499A Required Internship

ADVRT / JL MC / P R 499A is a three-credit, 400-hour internship in advertising, journalism and mass communication or public relations required for all majors in the Greenlee School. It is different than many other courses in that learning takes place in a professional media environment instead of the traditional classroom. 499A allows students to gain professional media experience while being mentored and evaluated by both media professionals and your faculty adviser. It is available only to Greenlee majors and offered on a satisfactory-fail basis.

Prerequisites for 499A

To enroll in 499A, you must have fulfilled the following requirements:

  • Passed JL MC 110 and successfully completed JL MC 201 with a C+ or better
  • Classified as a junior or senior
  • ADVRT majors: successfully completed ADVRT 301 with a C+ or better
  • JL MC majors: successfully completed JL MC 302 or JL MC 303 with a C+ or better
  • P R majors: passed P R 301 and successfully completed P R 321 with a C+ or better

Basic Guidelines for 499A Internships

Internships must meet the following criteria to be considered for your 499A:

  • A minimum of 400 hours of work
  • Duties related to advertising, journalism and mass communication or public relations
  • A professional supervisor who:
    • has an education and/or significant professional experience in journalism and communication, advertising or public relations or a closely related field
    • works on site with you and is an employee of the organization where you are interning
    • is not related to you
  • A professional workplace. (You cannot work for a student organization, or be supervised by a fellow student, or be supervised by a relative). In office or mostly in-office internships are the most likely to be approved, however substantive remote internships will be considered acceptable.
  • Necessary resources and equipment for you to complete the internship (work space, equipment, software, etc.). You cannot check out Greenlee School equipment for your 499A.
  • An opportunity for you to build a professional portfolio.

Note: You cannot use your ADVRT/JL MC/P R 499A internship to obtain academic credit from any other department at Iowa State University.

499A Professional Media Internship Syllabus Packet

The 499A Internship Syllabus Packet is essential reading for all Greenlee students as they prepare for their 499A internships. If you have any questions about the process, we recommend you first consult the syllabus packet. In it, you will find additional information about 499A, including:

  • syllabus (faculty adviser, course description, learning objectives, grades, disability accommodations, academic misconduct)
  • pre-499A checklist
  • internship supervisor discussion checklist
  • 499A professional media internship checklist
  • how to find a 499A internship
  • how to get internship approval and enroll in 499A (step-by-step instructions)
  • financial aid and scholarships
  • assignments (mid and final evaluations, the portfolio and final paper, exit interview)

Download the 499A Internship Syllabus Packet

How should I prepare for my internship?

Preparing for your internship should begin the moment you step on campus. The Greenlee School provides a number of internship resources to help, but you are responsible for finding your 499A internship. Here are some steps you can take now to help you land your internship:

  1. Use your four-year plan to make sure you are on track to complete 499A prerequisites.
  2. Collect work samples from courses, student media, clubs and organizations. Search for work opportunities that could contribute to your portfolio.
  3. Attend workshops to prepare for your internship and Greenlee School events and internship fairs and career fairs to network with alumni and professionals.
  4. Begin research on 499A internship interests including:
    • What type of professional experience do you want to have?
    • When do you want to complete your internship?
    • Where do you want to work? Think of specifics (location of internship, living arrangements and cost), and look for contacts within organizations. Keep track of companies you’re interested in, including contact information, a list of required application materials and application deadlines for each organization.
  5. Meet with your faculty adviser to discuss 499 opportunities.

COVID-19 and 499A Internships in 2021

Summer 2021

Because the impact of COVID-19 on employment remains uncertain, we’ve installed a safety net for 499A internships. While we anticipate most students will secure a 499A internship, we have a back-up plan if COVID-19 eliminates your options. If you’re graduating in 2021 but by mid-April are still struggling to secure an internship, please make an appointment with your faculty advisor to discuss the 499 summer “safety net” internship class.

Prior to registering for the summer course students must provide the following to their advisor:

  • Documentation of six targeted cover letters and applications
  • Updated resume
  • Updated portfolio
  • Proof of attendance at a career fair, or a meeting with someone at LAS Career Services

Once approved, your advisor will provide more info on how to register for this course.

Summer 2020

COVID-19 Internship Policy for Spring/Summer 2020 – Last updated May 15, 2020

What is ADVRT/JL MC/ P R 499B?

ADVRT/JL MC/ P R 499B is an optional course that allows a Greenlee major to earn 1 to 3 credits based on the number of hours worked at an internship in the student’s specialization. It is offered on a satisfactory-fail basis only. Contact your faculty adviser to find out if your internship qualifies. Note: This course is not a replacement for 499A and is not tracked through CyHire.


Make an appointment with your faculty adviser or contact the Greenlee School to set up an appointment with our internship coordinator, Juli Probasco-Sowers, (515) 294-4342.