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Internship Waiver Request

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Guidelines regarding waiving the internship option for the Health Communication Certificate

Students enrolled in the health communication certificate program can petition the program coordinators to waive COMM 4360: Applied Health Communication, the internship course based on previous work experience at a health organization. Students will have that core requirement waived, but will still need to complete an additional three-hour elective for a total of 24 hours for the certificate. All students must complete the other four required core courses.

A waiver should be requested after a student has completed the other core classes. Students need to be in good academic standing to be considered. 

In order to request the waiver, students submit a letter to the program coordinators explaining why their previous experience has provided them with the breadth of experience and knowledge of health communication that justifies the waiving the internship. They should include any supporting materials that would help make this case.

  • Examples of supporting materials include resumes, syllabi from previous courses, writing samples, overall GPA and GPA within the program, and work portfolios. 

In the letter, students should support their case with evidence and specific examples – be sure to show evidence of why your experience is not only related to the health communication concepts and theories you are learning about in your classes, but also how what you do at the workplace indicates that you are implementing or carrying out the types of skills/practices taught in the program.

  • Explanations regarding previous relevant coursework outside the department should include information about skills and topics covered in specific courses. 
  • Explanations regarding job experience should include information about where students worked and what their job responsibilities were along with information about particular projects or tasks allowed the student develop relevant skills and knowledge.

Some of the factors the department considers are listed below. None are specifically required for a waiver, but the strongest cases will include multiple factors. 

  • Years and type of work experience in a health communication-related field
  • Evidence that the student applied and developed communication skills and understands how health communication is used in the workplace
  • Overall GPA in classes for the health communication certificate program


Please email requests to and

The program coordinators, in consultation with the departmental chair, will review all waiver requests.   Generally, a response is provided within 3 to 4 weeks.
Students may re-apply for the waiver ONCE only.