Students applying for the Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Studies must complete a capstone experience in their senior year which demonstrates and refines the wide range of skills, knowledge, and proficiencies developed in prior coursework.

The externship provides an opportunity for you to gain real world experience in an applied setting related to your area of professional interest under supervision of an on-site mentor. The externship focuses on successfully performing a communication role within an existing organization.


If you are interested in an externship as your capstone experience, you should contact your academic advisor and the externship coordinator at least one term before you plan to complete it. As appropriate, you may choose a department member to serve as your externship advisor. Details of the externship should be determined by you, the externship advisor, and your site mentor and be documented in a formal, signed contract before you enroll in COM 420. Note that the externship is more than just a job; you will also integrate your communication skills and produce a set of deliverables.

You must complete a minimum of 300 hours during one or more terms. In conjunction with the externship coordinator, you will sign up for COM 420 for the number of credits that most closely represents the number of hours to be completed per term. This will be decided between you, the externship advisor, and your site mentor.


Students will serve an externship which

  • Reflects a range of issues in communication and the student=s future career goals
  • Addresses the primary goals of the Communication Studies major (see page 5)

Externship Contract

As you develop your contract in consultation with your site mentor and the externship coordinator, you will want to include the following information:

  • Name and position of mentor
  • Name of organization
  • Length of internship (beginning/ending dates)
  • Weekly work hours (approximate)
  • Your learning objectives
  • Your duties, as determined by you and your mentor       
  • Extern's academic responsibilities
  • Mentor's responsibilities