Internship Opportunities

Students in the School of Communication are encouraged to take up to 6 hours of course work in COMS 499—Communication Internship.  This course allows students to intern with professional media outlets, advertising and public relations agencies, corporations, nonprofits and governmental organizations, and local and regional businesses. Students are encouraged to seek interviews and complete for-experience internships (not-for-academic-credit) during their early years in the School of Communication; students should interview to secure a for-credit internship closer to their senior year.  Ideally, the internship experience is a bridge between college course work and professional entry-level employment and not considered a promise of future employment.  

Interns earn 1 academic credit for every 40 hours they work at the internship site.  While enrolled in COMS 499, students document their hours, submit samples of their work to their faculty supervisor, participate in online discussions, and seek professional evaluations from their internship-job supervisors.

Prerequisites for Communication Internship (COMS 499) include:

  • Successful completion of 75 college credits
  • Good academic standing with 2.0 or higher GPA (in major and overall)
  • Successful completion of the writing course from the student’s concentration of study in the School of Communication
  • Instructor approval of the proposed internship site and tasks

Degree requirements are based upon the student’s concentration in the School of Communication:

  • Students in Advertising may register for 3 credits in COMS 499 OR may enroll in an additional 3 credits in COMS 483 (Advertising Campaigns)
  • Students in Public Relations are required to complete a minimum of 3 credits in COMS 499
  • Students in Communication Studies, Journalism, Media Production, and Web Design may enroll in COMS 499 for elective credits.
Kennan-Betty

Students should consult with their academic adviser to plan the timing and number of credits needed in COMS 499, then contact Professor Betty Kennan (blkennan@radford.edu), School of Communication Internship Coordinator.  Weekly Internship Information Sessions are held during the first 8 weeks of each fall and spring semester.  Students planning to intern during the fall semester should contact Professor Kennan (blkennan@radford.edu) during mid- to late summer for more information.

The deadlines to apply to earn credit in COMS 499 are:

  • November 19:  Internship application deadline for Winter-mester and Spring 2021 semesters.  If you even THINK you want to earn credit in either semester, you should turn in the application—it does not bind you to anything.  There is no guarantee you will get to intern for credit if you miss this deadline.
  • December 3:--SOFT deadline to turn in internship proposal and contract with your supervisor’s signature.  A “soft” deadline means that it’s a good goal to have this secured before finals begin; however, many will still be searching and trying to secure internships.  If you put a progress report in the d2L shell (instructions below) of how your search is going, I will work with you and hold a tentative spot for you in COMS 499—for winter OR spring semesters.
  • Summer 2022 Application deadline will be March 4

Students interview and secure their own internships—often in their hometowns or in areas where they hope to move following graduation.  Organizations that have welcomed RU School of Communication interns in the past have included national broadcasters like CBS, CNN and NBC, local broadcasters like WDBJ television in Roanoke, WSLS television in Lynchburg, WVTF radio in Roanoke; national news organizations like the Associated Press and USA Today; regional news organizations like the Roanoke Times and the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk; public relations and advertising departments in leading corporations such as Advance Auto Parts (corporate office in Roanoke), Cumulus Media, Inc. in Radford, and CBS Outdoors in New York City; and governmental or nonprofit organizations—for example, Town of Christiansburg, Main Street Radford, United Way of the Roanoke Valley, and the Free Clinic of the New River Valley.

COMS 499 Internship Preparation Course

ALL internship information is in a D2L preparation shell (DOES NOT EARN CREDIT).  To turn in your application or any paperwork in D2L, you need to self-register for this PREPARATION shell—keep in mind that this is not the same as registration for credited classes with a PIN.  For internship credit (COMS 499), Professor Kennan will register you after she approves your contract and proposal.  Here are the instructions for the PREP D2L shell—that is where she will post announcements of openings and updates on the registration process. 

CLICK the Discover link in the upper left of the Navigation bar as soon as you log into D2L.

At the next screen, use the Search bar and type internship in it, or scroll down to find the course labeled Internship Preparation and click on it. Then click the button that says Enroll in Course.  

It is highly advisable to self-register now and subscribe to the announcements so you don’t miss them.  This way, if your adviser mentions internship credit, you will have some knowledge of how the course works and how to register for the class, COMS 499.