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Practicums and Internships

Competitive Internship Opportunities

Students in the School of Journalism and Electronic Media are required to gain practical professional experience relevant to their degree program. This often takes place in the form of practicums and internships.

The School has a number of relationships with local media that provide these opportunities. Several foundations and firms also offer competitive internships in specialized areas. These often offer students access to larger media and markets. Some offer scholarships or stipends, or the opportunity to also pick up additional course credits, in addition to professional experience. Students are encouraged to pursue other internship opportunities, as well.

For a listing of internship opportunities, click here.

PRACTICUM |  JEM 492 (1-2) S N/C

 A practicum is required for all majors.  It is defined as a part-time work and learning experience at a participating media outlet.  Most students enroll in a practicum along with other courses at UT.  A practicum may be on-campus or off-campus in Knoxville.  It may also be in another location during summer months with permission of the practicum coordinator.  A practicum requires a minimum of 150 hours of meaningful and supervised work experienced during a semester.  This usually means that students work 10-20 hours per week.  Media outlets prefer for practicum students to be there for long blocks of time either all day or mornings or afternoons.  Some night shifts are also available in TV news. 

Students must not only enroll in the course to earn credit but must also be accepted by an approved media or communications company.   Students should apply a few weeks before the beginning of the semester in which they plan to complete a practicum.  Students may be asked to complete an application for selected companies, interview, and take drug tests.

Paid practicums are permitted.  Some TV stations and cable companies now only hire paid practicum and internship students.  Students should treat the experience as a job. A final paper, time sheet, and a supervisor evaluation are required for a student to receive credit.

JEM 492 Practicum Forms*Syllabus (pdf) | Data sheet (pdf) | Checklist (pdf) | Schedule confirmation (pdf) | Time sheet (pdf)

On-Campus Practicums and contacts: 

  • WUTK-FM — Benny Smith
  • TNJN.com — Melanie Faizer
  • Daily Beacon — Rachel McClelland
  • TVC — Clint Elmore
  • VFL Films — Link Hudson
  • Sports Media — (Each sport has a different person)

INTERNSHIP: JEM 498/JEM 592 (3) A-F

An internship is a three-credit course that counts as a JEM Elective.  It is not required but strongly encouraged for students entering extremely competitive fields.  It is considered a full-time experience requiring 400 hours of work per semester.  For Fall and Spring that means about 30 hours per week for 15 weeks but in the summer it means 40 hours per week for 10 weeks.  Students may enroll in an internship any semester.  Students should apply at the company website. 

Students must apply for and be accepted for an internship by an approved media or communication company.  Students are required to submit a final term paper and a portfolio of work produced during the semester.  All students are evaluated by the internship supervisor and the instructor of record.

JEM 498 Internship Forms*Syllabus (pdf) | Application (pdf) | Agreement form (pdf) | Time sheet (pdf)

Off-Campus Partners for both practicums and internships and contacts:

  • WBIR-TV — Tonja Burk
  • WATE-TV — Melanie Morris and Linda Ngyuen
  • WVLT-TV — Sheree White
  • FOX43
  • Knoxville News Sentinel
  • Maryville Daily Times — Marcus Fitzsimmons
  • Scripps Networks Interactive
  • RIVR Media
  • Jupiter Entertainment
  • North South Productions
  • Cityview Magazine
  • Tennessee Smokies
  • Media companies in Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, and Tri-Cities also participate
  • Atlanta — CNN, Turner
  • New York — CBS, NBC, Fox News, ABC

*Copies of internship forms are also available in the JEM office at 333 Communications.