Frequently Asked Questions

When are internships offered?

Internships are offered every fall, spring, and summer terms, though not during winter session.

Who is allowed to participate in the internship program?

Only those students who are officially classified as upper-level (juniors and seniors) are allowed to register for an internship.

What are the prerequisites for the course?

Prerequisites include appropriate performance, production and writing courses. Qualification is subject to the internship director's approval.

When should students begin their internship process?

Students interested in participating in the internship program are urged to consult with the internship director at least one semester in advance so there will be ample time to secure a good assignment. Students may be allowed to add the course when the semester begins (even without prior consultation) but only by the approval of the instructor. Finding an internship sometimes can take several weeks. Thus, students are strongly encouraged to begin searching for a placement the semester prior to the planned internship.

How is the internship assignment determined?

In most instances, the department does not place a particular student in a specific internship. Instead, students are encouraged to make their own arrangements with participating organizations. This provides the student with valuable job-seeking experience. The department does try, however, to “connect” students to specific internships that meet their skill levels and interests. Students also may come into the program with an internship in mind; this is acceptable, but it is important that the organization understands the rules and purpose of our internship. The internship is not cheap labor for private companies. The experience must be well rounded and replete with evaluations.

What is required of the participating organization?

San José State University requires all internship sites to complete an internship contract. The department contract (one page) is to establish the student assignment with the site. This agreement stipulates that all internship sites are required to provide proof of liability insurance before any student may begin working. In addition, students must sign a Release of Liability statement.

After the site-university relationship is legally established (paperwork is completed), the site is responsible for three tasks: provide relevant work experience for the students, supervise their work at the internship site,
 and evaluate the students upon completion of the internship. This can be done by letter or by a form provided by the department.

Are interns paid for their work?

The TRFT department encourages, but does not require, businesses to compensate interns for their services (in addition to the academic credit received). Thus, some internships are paid; others are not. This is a matter to be worked out between the individuals involved. We have increasing numbers of students advancing to the internship stage and, therefore, many more sites are needed. The competition creates an additional incentive for organizations to provide compensation (or an educational stipend) because paid internships are snapped up the quickest.

What is required of the students?

Visit the ABOUT THE COURSE page for a detailed list of what is expected of student interns.

How is the student’s work schedule determined? How many hours of work does the program require?

The program requires each student to complete a minimum of 100 hours of supervised work for the participating organization. Students who wish to do so may make arrangements with their sites to continue their internships beyond the 100-hour minimum requirement. Scheduling of the 100 hours is left to the student and the participating organization. Most students are enrolled in classes while interning, and individual schedules vary considerably. Spread over an entire semester, the 100 hours breaks down to about 8 to 10 hours per week.

How is the grade determined?

Grades are awarded for completion of 100 hours with the site along with other requirements for the course including attendance at consultations, résumé, background research on the placement, contract, research design, weekly journal entries, consultations with the director, final paper, placement's evaluation, and thank-you letter from the student to the placement. No late reports will be accepted without prior arrangement.

Can a student do an internship without taking either the TA 198 or RTVF 198 courses?

The simple answer is: No. University and RTVF/TA departmental policy, in addition to most labor union regulations and corporate policy, require that students be enrolled in RTVF198 in order to do an internship with any organization. Any company work done by a student without being enrolled in the Internship course will be considered unauthorized and no retroactive credit will be given. Simply put, students must be enrolled in the internship course while they are doing the internship. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Can internships be repeated for credit?

Internships may be repeated for credit, but typically not at the same location and only by approval.