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Internship Information for Students

Journalism Internships

What is an internship and what does it entail?

An internship is a form combining academic studies with professional activities. Students can augment classroom learning by working in the media. By completing suitable academic work under the direction of the intern coordinator and a professional, students may earn three hours of academic credit

Several dozen students complete formal internships in print every year, even though an internship for academic credit is not a graduation requirement. Many students also work part-time for newspapers and other media throughout the year, but only one internship may be counted for credit.

More specifically, to earn internship credit, the student must:

  • Work at least 140 hours at the organization where the student is interning. Usually, this involves working 10 hours a week for 14 weeks.
  • Keep copies of all work completed during the internship.
  • Keep a daily journal describing the professional activities in which the student is involved during the internship.
  • Write a summary of the experience at the end of the internship: Undergraduate internships are pass/fail only.

Students are limited to three hours of academic credit for internships, but students are encouraged to have two or three internships during their college careers.

The internship coordinator may check with the on-site supervisor by e-mail or telephone. Unless all steps in the process are completed to the satisfaction of the sponsor and the intern coordinator, the intern will NOT receive academic credit for the internship.

Undergraduate internships are graded S/U. An "S" means the intern has satisfactorily completed all requirements and is entitled to credit. A "U" means the intern has not completed such requirements, and is therefore not entitled to credit. Graduate students receive grades.

The three credits count as JOUR 597.

Why do an internship? 

An internship provides the bridge between the theoretical and the practical; between an academic setting and the workplace; between the School and the greater Columbia community and beyond.

An internship also is a testing tool. It allows a student to gain firsthand experience in a particular field of interest. The opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge while investigating possible career choices permits the student to make more informed decisions in many areas.


Students applying for Print internships must have completed either JOUR 362 Copy Editing) or JOUR 361 (Reporting) by the beginning of the internship

Choosing an Internship

Students are encouraged to apply for national internships, such as the Dow Jones Copyediting internships, the Politics and Journalism Semester in Washington, the Scripps-Howard internships and to individual newspapers, most of which offer internships.

Students are also encouraged to apply for internships through the South Carolina Press Association at as well as internships on their hometown newspapers.

Editors on small newspapers that do not have established internships frequently will create a paid internship when called. Editors also visit the college during Career Day or on individually arranged recruiting visits.

Students are encouraged and helped with advice on resumes and samples of work. Once a sponsor agrees to take an intern, the intern coordinator processes a contract which gives students the opportunity to enroll for credit.

What about finding an internship elsewhere?

Students who think the organization meets these criteria should provide the intern coordinator with information about the organization.

When can internships be taken?

Internships are offered during fall, spring, and summer terms. For a summer internship, credits are awarded for the Summer II session only, although interns are well advised to begin the internship early in the summer or as soon as possible after the end of the spring term.

What if the internship isn't working out?

If this is the case, you should immediately contact the intern coordinator so that the situation can be corrected as soon as possible. Don't wait until it's too late. Editors may not require students to work beyond the 140 hours or assign deadlines that conflict with other academic responsibilities. However, students may voluntarily extend the number of hours of the internship.

May you do more than one internship?

Yes, but not for credit. You are encouraged, however, to gain as much internship experience as you can, given the constraints of your other obligations. Such experience will be impressive on your resume. One caution, however. If you decide to do a "not-for-credit" internship before you've completed the academic courses necessary to receive academic credit, you should tell the organization you haven't yet finished all the coursework required to be eligible for internship credit. Otherwise, they may think that you're capable of doing some things you haven't yet been exposed to.

Will I be paid for my internship?

In most cases, yes. However, pay is on a case by case basis and the amount varies from organization to organization.