Internship FAQs


Renée Schafer Horton, Internship Coordinator

I know I should do an internship, or two, or three before I graduate, but I’m a little apprehensive about it. What’s it really like?

Glad you asked. Check the binder in the student reading room for internship reviews written by your peers who’ve been there, done that before you. There is also a video featuring UA journalism students at their internships at KVOA, KGUN9 and Arizona Public Media. You may check out the DVD from the internship office.

What are the requirements to receive journalism credit for an internship?

The internship must be a journalism internship approved by the school’s internship coordinator. You must have completed JOUR 205, Reporting the News, to be eligible for journalism internship credit. Some internships have special requirements before you will be eligible. For example, you will have to complete JOUR 306, Advanced Reporting, and JOUR 208, Law of the Press, before you are eligible for the Arizona Daily Star Apprentice Program. Some internships are extremely competitive, so you will have to have gained experience and clips in another newsroom before you can apply. Students must be registered for internship within the first 10 days of the semester. No changes will be made after that date, which is the UACESS add/drop deadline.

What do I need to do to sign up for internship credit?

After you have been offered and accepted an internship that has been approved for credit by the school’s internship coordinator, there is paperwork to fill out to add the class (JOUR 493 for a part-time internship; JOUR 393 for a full-time internship; JOUR 593 for graduate students). Make an appointment with the internship coordinator to go over requirements and complete forms. 

How many journalism internship credits can I earn?

Internships can be repeated for a maximum of seven credits (e.g., two full-time and one part-time), or a maximum of four internships. Part-time internships (about 120 hours) receive one unit of credit. Full-time internships are approved only for the summer or with special permission during fall and spring semesters and are for 240 or more hours. Full-time internships receive three units of credit.  

What is the maximum number of internships I can complete for journalism credit?

Four.

Is it possible to get internship credit for paid internships?

Yes.

How do I go about finding an internship?

Fortunately, there are lots of ways to find an internship. Read the internship listserv emailed to UA journalism majors weekly and follow up. Check out the searchable internship database exclusively for UA journalism majors (login and password available on the internship listserv). Attend the internship fairs held at UA Journalism every semester. Use your connections -- ask friends, relatives and others you come in contact with to help you set up an interview. Search the Internet yourself for media where you’d like to work and contact the editors or producers there. 

I got my internship credit from my community college back home. Will that transfer to the UA?

No. The University of Arizona does not grant transfer credit from any institution for internships.

Why can’t I get credit for an internship before I’ve completed JOUR 205?

The faculty of the UA School of Journalism strongly believes that students should have reporting and ethics training taught by our faculty before you undertake a journalism internship so that you can contribute more to the newsroom and gain more from the experience.

Do I have to pay tuition for my summer internship?

Yes, just as you would for any credits that appear on your transcript. Students often think they don’t have to pay for internships during the fall and spring semesters, but that is usually because they are already paying tuition for a full-time schedule.

Is it a good idea to stay more than one semester at my internship so I can get more experience? 

Except in special circumstances, it is generally better to try different work environments so you can get a feel for different corporate cultures and experience working with a greater variety of people.

What or who is a trained media professional?

Someone who has education and/or many years’ experience in journalism or communication and who will give you guidance on the job. 

Why can’t I get credit for some internships at online publications?

Some media organizations are looking for people to contribute articles, but may not have an experienced supervisor who can guide you through the editorial process from start to finish. These publications often don’t pay their writers. Others are start-ups without a proven record. You may choose to contribute an article to these sites to generate a clip, but you won’t be able to get internship credit for it.

Can I get journalism credit for an internship where I write promotional materials?

No. Check with the College of Social and Behavior Sciences; the Communication Department (if you are a Communication major/minor), Eller College (if you are a marketing minor) or Pima Community College. Please be aware that if you choose to get internship credit from another educational institution, it will NOT transfer to the University of Arizona.

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