Welcome to the UMSL Communication Internship and Practicum Portal. Here you can find everything you need to know about enrolling in and completing an internship or practicum course.

Three credit hours of a practicum or internship are required of all Communication majors. Students may register for up to 6 hours of internship credit. 50 additional hours are required for each additional credit hour. No more than 6 hours of internship can count towards the 36 hours needed for the major.

Practicums are on campus, working for such organizations or units as University Admissions, Alumni Relations, Sports Communication, The Current, Student Activities, or University Marketing and Communications.

Internships are usually off campus and involve working for radio stations, TV stations, public relations firms or advertising agencies, video production businesses, newspapers and other communication-related organizations. Internships can also involve working promotions and/or PR for local organizations. Internship positions in which a student is working in an organization to meet that organization's communication and media needs may also count for internship credit. 

Qualifying internships and practicums must benefit students‘ future careers. They must provide students with practical experience in a media or communication-related career. An internship/practicum position with only incidental media/communication practice (such as greeting people at a front desk or monitoring CCTVs as a security guard) will not be eligible for course credit. A job that a student is already working prior to this internship is not eligible to be used for credit. However in some cases a student may be able to take on a special communication-related project at their current place of employment and apply that to the internship requirement, provided said project meets all other necessary criteria. 


Registering for the internship/practicum requires four steps.

  1. Find an internship that suites your goals.
  2. Submit an internship proposal to the department.
  3. Contact the site for which you would like to work. Almost all organizations require you to apply, so having a resume and cover letter is important.
  4. Once accepted at your site, fill out the internship contract with your site supervisor and submitting it to the department

Once you complete those steps, you'll be enrolled in COMM 4920 (for a practicum) or COMM 4950 (for an internship). Everything you need to complete those three steps can be found on this page. 

It is ultimately your responsibility to find the internship site best suited to your career goals. However there are a lot of people and resources on campus well-equipped to help you in this endeavor. Find out more about those resources here.  

internship resources

 

After you have identified a site for your internship or practicum, you need to submit to the department a brief proposal outlining who you'll be working for and what you'll be doing. You can do that here. You should hear back from the department in 3-4 days. This form requires you to log in with your UMSL email.

Internship Proposal Form

 

Preparing for the interview? Make sure to dress professionally. Be prepared to provide the site with a resume. You may also be asked to provide examples of your work. Check out the Career Service's Job Search Tips page for a lot of great info about resumes, cover letters and interviewing. 

Resume, Cover Letter, INterview Tips

 

You got the gig? Excellent. Once your proposal has been approved and you have been accepted at your site as an intern, you need to submit an internship contract to the department. Download the contract here. Submit the contract via the green link below. Once the contract has been submitted, you will be enrolled in either COMM 4920 (for a practium) or COMM 4950 (for an internship). This form requires you to log in with your UMSL email.

Internship Contract

  1. 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 typed reports are due midway through your practicum or internship. The internship coordinator will email you with the exact due-dates, which are usually the 7th week of the semester. This report can be submitted by email, but you should keep a copy for your records because it should be a part of the final packet that you submit at the end of your practicum/internship.

  2. Final Project/Portfolio and Final Paper: The final project or portfolio should represent work done during the internship/practicum. If you submit a final portfolio, it should reflect the best work you have done. Submit examples of your work, such as video or audio tapes, articles, promotional work. If you want to do a final project, first discuss this with the site supervisor. The project should be a creative project that puts into practice the knowledge and skills you have accrued at the internship site thus far. It will be evaluated on the basis of content, creativity, appearance, potential impact, and professional image. For both a final project and a final portfolio, include a short paper (~2 pages) that discusses your internship/practicum as a learning experience. You should critique and evaluate the overall value of the internship at the site you have selected. As part of the department's assessment test you need to apply a communication theory to the internship experience. 

  3. You will also need to submit or have sent to the internship coordinator a form and an evaluation letter with a recommended grade. This letter should be written by your site supervisor. 

  4. You will need to turn in a final time sheet along with the final project, papers, and evaluation letter. This sheet should list all hours, duties within each time frame, and an hourly total. The internship coordinator will e-mail you the due date during the semester, which is typically the last week of the semester.

  5. Turn in all materials (the final project/portfolio and paper, evaluation letters, time sheets, etc.) to Ryan Krull's office (Clark 110a) or his mailbox (590 Lucas) or via the Canvas course site for the internship/practicum course in which you are enrolled. No emails please.

If you are an employer hosting an UMSL Communication Major as an intern, we'd love to get in touch with you. We strive to make sure that all students earning course credit for their have positive professional experiences that will benefit their long term career goals. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the faculty internship coordinator Ryan Krull or the professional adviser for Communication undergraduate students Sylvia Harris


 

Approved internship sites should be open to any and all applicants. Some internships are paid but most are not. You should never start your internship before you have registered for the class. For unpaid internships the organization you work for could be in violation of federal and state minimum wage laws if you start working before you are officially registered.