CSIP Frequently Asked Questions
- What is an internship?
- An internship is an activity that formally integrates academic study with practical experience in a cooperating organization. The internship may be paid or unpaid, on- or off-campus, part-time or full-time. Internships can be in business, non-profit, government, or other settings relevant to the student’s academic pursuits. In any case, internships should involve closely monitored and structured work with opportunities for regular feedback by an on-site mentor.The big difference between an internship and a job is that an internship involves teaching you the skills necessary to work in a specific industry. A job requires you to work independently after a brief initial training period. What unites all COMM internships is that they involve skilled communication work, for which interns draw on and enhance their developing knowledge and skills as communication specialists.
- What are the benefits of doing an internship for academic credit?
- There are many benefits to doing an internship for academic credit.Internships for academic credit help students advance towards graduation by fulfilling coursework requirements in their major or minor area(s) of study.Additionally, internships for academic credit complement other academic experiences, helping students gain deeper understandings of the communication theories, concepts, and skills that they are learning in their classes. On the practical side, internships give students a chance to experience a real working environment, apply their communication knowledge, learn new skills, engage in professional networking, and test out a career path. Internships give students practical work experience that they can use as they advance along their career paths
- How do internships apply towards the COMM Applied Activity requirement?
- All undergraduates majoring in COMM must complete 2 units of COMM 198, Applied Activity in Communication. There are several different options for completing the COMM 198 requirement, with COMM Internships being just one option.Other options include Forensics; working in the COMM Center as a coach, mentor, and/or 100W consultant; taking COMM 157SL; and/or working on the COMM Social Media Team. Since all of the 198 options except 157SL are offered in 1-unit modules, students can potentially "mix and match" Applied Activities. For example, a student could complete 1 unit as a COMM Internship and 1 unit as Forensics, COMM Center coach/mentor/100W consultant, or COMM social media team.Of course, students may also do 2 units as just one of these activities.
- What is the difference between COMM 198 and COMM 190?
COMM 198 maxes out at 3 units, whether those units are done as internships, Forensics, COMM Center, Social Media Team, or a combination of these. When a student has maxed out on COMM 198 but still wants to do additional units as an internship, then these additional units can be taken as COMM 190. In all other respects, when it comes to the COMM Internship Program the COMM 198 and COMM 190 courses are exactly the same.
We highly recommend you meet with your COMM major or minor advisor to discuss which course is better for your academic career. Schedule an appointment now for our Advising page.
- I would like an add code for COMM 198/190/291. May I have one, please?
- Students can only receive add codes for CSIP (whether COMM 198, 190, or 291) when:
- the student already has an internship (or a position through which they can do an internship project) AND
- the student has completed the required application paperwork AND
- the internship is registered on the SJS4 database (if needed) AND
- the COMM Internship Director has reviewed and accepted the student's application.
- Students can only receive add codes for CSIP (whether COMM 198, 190, or 291) when:
- Can graduate students do COMM internships for academic credit?
- Yes.The COMM Department offers COMM 291, a graduate-level internship course, for students in the COMM MA program.
- What kind of internships can COMM students do?
- COMM students engage in a wide variety of both paid and/or unpaid internships. COMM students do internships with for-profits, non-profits, schools, universities, government organizations, start-ups, multi-national and global organizations, and even other SJSU departments.COMM interns do advertising, advising, broadcasting, fundraising, public relations, marketing, media campaigns, teaching, sales, strategic communications, and many other types of skilled communication work. COMM interns have worked for Cisco, Greenpeace, Merrill Lynch, NBC News, the San Jose Business Journal, the San Jose Sharks, and SJSU Athletics, just to name a few.
- Where should I look for internship opportunities?
- I don't technically have an "internship" but I do have a job that requires me to do
skilled communication work. Can I get internship units for it?
Potentially.We do not give college credit for working at a job. In cases where students have a job (whether full-time or part-time) for which they'd like to earn internship units, then they can apply to do what's called a COMM Internship Project. Students have created and completed unique internship projects at their current place of employment that speak to the organization's needs and the skilled communication you have learned about as a Communication Studies major. Internship projects allow students to participate in our program and earn academic credit. You will need to create/design your unique internship project and locate a mentor for this project. Keep in mind that your mentorship should be occurring each day you are working on this project. In addition, the project should be separate from your current job duties. I recommend you reach out to your organization and speak with your boss/manager/supervisor to see what types of unique projects you may complete in addition to your job duties and if they are willing to mentor you during your completion of the project.
Keep in mind that an off-campus internship with a non-SJSU organization requires the organization to register with the university and be listed on our SJS4 (S4) database. This is a two-step process and may take several weeks to complete. You may begin the registration process by having the non-SJSU organization complete a New Partner Proposal Form (NPP) online (Step 1) and the University Organization Agreement (UOA) which arrives to the organization via email (Step 2). Please contact email@example.com if you need assistance or have questions about the NPP or UOA.
- I've got an internship, now how do I get COMM units for it?
- Once you've got an internship, please complete our Application Request Form once you have obtained an internship and would like to begin the application paperwork
for this program. Keep the following in mind while you complete our request form:
- All internships for COMM credit require the student to complete the CSIP application paperwork.
- Keep in mind that an off-campus internship with a non-SJSU organization requires the organization to register with the university and be placed on in our SJS4 (S4) database. This is a two-step process and may take a several weeks to complete. You may begin the registration process by having the non-SJSU organization complete a New Partner Proposal Form (Step 1) and complete the University Organization Agreement (Step 2). Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you need assistance or have questions about the form or agreement.
- Once you've got an internship, please complete our Application Request Form once you have obtained an internship and would like to begin the application paperwork for this program. Keep the following in mind while you complete our request form:
- How can a non-SJSU organization register with the university and on the SJS4 website?
Who may I contact to check on an organization's registration status?
- The university requires off-campus non-SJSU organizations to register with the university and be placed on in our SJS4 (S4) database before a student can earn academic credit for for working a set number of hours of internship work. Registering on the SJS4 website is a two-step process and may take a several weeks to complete. Step 1: An organization may begin the registration process by having the non-SJSU organization complete an New Partner Proposal Form (NPP). The Office of Undergraduate Education will review the form. Step 2: The Office of Undergraduate Education will email the main contact person listed on the New Partner Proposal Form (NPP) and University Organization Agreement (UOA). The UOA must be signed in order for a student to receive academic credit for their internship hours.An organization that has successfully registered will be listed on the SJS4 website. You may visit the SJS4 website anytime to see if the organization is listed on the "Sites" page. Please contact S4 Support at email@example.com if you need assistance or have questions about the S4 registration process, .
- How many internship units may I earn for my internship?
Each 1 unit of COMM credit (COMM 198, COMM 190, COMM 291) equals 50 hours of internship work.
1 unit = 50 hours
2 units = 100 hours
3 units = 150 hours
4 units = 200 hours
5 units = 250 hours
6 units = 300 hours
7 units = 350 hours
8 units = 400 hours
Undergraduate students can enroll in 1-2 units of COMM 198, and/or 1-6 units of COMM 190. In other words, undergraduates can do up to 8 units of internship work. Graduate students can enroll in 1-4 units of COMM 291.
- I’ve got an internship and the organization requires me to receive college credit
for it. What should I do?
- Organizations cannot require a student to get credit for an internship. Only faculty in the relevant academic department can determine whether or not an internship merits academic credit. Some organizations mistakenly believe that if a student is receiving academic credit for the internship then they don't need to be paid. This is not the case. Learn more about this important issue by viewing the SJSU Career Center webpages for employers. Within the COMM Department, the CSIP Director reviews students' internship paperwork and determines whether or not the internship can count for COMM credit. To receive COMM credit for your internship, contact the CSIP Director for the required application paperwork. Keep in mind that an off-campus internship with a non-SJSU organization requires the organization to register with the university and be placed on in our SJS4 (S4) database. This is a two-step process and may take several weeks to complete. You may begin the registration process by having the non-SJSU organization complete a New Partner Proposal Form (Step 1) and complete the University Organization Agreement (Step 2). Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you need assistance or have questions about the form or agreement.
- I’ve got an internship and I've already worked a number of hours. Can I count those
even though I haven't yet applied to get into the CSIP?
- No. Students can only start counting internship hours for COMM credit after the required paperwork has been submitted, reviewed, and accepted. COMM internship hours cannot be counted retroactively.
- Can I enroll in my internship units during the Summer or Winter semesters?
- No. The internship courses (COMM 190, 198, 291) are only offered during the Fall and Spring semesters. You may complete an approved internship over the Summer or Winter sessions. You'll follow the normal steps in joining our program. Then, once you are in the program, you'll be greenlighted to start logging your internship hours. You'll also be able to start all of the internship assignments. All of this work will be "banked" for the next Fall or Spring semester, at which time you'll be officially enrolled in the units.
- I did an internship in the past. Can I get COMM internship credit even though my internship
- No. Retroactive COMM credit for past internships is not offered
- Once I’m enrolled in my COMM internship units will I have to attend a class?
- No. There are no formal class sessions associated with the COMM internship units. Instead, you'll be completing your internship hours at your internship organization and completing regular assignments for your units. The COMM internship assignments include a daily logbook documenting your hours and activities, S4 registration, a final report of your internship experience, and a LinkedIn profile update.
- Once I'm enrolled in my COMM Internship units, will I have to do any assignments?
- Yes. As with any other academic class, our program requires you to complete regular assignments for your units. The assignments include a daily logbook documenting your hours and connecting your internship work to your Comm Studies degree, S4 registration, a final report of your internship experience, and a LinkedIn profile update. All of these assignments will be completed electronically and submitted via Canvas. All coursework is due by the last day of instruction for the semester you are enrolled in your units.
- How are the COMM Internship program units graded?
- All COMM Internship program units (COMM 198, 190, 291) are graded as CR (credit) or NC (no credit).
- What do I have to do to pass my internship units with a grade of CR (credit)?
To receive a grade of CR (credit) you must:
Complete and log the total number of hours you signed up for; for example, 1 unit = 50 hours, 2 units = 100 hours, 3 units = 150 hours, and so on.
Complete and submit all of the internship assignments via Canvas by course deadlines.
Students who do not complete their internship hours will be issued a grade of NC (no credit).
Still have questions? Contact the Communication Studies Internship Program Director with your questions.
Director: Dr. Jennifer Huynh Thi Anh Morrison