Skip to Main Content

Department of Communication Studies College of Arts & Letters

Support Page Content

Internship Guidelines

COMS/JOUR 195 - ComS/Film/Jour/PR Course Guidelines


COMS 195 prerequisites:

  • Communication Studies (General concentration) COMS 100A and minimum 2.3 overall GPA
  • Film COMS 27 A & B, and COMS 128 and minimum 2.3 overall GPA
  • Public Relations
  • COMS 100A, JOUR 30, COMS 123 and minimum 2.3 overall GPA

JOUR 195 prerequisites:

  • JOUR 130A and JOUR 130B and minimum 2.3 overall GPA


Approved internships

These internships can be found on the Communication Studies internship website under “Internship Opportunities,” as well as on Sac State’s Handshake job and internship board. These are pre-approved internships offered by sites that officially partner with Sacramento State. They must award a minimum of one unit of academic credit, with an optional paid wage or stipend.

Proposed internships

These are internships that students propose based on postings or opportunities found outside the pool of approved academic internships. Before an internship can be approved for academic credit, it must be reviewed (including a site visit, supervisor meeting, and development of specific learning outcomes) and approved by the Communication Studies internship coordinator.


Students are responsible for applying to and interviewing for their internships, with the support of the ComS internship office. NOTE: Students should begin planning their internships at least one semester before they intend to enroll in COMS/JOUR 195. Students must have an internship approved by the Internship Coordinator and have an active Student Learning Agreement in place before receiving COMS/JOUR 195 credit.

  1. Review academic internships available on the Communication Studies internship website (under “Internship Opportunities”) or via Sac State’s handshake job and internship board. Alternatively, find a Communication Studies/Journalism-related academic internship on your own and propose the internship using the Academic Internship Proposal form.
  2. Once your academic internship is approved by the Internship Office and arranged with the internship site/supervisor, you may enroll in COMS/JOUR 195 (through MySacState) for the appropriate number of units.
    • One unit equals a minimum of 45 internship hours per semester. Depending on how many COMS/JOUR units you enroll for, the hour requirements break down as follows:
    • 1 unit: 45 hours/semester (roughly 3-5 hours per week)
    • 2 units: 90 hours/semester (roughly 6-8 hours per week)
    • 3 units: 135 hours/semester (roughly 9+ hours per week)
  3. Complete a Student Learning Agreement (SLA) that stipulates the units, internship duties/description, learning objectives, assessment strategies, and other details about the internship. Those without a finalized SLA by the end of the second week of the semester will be dropped from COMS/JOUR 195.


An academic internship orientation video will be assigned to COMS/JOUR 195 students to view via Canvas before starting their internship. Information about the course will be provided in the COMS/JOUR 195 syllabus as well.


In addition to completing the minimum hour requirements for your amount of enrolled units, you will submit two self-evaluations (a midterm and a final) assigned via Canvas. Concurrently, the Internship Office will also coordinate two brief evaluations from your academic internship supervisor. Grades are awarded on a credit/no credit basis. (Credit/no credit does not affect your grade point average, only your units earned.)

  • NOTE: It is the student’s responsibility to ensure evaluation deadlines are met. Late, incomplete, or missing evaluations may result in no credit for COMS/JOUR 195.


Some internships have start and stop dates which differ from the official semester schedule. Make sure you discuss with your internship supervisor exactly when you will begin and end your internship. Also make sure you are in agreement as to whether or not you should report during holidays.

Many internships are flexible, permitting days and hours to be adjusted to the student's schedule. Others require specific days, hours, and/or event attendance. Make sure you understand what scheduling commitments are expected.


Always notify your supervisor if you are going to be late or absent. Brief absences because of illness can often be made up by arrangement with your agency supervisor. If you require an extended period of absence, please notify the ComS Internship Coordinator as well so that adjustments may be made to maintain your credit agreement.


We proceed with the expectation that your internship will go smoothly throughout the session with no problems, but we understand that won't always be the case. If you encounter difficulty with your work or your role in a workplace, consult with your internship supervisor to develop a resolution. Most supervisors are as interested in providing a good experience for you as you are in having one; they will listen and try to work out problems, but they may not recognize there are problems unless you tell them.

If you are uncomfortable talking directly with your supervisor, or were unable to resolve your problems with them, contact the Internship Coordinator as soon as possible discuss the problem and, if possible, help you find a resolution. Do not quit without first informing the Internship Office of your difficulties or challenges; we are here to help, and we want to ensure other students do not encounter similar difficulties at your site.


  • DO arrive on time. Make sure you are clear about when and where you are expected.
  • DO notify your supervisor if you expect to be late or absent.
  • DO address others in your organization courteously and respectfully.
  • DO dress appropriately. As interns, remember that you represent both our Department to your organization and your organization to its clients.
  • DO demonstrate initiative in finding what you are expected to do.
  • DO be courteous and professional in your telephone and personal interactions with the public as well as with those with whom you work.
  • DO ask your internship supervisor about what personnel and/or internship policies apply to you.
  • DO communicate any problems or concerns you may have with the ComS Internship Office.
  • DO keep a journal of your activities and observations that you can use when you write your internship self-evaluations.
  • DON'T use your organization's resources (computers, printers, copiers, paper, etc.) for personal projects.
  • DON'T make or receive personal telephone calls at your organization.
  • DON'T give out information unless you are clearly authorized to do so. If you are not sure when it is appropriate to give out information, please ask your internship supervisor.
  • DON'T do homework or other personal work during scheduled internship hours.
  • DON'T wait to be told what to do. Condition yourself to take initiative: Ask about or actively seek out constructive work to make the most of your internship time.


The ComS Internship Office has a zero-tolerance policy for harassment and misconduct. If the behavior of anyone at your internship makes you uncomfortable, please notify the Internship Coordinator immediately.


Please feel free and encouraged to contact the Internship Office any time with questions about your current or prospective internship. We’re here to help and always available to schedule time to talk.


Andrea Terry