Information for Students
Upon attaining junior-level status (60 credit hours), qualified students are encouraged to pursue internships that enable them to work under the guidance of professionals in the motion picture, television, cable and other electronic media industries. The Dallas metroplex area is home to a number of production companies, post-production facilities, television and radio stations, and digital technology companies where students have interned. Additionally, students have the chance to compete for internships in Los Angeles, New York and other areas in the United States and around the globe. All these internships provide a valuable way for students to gain hands-on experience in the field and learn from industry professionals.
For students interested in doing an internship, the Division can provide help in finding opportunities; many students also seek out internships on their own. Film & Media Arts students frequently do multiple internships over their time at SMU.
In addition to doing as many internships as they want for the experience, Film & Media Arts students also have the opportunity to earn credits for their internship work. Non-classroom internship credit is limited to three (3) credit hours, taken on a pass/fail basis. Any students wishing to earn credit for an internship must be a declared Film & Media Arts major, must have taken and passed FILM 1304 Production 1, and must obtain permission from the Division's Internship Coordinator. To set up an internship for credit, fill out the Internship Agreement Form (including getting your supervisor to sign) and the Internship Approval Form, and file both with the Division's Internship Coordinator.
Note that some internships REQUIRE students to earn college credit, so anyone planning on doing multiple internships should carefully consider whether and when to use their potential three internship credits. The Division Internship Coordinator can provide guidance and advice in this area.
Forms needed to set up and complete internships-for-credit can be found here:
- Internship Agreement Form - fill this out with your supervisor before the internship begins, file with the Internship Coordinator
- Internship Approval Form - fill this out with the Internship Coordinator
- Intern Evaluation Form - have your supervisor fill this out and return to the Internship Coordinator at the midpoint and end of your internship
- Weekly Report Form - fill out one of these for every week of your internship, including having your supervisor sign, and return to Internship Coordinator (you may turn these in weekly or turn them in in batches, but you need a completed one turned in for each week of the internship by the end of the internship)
At the end of your internship you must write a final report on your experience; details are available here.
For any questions about finding and/or doing internships (whether for-credit or not), contact the Film & Media Arts office at 214-768-2129 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Dr. Kevin Heffernan, Internship Coordinator, at email@example.com.
Information for Employers Looking for Interns
SMU film students are always interested in knowing about great internship opportunities! As an employer, the best way to connect with SMU students about internships is to present all the information about what you are looking for in a flier or easily readable email, and we can distribute it for you.
Please put together a brief description, including all of the following information:
- What/Who is your company and what is attractive about doing an internship for your company? What kind of production work does your company primarily do?
- What tasks would the intern be doing? (Job description)
- How many hours per week? (One, Two and Three credit hour internships are available to students based on the number of hours they work)
- Are the hours flexible? This really helps students who have busy school schedules
- Does the student need transportation?
- Who should the student contact for an interview? What materials would you like them to send? (resume, portfolio, etc)
- When does it begin/end? What is the deadline for interested students to submit their applications?
- What does the internship pay?
Send the above information to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will include your information on our weekly "Tuesday update". We must have all the information by end of day Thursday for the following Tuesday. Once a student is hired, they are required to turn in weekly reports (signed by their supervisor), have a supervisor fill out simple mid-internship and post-internship evaluations of the student, and present a final paper upon completion of their internship in order to receive course credit.
(Important note: If you're considering putting out a call for interns or soliciting applications, note that school-approved internships for Film and Media Arts students MUST engage students in some Media Production capacity; they cannot be solely administrative.)