Internship Guidelines

The English department encourages students to investigate internships as early as their sophomore year. Students don't need to have settled upon a career path before applying for an internship. Instead, internships are an opportunity to gain experiences that may assist students in making career decisions.

An internship is any real-world working and learning experience. Internships provide many benefits: students receive practical exposure to a workplace or career path; skills and knowledge introduced in the classroom are more fully developed; and professional contacts are formed.

Internships come in various forms. Some are classes that expose students to professional responsibilities for actual commercial enterprises. In other cases, students work off-campus without the direct supervision of a faculty member. Depending upon the type of work involved, internships will be offered as English 4940 (Internship in English) or English 4950 (Internship in Publishing).

Non-class internships must meet the following requirements:

  • The internship must be related to the student's academic area of study. In addition to being good writers, English majors have additional communication, creativity, critical thinking, and research skills that are valuable to many professional environments. Internships for English majors are varied and may include opportunities in the corporate world, government agencies, or non-profit organizations. Many English majors are interested in publishing internships, which may involve editing or writing marketing copy. Such opportunities may also expose students to other facets of the business, such as promotion, contracts, or copyrights.
    • The amount of academic credit earned is based upon the following table of hours worked:
    • In order to receive academic credit, students must receive approval from the English department and submit the Intership contract prior to starting work.
    • The dates of the work experience must fall within the dates of one of MU's academic terms.
    • The internship may be either paid or unpaid.
    • The internship must include an academic complement to the work experience. The student will work with the Internship Coordinator, prior to beginning work as an intern, to agree upon the appropriate tasks, documentation, and deadlines for the academic component. (For more information, see Grading and Assessment below.)
50 hours of work within one semester 1 credit hour
100 hours of work within one semester 2 credit hours
150 hours of work within one semester 3 credit hours


  • To receive academic credit for an internship through the English department, a student may not receive academic credit from any other source for the same work experience.
    • Students must meet the following criteria to qualify for an internship.
      • A GPA of 2.5, or departmental consent
      • Declared English major, or minor, or departmental consent

English Undergraduate Internships: Grading and Assessment

Grading of student internships will involve the Internship Coordinator, the Job Supervisor, and the student intern.

The student must schedule to meet twice during the semester with the Internship Coordinator, Dana Kinnison, once at the mid-term and once before the last day of classes. (At the mid-term meeting, students should provide evidence of accomplishment and work to date, and may be required to obtain a signature from the job supervisor rating the students progress at this mid-point.) These meetings are designed to review the internship progress and the learning objectives specified in the Internship Contract. In order to document the internship and provide materials for final assessment, the student must submit documentation as described below.

  • Student Documentation prepared and submitted from the following options (In conjunction with the internships coordinator, the student must choose two forms of documentation from this list.)
    • The Job Performance Evaluation indicating successful progress and completion of the internship. These may take the form of a signed letter from the Job Supervisor or the signed Job Performance Evaluation.
    • A literature review, in which the student prepares an annotated bibliography of sources of the most relevant and useful works in the internship field; the number of sources is based on credit hours of the internship;
    • A self-reflective paper, in which the student evaluates her/his own performance in a 2-3 page self-reflective progress report;
    • A professional work log, a diary of experiences that documents on a daily basis the student's activities and skills learned at the internship;
    • A professional portfolio, containing tangible samples of work created by the student during the internship (e.g., brochures, copyediting samples, websites, articles).

The Internship Coordinator will evaluate the student's internship based upon the goals set forth in the Internship Contract, the documentation materials submitted by the student, and the Job Supervisor's evaluation.

English 4940: Internship in English (unlike English 4950: Internship in Publishing) is graded on an S/U basis only.