Majors in the department have the option of doing communications-related internships for academic credit during their junior or senior year and are also strongly encouraged to seek professional internships throughout their undergraduate years and during their summers. Opportunities in public and media relations, editing and publishing, newspaper and magazine writing, healthcare communication, technical writing, public service organizations, and writing for the web and new media illustrate both internship possibilities and the kinds of employment that majors have taken after graduation. In addition to providing professional experience, these internships help students establish contacts outside the University and add professional publications to their portfolios.
Recent Student Internships
Recent academic year and summer internships have included non-profit organizations such as The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the West Penn Hospital Foundation, and the Pittsburgh Symphony; traditional and new media PR and information design agencies such as Deeplocal, Mind over Media, Marc, and Branding Brand; publications such as Whirl, Pittsburgh Magazine, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; TV stations WTAE, KDKA, and WQED; and organizations as diverse as NFL films, The Latin American Literary Review Press, the Lincoln Center Festival, and the New York Islanders. Technical Writing internships have included positions at IBM, Rockwell Automation, Duquesne Systems, the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute, and the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute (SEI).
Pursuing Internships for Academic Credit
To be eligible for an internship, students must have a Quality Point Average of 3.0 or better and credit for at least one writing course (including Survey of Forms) beyond Interpretation and Argument (76-101). Internships generally carry 3-12 units of credit. A 9-unit internship is the standard and requires a minimum of 120-140 hours (8-10 hours per week over a 15-week term) of work at the internship site during the term. In addition, interns complete a reflective journal and a series of short research and writing assignments relevant to the specific internship. Students doing an internship for credit must be registered for the internship during the term (including summer) when they are working at the internship site. Majors in the Department may count one 9-12 unit internship for one of their degree requirements, generally as an English elective.