Internships & Independent Study | Media Studies
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Internships and Independent Study

  • Graduate Student Internships

    The School of Media Studies recognizes the crucial role of internships in students' professional development. Internships enable students to gain relevant experience and an understanding of the industry and the job market. An internship can also supplement academic learning in certain subjects. In addition, internships allow students to build networks and make contacts for career development.

    Internships are available at many media companies and independent and educational media services in New York City and around the world. Companies and organizations at which our graduate students have recently interned include NBC, CBS, ABC, VH-1, MTV, GLAAD, Telemundo, Miramax, Universal, and Bertelsmann.

    A graduate student's internship experience should be at a higher level than a typical undergraduate internship. We expect graduate interns to be directly involved with the business or production work of an organization. Their regular tasks should allow them to apply their broad skills and talents to benefit the organization and further their own development.

    The department posts vetted internship opportunities in a weekly blog, which is password protected for graduate Media Studies and Media Management students. Students receive digested updates and password reminders weekly through New School email. They can also pursue their own opportunities. Many companies advertise internships on their websites, and many other external websites and job aggregators are devoted to assisting students searching for internships.

    Students in the MA or MS program can take a total of six internship credits: three research-based credits and three production-based credits.

    Academic Requirements

    The department is aware of the time and financial pressures our students face, and we have made accommodations to provide more students with opportunities for internships.

    All for-credit internship proposals must be submitted to the Student Success Office via the Career Success Link Experience Learning Agreement (ELA). Your internship supervisor will be required to approve the ELA, followed by the School of Media Studies and the International Student and Scholar Services team, if applicable. Since internships are set up for variable numbers of credits, students will indicate on their ELA the number of credits and whether the internship is research or production based. Terms of employment must specify duties and hours, and the internship usually must run during the academic term. Students are permitted to do only 20 hours per week as part of their internship. Students who complete their ELA and are approved before the last day to add courses for the semester will be enrolled in the course automatically.      

    Students and their supervisors will complete online evaluations. The student will also be responsible for any work designated in the syllabus by the instructor of record. Internships carrying one to three credits are graded on a pass/fail basis.

    Additional Note

    Paying for credits to take on a work experience that is often unpaid can be a hardship for students. The School of Media Studies works with students to lessen the burden. In particular, we assist students who wish to have an internship on their transcripts but not to pay credit tuition. If you are in this situation, please speak to the director of graduate studies. We do our best to work with students whatever their situation; our first concern is always the students' education.

    Graduate Independent Study

    Graduate students who have completed 18 credits—including appropriate production courses in the case of Independent Production—can apply to undertake independent study for credit. Each student must define a specific subject or problem to investigate and find an interested faculty member to serve as an advisor and help him or her develop a proposal.

    The Independent Study/Production Proposal must be submitted to the director of graduate studies for approval with enough time to allow for full evaluation before registration (at least two weeks). Upon approval of the proposal, an Independent Study Contract (PDF) must be submitted.

    Independent study is normally pursued with a member of the principal faculty during the fall or spring semester. Please consult with the director of the graduate program or with an adjunct faculty advisor before developing a proposal for a summer independent project.