Internship (COMS 499) Procedures/Criteria

The COMS 499 Internship

The COMS 499 internship is a communications-related activity that is required to finish your degree in communications studies. The majority of our students say that their internships have led them to jobs or to the next step in their career path, and it just may be one of the most important classes you take while at Sonoma State.

As you get ready for your internship, please consider the following guidelines. If you have further questions, contact Hillary Homzie, the internship coordinator in the School of Arts and Humanities.

In-person Internship Procedures 

a) Complete the Internship Learning Contract which can be found at 

b) COVID Prevention Plan - (template is available here) this document covers how the internship host is ensuring safety during COVID. All businesses required by OSHA to have a COVID Prevention plan, so the document should be available and provides documentation of social distancing protocols, cleaning practices, etc. 

c) Email me, Internship Coordinator Hillary Homzie (, the internship agreement and the COVID Prevention Plan. Upon approval, I will email you to request that you upload the documents to a Canvas Prep site. I will then send the request forward to the Chair and Dean,  Once they approve of the internship, you will be registered. 

Please note that these steps will take up to 2-3 weeks. 

Remote Internship Procedures 

a) Complete the internship agreement form

b) Email me, Internship Coordinator Hillary Homzie (, the internship agreement. Upon approval, I will ask you to upload the documents to a Canvas Prep site. I will then send the request forward to the chair, and the dean. Once they approve your internship, you will be registered.

Please note that these steps will take 5-10 business days. 

Internship Criteria

In order to qualify as an internship, your work needs to not just be supervised but you need to experience supervised intellectual and skills growth. 

To ensure that an internship is educational, and thus eligible to be considered a legitimate internship, Sonoma State University Arts & Humanities Internship program follows the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) criteria for a quality internship:

  • The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform. (This means work that is clerical in nature or involves routine maintenance or service responsibilities does not qualify for academic work).  
  • The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
  • The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
  • There are clearly defined learning objectives and goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework. In other words, the student will experience significant intellectual and skills growth as a result of the internship.
  • There is supervision by a professional with expertise and an educational or professional background in the field of the experience.
  • There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.
  • There are resources, equipment and facilities provided by the host employer that support the learning objectives and goals.

In addition, internships cannot be:

  • located in someone’s residence (home office or on someone’s home property). However, you might be able to work remotely with someone working in a professional capacity from their home residence due to COVID-19. However, students are never to visit the residence of their internship supervisor or other employees.
  • In a family-owned business or in an organization where a family member is supervising you or is in a position of authority over you
  • In an organization where you have previously volunteered, interned, or worked (although exceptions can be made)
  • service sector positions don’t qualify as an internship. However, if you are working in management for the service sector, event planning or communications then, yes, you may potentially use the experience as an internship.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to be in touch.

Hillary Homzie

Faculty, Communications

Coordinator, Internships

Arts & Humanities

Sonoma State University

Carson 51