Complement your Communication Coursework with Hands-on Experience

The Department of Communication urges its students to complete at least one internship during their undergraduate careers. 64 percent of our recent graduating seniors report participating in an internship experience. Internships allow you to try out a new field, gain valuable skills, network with professionals in your field, and apply what you are learning in the classroom to real life settings. Communication majors have interned in such diverse fields as media programming, public interest research, TV news, advertising, public relations, education, corporate management, sales, government, newspapers, magazines, non-profits, and film production.

Please note that internships do not count for Communication credit, but the department highly encourages students to pursue them for elective credit.

The Academic Piece

You’ll work this out with your Faculty Sponsor (see below). Typically, an internship requires that you keep a journal “on the job,” which you’ll use to write a paper that summarizes your experiences, evaluates them, and relates them to one or more courses that you have already taken or will take immediately after the internship.


You can do an internship (UMass 298Y: Practicum) in any session: fall, spring, winter (January), or summer. During summer or winter sessions, you pay for the credits through University Without Walls (UWW)


To be eligible for an internship, you must have completed at least 45 credits and have a minimum GPA of 2.0.


You can earn as few as 1 to as many as 18, depending on the hours you put into the internship each week. One credit for every 40 hours of work is typical. These credits are graded as pass/fail and are treated as elective—they do not fulfill any department requirements (there are no exceptions to this rule). No more than 18 credits can be applied toward graduation, regardless of how many internships you complete.

In order to receive academic credit for an internship, you must work with a Faculty Sponsor and the Field Experience Office, the unit within Career Services (511 Goodell) that oversees internships and co-ops. For help identifying a person who might serve as your Faculty Sponsor, please read the "Find a Faculty Sponsor" section, below.

Scholarships for Internships

The Department offers the Elaine E. Nord Internship Fund for Creative Communications, a funding opportunity for Comm students planning to do summer internships. In addition, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences offers several scholarships that support students doing internships. Please check the Department's Scholarships page for more information about these funding opportunities and their deadlines.

How to Apply for an Internship: 4 steps

Step 1 - Planning 
Begin planning at least one semester in advance.

If you want to earn credit for an internship read about the UMass Amherst credited internship process. The Career Services Office maintains several introductory pages on its website, including The Credited Internship ProcessFinding Internship and Co-op Opportunities, and Applying for Internships and Co-ops. Please read these pages carefully, as they should answer many general questions you might have about internships.

Set yourself up in Handshake. Internships while studying abroad are set up through the International Programs Office (search CAPA programs).

Enroll in SocBehav 290C: SBS College to Careers (1 credit). Course description: Reflect on the intersections among your academic, personal, civic, and professional values and aspirations: What do I value? What interests me? What are my strengths and challenges? Explore career options. Build your ​“toolkit”: a polished resume, LinkedIn profile, cover letter, elevator pitch and other resources needed to launch your career search. Learn how to network and interview.

Step 2 - Find an Internship

There are several online resources to help students find internships:

UMass Handshake

Comm Connection

SBS Career and Professional Development

Step 3 - Find a Faculty Sponsor (for credited internships) 

Securing a Faculty Sponsor is your responsibility. We recommend that you approach faculty whom you know from your classes or activities. Ask at the Department of Communication's main office (N308 ILC, 413-545-1311) for their contact information and office hours, or find this information yourself by clicking here. You and your Faculty Sponsor will decide on the nature, requirements, and due date of the internship-related academic project that you'll be preparing for them.

Step 4 - Register for the Internship Online (for credited internships)

Once you have been offered an internship placement and have defined the academic project with your Faculty Sponsor, you'll need to complete the registration process by logging onto your UMass Handshake and complete the Undergraduate Internship for Academic Credit Experience Contract.