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Professional Field Experience

The Professional Field Experience (PFE), or internship, is one of the most valuable learning experiences a student can have at West Virginia University. The PFE affords students opportunities to apply what they have learned in the classroom, make important networking and reference contacts, affirm (or refute) career plans and enhance resumes and portfolios, all essential for future success.

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Communication Studies students at West Virginia University have completed internships with advertising agencies, public relations firms, insurance companies, hospitals, non-profit organizations, pharmaceutical companies, event management firms, radio and television stations, chambers of commerce, human resource departments, consulting firms, and more. The possibilities for internship experiences are endless.

A Professional Field Experience is not simply a part time job. An internship is intended to be a professional leaning experience. Students completing their Professional Field Experience are representatives of the Department of Communication Studies at West Virginia University and are expected to maintain a high standard of mature and professional contact throughout their PFE.

Obtaining Your Internship

There are quite a few Communication Studies internships in the MountaineerTrak system. Students are recruited and accepted for these internships on a first come, first serve basis. In addition, students are required to apply for these internships, and there is no guarantee of acceptance. The PFE Coordinator might know of further opportunities in your field or geographic location of interest. You are also encouraged to utilize your own resources, contacts and ingenuity to obtain an internship. You may target specific companies, agencies, fields for internship positions in your area of interest. There is a list of potential internship sources on the website as well.

There is a great deal of flexibility with internship options, however, student internships for credit must be approved in advance by the Professional Field Experience coordinator. Approval may be obtained by providing a job description on organizational letterhead to the PFE coordinator. This is required in order to register for the PFE course.

Frequently Asked Questions about PFE

Students often have questions about the specific requirements and policies surrounding the PFE aspect of the Communication Studies major. For convenience, we’ve collected the most-commonly asked questions on a separate page to help navigate you through the experience. In addition to these questions, students are also directed to PFE Director Nikki Loy.

Internship FAQ

Seelio: Sharing Student Work

Students enrolled in COMM courses are asked to study the theory and process of human communication so that they can apply this knowledge to understanding real-world issues. As part of this process, COMM students have adopted the Seelio platform – a social media platform that allows students to create an online portfolio of their coursework that is easily accessible to the public. Sharing these portfolios shows the importance of the COMM degree while also giving prospective employees a clear, accurate look at the academic work our students are doing.

Seelio Student Coursework Showcase

Academic Advising

Our advisors are available during the summer, fall and spring semesters during office hours. Check 108 Armstrong Hall, call 304-293-3905, or e-mail an advisor to check office hours for the semester (see below for contact information).

The COMM academic advisors are:

Nikki Loy –
Dr. John Shibley –
Mary Donato –


Request a Mountaineer Intern

Professional Field Experience (PFE) is a key element in the undergraduate COMM curriculum that allows students to gain experience in applying their classroom knowledge to a variety of corporate and organizational environments. Organizations looking for students with an in-depth understanding of communication areas that include (but are not limited to) communication theory, data analysis, health communication, interpersonal communication, organizational communication, and social media/communication technology now have the opportunity to request an intern from the Department of Communication Studies at WVU. Use the form below to read up on our PFE program, and to request a Mountaineer intern today.

Organization Intern Application