Internships & practicums

The Reynolds School requires all students to complete an internship or a practicum before graduating. Students are responsible for finding their own internship or practicum project and obtaining approval, before registering for course credit. This can take a substantial amount of time. Students should start planning for this requirement in their sophomore year and work to complete the requirement in their junior year or early senior year.

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Internship & practicum FAQs

Please read the Q&A below for information about how to fulfill the internship/practicum requirement.

  • What is an internship?

    An internship is an opportunity to work for an organization doing professional work on a temporary basis. Students spend a minimum of 120 hours working with a mentor who has at least five years of media experience and can guide and supervise an intern’s work. Internships can be completed in fall, spring or summer semesters and can be arranged for organizations in Reno, Las Vegas or anywhere in the world that provides the requisite experience. Internships can be paid or unpaid, but they must be approved by the university and the internship director BEFORE starting work. You will need to register for JOUR 499 to earn credit for an internship. This course will also satisfy your CO14 requirement for the university core curriculum.

  • What is a practicum?

    A practicum is an opportunity to work independently for one or more clients or to pitch freelance work. Students are supervised by a faculty member with expertise in the work and who can provide professional feedback. This is valuable preparation for freelance and other types of independent work. We currently offer multimedia practicum and design practicums. If you have a request for a specialized practicum, please speak to the associate dean.

    You must get approval for a practicum before you begin. Contact Claudia Cruz regarding the multimedia work practicum and then complete the multimedia practicum form. Contact Amber Walsh regarding the design work practicum and then complete the design practicum form. You will need to register for JOUR 416 to earn credit for a practicum. This course will also satisfy your CO14 requirement for the university core curriculum.

  • When should I do an internship or practicum?

    To be eligible to register for an internship or practicum, you must pass the following journalism courses with a C or better and a GPA of 2.5 or better:

    • Pre-major journalism courses: JOUR 103, JOUR 107, JOUR 108 and JOUR 208
    • One of the following courses: JOUR 300, JOUR 307 or JOUR 361

    You also need an overall 2.5+ GPA and be an accepted journalism major or minor.

    Once these core classes are complete with satisfactory grades, you can complete your internship during a regular semester, during the mid-winter break or during the summer. The flexibility is up to your availability and the mentor’s needs. Internships can range from 40 hours a week for 3.5 weeks or 8-10 hours a week for 16 weeks but must fulfill the 120-hour requirement at a minimum. Time must be tracked with the mentor to complete the required hours as part of passing the course.

    The ideal time to complete your internship or practicum is during your junior year. By then you’ll have enough experience to perform well but still have time for an additional internship or practicum in your senior year.

    You should start your search for an internship or practicum at least one semester before you plan to register to do the work. It can take a great deal of time to arrange and starting early is the best way to secure the most valuable experiences.

  • How do I find an internship?

    We advertise current internship opportunities on our internship/job portal. We regularly share internship opportunities on the school’s social media channels and in our weekly student newsletter (email Sally Echeto if you are not receiving RSJ newsletter emails). You can also contact our director of internships and experiential learning, Claudia Cruz, for questions about finding internships.

    In addition, the university maintains a list of community organizations that have already been approved for hosting interns. Browse through the university's list of community partners to see if any organizations do the kind of work you are interested in. You do not have to choose an organization from this list, but you’ll obtain approval much faster if you do.

    You can also talk with faculty members for ideas, network through student clubs, contact professionals, look at journalism internships sites online like Research press clubs across the country that have aggregated internship and scholarship info such as the Sacramento Press Club. Many internships are posted on sites such as or Look at pre-professional organizations such as PRSSA, AMA or ONA which provide exclusive internships for members.

    Many companies may not post internship positions. Research companies that interest you and ask if they’d offer an internship position. If you are having challenges finding an internship, work with the internship coordinator for suggested ideas.

    It is your responsibility to locate an internship although the internship director is happy to help you with your search. You must apply and be accepted for either JOUR 499: Internship or JOUR 416: Practicum before you can enroll. We must also arrange to have the internship site approved by the university. This process can take a long time so starting early is the very best way to be successful.

  • How do I find a practicum?

    Practicums are reserved for students who want to work independently for clients that they pitch and produce work for. These can be independent freelance writing pieces, design work, multimedia packages, videos, photography. If interested in a practicum, the best way to start is to talk with Claudia Cruz (multimedia) or Amber Walsh (design). Students need to pitch their ideas for freelance and client work before being accepted into the practicum class. Students who have spoken with Claudia should complete the multimedia practicum form. Students who have spoken with Amber should complete the design practicum form.

  • What should I provide when applying for an internship or practicum?

    You will need:

    • A professional resume
    • Cover letter
    • LinkedIn profile
    • An online portfolio (recommended)

    The Career Studio on campus, room 208 in the Pennington Student Achievement Center, holds drop-in hours and workshops for helping with job-searching materials. You can also schedule an appointment with the internship director for feedback on your resume and cover letter. Typos and poorly written materials can prevent students from obtaining the internships they most want.

  • Can I be paid for my work as an intern?

    Absolutely. We strongly encourage sites to pay students for their work. Many sites still only provide unpaid opportunities, but you should always ask. Even if the work is unpaid, some organizations will help cover the cost of the 3-credit internship course.

  • Can I be paid for my work on a practicum?

    Yes, the client can pay you, or pay the university to pay you. This will be arranged on a case-by-case basis.

  • Why do I have to pay for a class to do this?

    By making the internship/practicum experience an academic class, we can work to insure that you have a guided educational experience. We vet the mentors, monitor your progress and provide evaluations of your work. For the internship, we also provide (require) that you attend three professional development classes and participate in a private social media forum to practice personal social media branding habits. Classes are live streamed for students interning out of the area.

    For the practicum, you will meet regularly with your faculty mentor and complete assignments built around the work you are doing for your client(s) or freelance projects.

  • How much work does this require?

    For the internship, you are required to work for 120 hours on the internship. In addition, you will attend three professional development classes and participate at least weekly on a private social media forum. We are flexible as to start and end dates as long as you get approval before you begin and do the bulk of the work during the semester/summer in which you are taking the class. You can work 20 hours a week for six weeks or 5 hours a week for 15 hours - the schedule is up to you and your mentor.

    For the practicum, you must meet with your faculty mentor on a regular basis over the course of the semester in which you are signed up and complete course assignments, in addition to meeting with and completing work for your clients.

Contact Claudia Cruz

Director of Internships & Experiential Learning

Phone: (775) 784-4434
Office: RSJ 303B
View Claudia's profile

Book a meeting with Claudia

Faculty member poses outdoors.