The Department of Comparative Literature encourages students to explore potential careers and engage in experiential learning outside of the classroom through participation in unpaid internships. Comparative Literature students most often choose internships in publishing, but other fields are possible choices and should be discussed with the Director of Undergraduate Studies. In the past, students have worked in a variety of organizations, ranging from online poetry journal start-ups to leading companies such as The New Yorker, The New York Times, or CNN.  Students fulfilling all the requirements noted below typically receive two credits for their internship work. These credits do not count towards the fulfillment of The Comparative Literature major requirements. The final paper and all necessary paperwork, such as evaluations and time sheets, are due on the first day of exam period.

The following guidelines are closely based on the general CAS internship guidelines and are further adjusted for Comparative Literature Students.

Credit-bearing internships in the College have to meet minimal standards for rigor, supervision, time commitment and reflective experience.

  • As an education experience, credit-bearing internships must be unpaid.  Issues around satisfactory work for wages can not be allowed to intercede upon the workplace-as-classroom.
  • Fieldwork (for 2-credits) should be for a minimum of eight hours a week, though for the student and agency ten to fifteen hours usually permit more meaningful work.  We frown upon more as potentially exploitative.
  • The Internship fieldwork must also be supervised, meaningful work; no more than a third of it should be clerical tasks.
  • The CAS Agency Placement form is to be submitted to the agency by the student and returned to the Director of Undergraduate Studies at the start of the internship.
  • The supervisor is expected to provide supervisor mid-term and supervisor final evaluations of the student.  These forms are to be given to the supervisor by the student.  The student also completes a final student evaluation of the internship and is also required to keep a time sheet (turned in with this cover sheet) of his/her working hours.  Please download the evaluation forms and time sheet and return completed forms to the Director of Undergraduate Studies at mid or end of term as appropriate.
  • The student is required to submit a three page midterm reflection paper and an eight page final reflection paper. Click link for guidelines and deadlines.

The College recognizes some employers offer unqualified but much desired opportunities, but only if students receive academic credit for them.   Typically these are paid or clerical/ menial work, and thus these experiences can not receive credit as “fieldwork.”   However, students who contract to work for the minimal eight hours a week, can, as room permits, enroll in a CAS Internship Seminar for 2 credits.  For more information, please contact Daniel J. Walkowitz, Director of Experiential Education, 41 E. 11th St., rm 705.

It is expected that students will enroll for internship in their major department if the work relates to the major, even if the department does not count the credit toward the major.

Students completing internships that are far from their major should enroll in the CAS Fieldwork and Internship Seminars, V98.0980, V98.0981.  For advanced registration, students need the approval of their Agency and Planning Forms from Professor Daniel J. Walkowitz, Director of Experiential Education, Social & Cultural Analysis, 41 E. 11th St., rm 705, or Dean Willie Long or Charlene Visconti, Advisement Office, Silver Center.

Internship Evaluation and Grading:
The Internship is graded pass/fail. Students need to complete the hours, turn in their evaluations, and receive satisfactory grades for the midterm and final papers in order to pass. 

Internships do not count towards the Comparative Literature major credit.

Recommended Readings: a selection from the CAS INTERNSHIP SEMINAR SYLLABUS
Perlin, Ross. (2011). Intern Nation: How to Earn Nothing and Learn Little in the Brave New Economy. Verso.
Field, Anne. (2004, March 4). “When the Intern Needs A Crash Course on Life.” New York Times, p. C8.
Rosenbloom, Stephanie. (2007, Jan 18). “Help, I'm Surrounded by Jerks.” New York Times, p. G.1.
McDonald, Juliette. (2007)  “Making the Most of Your Internship or Co-op Work Experience.”