline Advisor to register for an Internship.  Only the discipline advisor can waive the aforementioned requirements.  Additionally, in order to take any internship, students must have successfully completed at least 12 hours in the Media Studies Department at UMSL.  Finally, students with existing delayed grades are not eligible to intern without the specific consent of the Internship Coordinator.

Steps in the process:

1. Look over the potential sites which interest you. Consider several sites.   A list of sites is available in 243 AAB.

2. You will need to interview with a potential site supervisor. (or practicums, the supervising faculty or staff member)

  • Call the site and set up an interview

  • Dress professionally

  • Provide the site supervisor with a resume

  • Provide the site supervisor with examples of your work if appropriate

3. If you are accepted at the site you will need to sign and have the site supervisor and the Discipline Advisor sign an internship or practicum.  The signed contract should be returned to Professor Fay before the beginning of the semester or very soon after the semester starts, depending upon your specific agreed upon circumstances.  In no case, should you begin the internship without the signed contract and without first registering for the class.  If you are not getting paid for your internship (almost all are not paid) you should not begin the  internship before you are registered for the class, as it is a violation of labor laws for you to do so.

4. Submit the signed contract to the Coordinator.  After the contract is submitted you will receive a special consent number needed to register for the course.  You will not be registered until you have used the consent number to enroll and paid all necessary fees. 

5. A mid-term report is required. The report should discuss your activities during the first part of the semester.  You should write about your progress and evaluation of your experiences.  With the report you need to turn in a time sheet which lists all the hours you have worked.  The report should include a detailed proposal for your final project. The papers should be 1-2 pages.  The typewritten reports are due midway through your practicum. This report can be submitted by email electronically, but keep a copy for your records because it should be a part of the final packet that you submit at the end of your internship.

6.  Final Project, Paper and Major-Field Assessment test: The final project should represent work done during the internship/practicum. It should reflect the best work you have done. Submit examples of your work, such as video or audio tapes, articles, promotional work. Discuss your project with the site supervisor. The project will be evaluated on the basis of content, creativity, appearance, potential impact, and professional image. Include with the final project a short paper (2-3 pages) that discusses your internship as a learning experience. You should critique and evaluate the overall value of the internship at the site you have selected. This part of the paper should be at least two pages.  See your department Discipline Advisor for specific details of your requirements. 

7. You will also need to submit or have sent to the Discipline Advisor an evaluation letter on company letterhead with a recommended grade. This letter should be written by your site supervisor. There are no forms for the site supervisor to fill out. This letter is all that is required of them. 

8. You will need to turn in a final time sheet. This sheet should list all hours, duties within each time frame, and an hourly total.

9. Turn in all assignments to your Discipline Advisor. No faxes or e-mails!!

Final projects, papers, time sheets, and letter of evaluation are due before the end of final exams in the semester in which you have registered.


  •  Mid-term report 20% as reviewed by Discipline Advisor.

  •  Final Project and Paper 40% as reviewed by Discipline Advisor.        

  •  Site supervisor letter 40% (this is a recommendation, only a UMSL faculty member can assign an official grade)