Internship Guidelines

ELC Internships–ENGL 499, LING 499, or COMM 499–are part of the campus-wide internship program, offering qualified students the chance to learn and earn college credit through off-campus work experience. Our interns have held positions with weekly and daily newspapers, radio and television stations, public relations departments of businesses and institutions (such as hospitals, museums, and city visitor centers), membership departments, law firms, technical writing businesses, libraries, schools, political offices–the list goes on and on.

To arrange an internship, you will need to work with both the ELC Department and the Center for Career and Professional Development. You can begin by talking with a member of the ELC faculty who has supervised internships or by reviewing the enormous list of possibilities in Handshake, UMW Career Center’s online job and internship database. Then obtain an internship contract from the Career Center website, fill it out electronically, print it, and get it signed by your on-site supervisor at the internship before submitting it to the ELC Internship Coordinator. Once the department Internship Coordinator approves the form, they will be given to the ELC Chair to sign and forward directly to the Office of the Registrar.

The ELC Department has established the following rules and guidelines regarding internships sponsored by the department.

  1. Internships are open only to juniors and seniors.
  2. Only three credits of ENGL 499, LING 499, or COMM 499 can count toward the English major. (In addition to these three, the student may earn up to six elective credits toward the degree.)  NOTE: typically 42 hours at the site are required for each credit awarded.
  3. The content of the internship must be appropriate to sponsorship by the ELC Department. Typically, the internship draws on writing, research, analytical, oral, and/or linguistic skills the department emphasizes.
  4. The internship must provide the student with a significant learning experience.
  5. The faculty member sponsoring the internship must have competency in the subject matter of the internship.
  6. The student must have education and/or experience appropriate to the internship. For example, any student seeking an internship involving journalistic writing or editing–e.g. with a newspaper, magazine, public relations department, or television station–must have taken ENGL 200 (Newsgathering) and preferably also ENGL 300 (Newspaper writing) or ENGL 301 (Magazine Writing) or must have comparable experience.
  7. The proposal must be approved by the faculty sponsor and the departmental committee on internships.
  8. A faculty member will sponsor no more than three internships per semester unless a faculty member is under a contract that explicitly includes the expectation of sponsoring more than three internships, has a teaching assignment that is adjusted for the internship overload, or receives additional financial compensation. Adjunct faculty will not sponsor internships unless specifically hired to do so.
  9. The academic component of an internship will typically include: a report by agency supervisor, a student journal or log, and a substantive student report or reflective student report of a specified page length, usually of at least five pages. Students may propose an equivalent alternative, but a portfolio of work produced within the internship is not enough to constitute an acceptable academic component. Students are strongly urged to present their reports at the Kemp Symposium.
  10. The internship application should specify the frequency of meetings with the adviser and the length of all writing assignments.

Submit the Academic Internship Contract and an accompanying statement explaining your qualifications for the internship, its relevance to your major, and the academic component on which you and your adviser have agreed to the coordinator of ELC  Internships.

  • For Spring 2021, please email your proposal to Professor Richards. The deadline is the end of the first week of classes.

For summertime internships, arrange the position with your faculty sponsor and the agency supervisor. You must submit your completed contract to the Office of the Registrar for approval after it is signed by the department chair. The deadline for summer internship proposals is the end of the spring semester.

In order to receive credit, internships must be approved before the internship takes place.


View a sample proposal here: SAMPLE INTERNSHIP PROPOSAL .

To download a checksheet that lists the steps for submitting an internship, click here: internshipchecksheet2017aug.