Communication of Science & Technology

Internship Programs

Internships, available in both on-campus and off-campus locations, are an optional, but very strongly recommended, part of the Communication of Science and Technology major. Internships augment the classroom education by giving students opportunities to learn by experience and to put into practice those principles that have been presented in the classroom. Secondarily, internships alert students to the range of careers that are possible, for which the communication of science is an essential skill. For those who enter the work force directly, the internships provide on-the-job experience that can be an invaluable asset in finding a job following graduation.

On-campus Laboratory Internships

CST majors are strongly encouraged to spend at least one semester as an intern in a research laboratory, working hands-on as a member of a research team, perhaps in physics, astronomy, engineering, psychology, chemistry, medicine, or other setting. We can help identify on-campus internships that are good fits to your interests or you can find your own internship.

Students taking this internship enroll for one credit hour of INDS 280a, available on a P/F basis only. Students must be at least a sophomore and in good standing; internship plans must be approved by Associate Dean Yollette Jones. Note that courses taken on a P/F basis count toward graduation hours but cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of a major. One credit hour of effort roughly equates to three hours of time spent per week in the internship, so students doing a Laboratory Internship should plan to spend approximately one morning or afternoon per week, minimum, in this activity.

On-campus Communication of Science and Technology Internships

After spending one semester in a Laboratory Internship, students may enroll in a second on-campus internship, working with a professional science writer in the Office of Science and Research Communications, or in another venue on campus, where they have opportunities to digest their laboratory experiences and to write about them under the supervision of communication of science professional. Depending on the individual student's interest and ability, interns may also be given additional writing projects.

You can read about the experiences of a number of these interns in the "Students @ Work" section of Exploration, Vanderbilt's online research magazine.

Students taking this internship enroll for one credit hour of INDS 280b, available on a P/F basis only. Students must be at least a sophomore and in good standing; internship plans must be approved by Associate Dean Yollette Jones. Note that courses taken on a P/F basis count toward graduation hours but cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of a major. One credit hour of effort roughly equates to three hours of time spent per week in the internship, so students doing a Laboratory Internship should plan to spend approximately one morning or afternoon per week, minimum, in this activity.

Off-campus Internships

Off-campus internships have a more national character and are normally summer programs. Students electing to do this internship normally do so between the junior and senior years, normally after they have completed their required Writing classes and at least one on-campus internship. Off-campus internships normally involve some aspect of science communication. The Discovery Channel, the Smithsonian Institution, NASA, CNN, the American Chemical Society, the United Nations, and a number of other organizations have agreed to consider internship applications from Vanderbilt students. Dr. Shirley Hercules has developed personal relationships with internship directors at these organizations that assure applications from our students are given serious consideration.

Most students complete these off-campus internships without formally enrolling in a course. Students who wish to receive credit for a summer, off-campus internship may enroll in INDS 280c for one hour of credit on a P/F basis; students enrolling in INDS 280 during the summer must enroll in summer term and pay all required fees associated with enrollment.

For more information about all of the above internship programs, contact:
Dr. Shirley Hercules
shercules@comcast.net
Director of the Internship Program
Science and Research Communications