Media and Information Internships

The application is now OPEN for SPRING 2017 internships. NO LATE APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED.
The deadline for Fall applications is Monday, January 9, 2017.

An internship within your field is one of the best ways to enhance job prospects after graduation. Internships prepare students for the real world by providing not only on-the-job practical experience, but also the opportunity to network and obtain valuable professional contacts. Most graduates feel the experiential learning gained through internships was instrumental in helping them land that important first job.

IMPORTANT: If you are scheduled to interview for an internship and either cannot make the interview or have decided you don't want the internship, you MUST call or otherwise notify the potential employer. Failure to do so impacts those who come after you - the potential employer may not want to interview any more CAS students due to unprofessional behavior.

Goals of an internship include:

  • Gain valuable hands-on experience.
  • Apply and expand knowledge obtained from the classroom.
  • Explore a potential career opportunity.
  • Have responsibilities and be required to make decisions.
  • Make good contacts.
  • Earn a future recommendation.
  • Learn more about the field/industry so that you are able to talk about it intelligently
  • Work in a professional environment.
  • Positively represent the department and university.
  • Work and collaborate with others.
  • Work in areas or on projects that you have not worked on before.
  • Learn how a company operates.

Hours and Credit Eligibility

# of credits minimum # total work hours minimum # hours per week
across 15-week semester
1 75 5
2 150 10
3 225 15
4 300 20
5 375 25
6 450 30
7 525 35

How to Find Internships

We strongly recommend that students interested in internships visit Handshake to check out internship opportunities. Also visit the CAS internship page for more tips on how to obtain an internship, including links to career fairs and other events.

Media and Information For Credit Internship Guidelines

► Earning Credit for Internships

Undergraduate students can enroll in MI 493 for internship credit. In order to qualify for internship credit, the student must satisfy the Eligibility Requirements (below) and the internship must be arranged and approved in advance in compliance with the Internship Application Process (below).

You can enroll in MI 493 for 1 to 7 credits per semester. You can get 1 credit for every 5 to 6 hours of work per week (given a 15 week semester, 1 credit equals 75-90 hours of work per semester).

The total number of MI 493 credits allowed during your degree program is 7. You may have no more than 12 credits from MI 493 (Internship credits) and MI 490 (Independent Study credits) combined.

While it is possible to use all seven credits on one internship, a more prudent and productive approach would be to distribute the available credits over the Junior and Senior years. Given the breadth of the industry, completing several internships during the last two years will significantly increase the scope of a student's experience and offer greater options for future employment.

Although the number of internship credits you can take is limited, you are free to take as many non-credit internships as you like.


► Eligibility Requirements

You must be one of the following majors:

  • Media & Information (B.A. or B.S.)
  • Media and Information"legacy" majors: Media Arts and Technology OR Media and Communication Technology.
  • You must have an overall GPA of at least 2.5. You must be in good academic standing and cannot be on academic probation.
  • You must have achieved a junior level standing by the end of the semester preceding the internship.
  • You must have completed at least two MI courses.

► Application Process

  1. Locate an internship opportunity.
  2. Obtain a confirmation letter from your Internship Supervisor on company letterhead. Your supervisor should include:
    1. Their contact information.
    2. Duties you will be performing during your internship
    3. Duration (start and end dates of the internship)*
    4. Time commitment (in hours per week or total hours)*
  3. Fill out the Media and Information For Credit Internship Application (see bottom of page) form by the specified deadline. Submitting an Internship Application does not guarantee approval. The forms are available outside room 409 Comm Arts or at the bottom of this page.
  4. Submit the Internship Application and confirmation letter to room 411 Com Arts OR email everything to tismjobs@msu.edu
  5. If you do not meet any of the Eligibility Requirements, you must also submit a waiver form. The waiver forms are not available online, they are only available on the wall outside 409 Comm Arts. Make sure when you write up your waiver that you describe why you think the eligibility requirement should be waived (not just so you can take the internship, but why you think that you will be a good intern and representative as an MSU and MI student at your internship).

* We will be specifically checking to see that the duration and time commitment corresponds with the number of credits you are requesting for the internship.


► Obtaining Waivers

Any deviation from the Internship Eligibility Requirements requires a waiver request form to be completed. The waiver should be submitted along with the Internship Application. Filling out a waiver request does not automatically mean the waiver will be granted.

Make sure when you write up your waiver that you describe why you think the eligibility requirement should be waived (not just so you can take the internship, but why you think that you will be a good intern and representative as an MSU and MI student at your internship).


► Application Review and Credit Enrollment

Your application must go through a few different steps/people. The following things happen after you turn in your application:

        1. the eligibility criteria is checked against the MSU Registrar's records
        2. your application is reviewed for completeness and accuracy
        3. the internship is evaluated in terms of relevancy to your academic program and for quality experience
        4. your internship supervisor is contacted if there are any questions about the internship, including relevancy, tasks, time commitment, etc.

Applications are viewed in batches. See the deadlines and timelines for the semester you are applying on the application form (and below).
You will be emailed once a decision is made on your application. If you have been granted internship credit, an override will be processed for you and directions on how to enroll in the class will be included when you are emailed stating you have been approved for credit.


► Work That Does NOT Qualify for MI 493 Internship Credit

You can receive credit for internships that are both paid and unpaid. However, not all work qualifies for internship credit, including:

You can not get internship credit for: Work you did in the past
All internships must go through the application process and must be approved in advance. No exceptions.

You can not get internship credit for: Part-time jobs
For a part-time job to qualify for internship credit, the job must be in our discipline and you must work in areas or on projects that you have not worked prior to the semester you are taking the internship. If you are given a special project outside of your previous duties or given increased responsibility, then it may be possible to receive internship credit.

You can not get internship credit for: Internships at a job/company with which you have previously received credit
If you wish to get internship credit at a company you have previously received internship credit from, you must work in areas or on projects that you have not worked on before.

When applying for succeeding semesters of an ongoing internship, a new application is necessary each semester. Again, succeeding semesters at the same facility will require an increased level of responsibility and new experiences.

► Completing Your For-Credit Internship

Once your for-credit internship has been approved and MI 493 is on your schedule, you must:

        1. Complete the required number of work hours for the number of credits you signed up for
        2. At the middle and end of the semester, your internship supervisor will be contacted and asked to fill out a form that verifies you completed the required time commitment, recommend if you should pass or fail based on your performance, and other comments.


► Internship Grading

Internship credits are graded as pass/fail.

To pass:
You must complete the required number of work hours for the number of credits you signed up for.

Your supervisor must fill out and turn in the internship evaluation form. We will contact your supervisor, but in some cases, we may need you to help remind them. You must notify us if your supervisor changes throughout your internship. You are responsible for keeping us up-to-date on the current contact at your internship.

You may fail if:

        • You did not complete the required number of work hours.
        • Your Internship Employer terminates your internship before it is over.
        • You receive negative feedback from your supervisor. Remember: You are not only building your own reputation, but representing the department and university. You should be professional and take your responsibilities seriously.
        • We are not able to get an evaluation from your employer.

The Application

1. Fill out the Google Doc Application.

2. Be sure to have your supervisor send an explanatory letter to tismjobs@msu.edu OR bring it to room 411 in Com Arts. The letter needs to contain your duties, start and end dates, and hours per week, along with supervisor contact information. Applications will not be approved without the letter.

If you have any problems with the application, email tismjobs@msu.edu.

FAQs: For Credit Internships

If you have more questions, contact tismjobs@msu.edu. If you have questions specifically about how MI 493: Internship fits into your academic program, please contact your advisor.

► When will I hear back on my For-Credit Internship Application?

Your application must go through a few different steps/people. The following things happen after you turn in your application:
the eligibility criteria is checked against the MSU Registrar's records
your application is reviewed for completeness and accuracy
the internship is evaluated in terms of relevancy to your academic program and for quality experience
your internship supervisor is contacted if there are any questions about the internship, including relevancy, tasks, time commitment, etc.
Applications are viewed in batches. There is usually an early bird deadline and a final deadline each semester where all applications turned in by that date are reviewed and processed by the end of that week. The application for the semester you are applying for lists the specific dates and deadlines for that semester. If you do not make the final deadline, your application may still be reviewed (depending how far into the semester it is), but you may be charged late fees by the Registrar's Office for late enrollment when you enroll in the class. There is nothing the MI department can do to waive these University late fees for you.

► I don't meet one of the MI For Credit Internship eligibility requirements. Can I still get credit for my internship?

Submit a MI For Credit Internship Application form by the deadline and make sure to include a Waiver form with your application that describes what eligibility requirement you need waived and why you think it should be waived. Submitting a MI For Credit Internship Application and Waiver, does not automatically mean the waiver will be granted. However, all requests are considered and if you need only one of the eligibility requirements waived, there is a decent chance it will be approved. If you need multiple eligibility requirements waived, there will be less of a chance that it will be approved. Of course, you are encouraged to take internships even if you don't quality for MSU MI Credit.

► How many credits can I get for my internship?

You take MI 493: Internship to earn internship credit.
You can receive up to 1 credit for every 5-6 hours of work per week across a 15-week semester. If you will not be working the whole semester, then your credits will be calculated based on the total number of hours you will work at the internship during the semester. See the chart.

The total number of MI 493 credits allowed during your degree program is 7. It is suggested that you don't use all 7 in one semester because you may want to use them for additional internships in future semesters. You may have no more than 12 credits from MI 493 (Internship credits) and MI 490 (Independent Study credits) combined.

# of credits minimum | # total work hours minimum | # hours per week across 15-week semester

1
75
5
2
150
10
3
225
15
4
300
20
5
375
25
6
450
30
7
525
35


► Do I need a professor to sponsor me?

The MI internship coordinator is the MSU contact for your internship, you do not need another faculty member to sponsor your internship.

► Do I have to pay for MI 493 credits?

Yes, like any other course, you do have to pay for MI 493 credits when you enroll in them.

► Am I required to take MI 493? Am I required to register for internship credit hours?

MI 493: Internship is not required for graduation. It counts as a 400-level MI class. You should talk to your advisor if you have questions about academic degree requirements and how MI 493 fits into your schedule and overall plan.

► Do I have to take my internship for credit?

We (MSU/MI) do not require you to take internship credit. Obviously, there can be advantages because it can count as a 400-level MI class towards your degree requirements, but like any other course, you do have to pay for the credits. However, some companies/employers require that you are earning internship credit, especially when it is non-paid. So, you should check with your employer to see if they require you to earn internship credit.
Even if you don't take your internship for credit, we would love to hear where you interned and if you liked the internship. If you feel that you have an internship success story that you would like to share with other students, contact us. Any feedback that you have will be helpful to other students looking at internships, you can contact us at tismjobs@msu.edu.

► The employer has asked me to supply them with something from MSU saying that I will be getting credit. How do I get that?

It depends on what your employer needs, but we're happy to help provide you with what they need. This is a fairly common practice and we supply confirmation letters to employers often.
Some employers require a letter verifying that you will be earning internship credits. If you have been offered an internship with them and have completed the MI For Credit Internship Application and enrolled in MI 493, then we can provide a letter for you.
If you haven't been offered the internship position yet, we have an alternate letter that we provide. We cannot provide you a letter verifying you are enrolled in internship credits until you have completed a MI For Credit Internship Application, been approved, granted an override, and enrolled in the course. However, we can do a pre-approval of your eligibility requirements and supply a letter stating you meet the requirements and that once they offer you the position and verify that with us by supplying a supervisor letter, you can enroll in the credits. This is typically what they are looking for.

► I missed the application deadline, can I still apply for MI Internship Credit?

Turning your completed application in by the deadline guarantees it will be processed in time for you to register before the Registrar's Office starts late fees. If you miss the application deadline, it may still be possible to get internship credit, but it depends on how far into the semester it is. Contact tismjobs@msu.edu to explain your situation.

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