College of Visual and Performing Arts
George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Film Internship Course

A Film internship must be completed before graduation

The Film and Video Studies major requires an internship for academic credit (FAVS 450) during your junior/senior year. We encourage you to take advantage of other internship and work opportunities before your junior year to be competitive, but those will not count toward this course requirement.

Requirements to Complete Internship

  • Declared Film major
  • 90 credits completed (senior status)
  • 21 hours of Film courses completed
  • Minimum 2.0 overall Grade Point Average (GPA)
  • Company or Organization must have business/liability insurance to cover themselves and their employees
  • May be paid or unpaid
  • 150 total hours on-the-job (minimum)
  • Must register for FAVS 450 during the term the internship takes place, which can be in the Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters.
  • Internship Supervisors must complete an assessment of the intern at the end of the semester and be available for an interview by the intern during the course of the internship period.
  • Students to produce written work connecting their internship experience to academic theory, classroom work, and their intended career path.

Course Registration Procedure

If you are not sure whether an internship is eligible, contact Film at Mason’s Academic Advisor, Lori Yi. Your request will be assessed to determine how the placement fits into your academic and career goals.

After you secure an eligible internship

Internship Application: Complete no later than the first day of the semester (See the academic calendar for dates.) Print/Save a copy of your completed application for your records.

Experiential Learning Agreement: With your internship supervisor complete the agreement in full, including all signatures and initials. Form must be submitted before the last day to add classes in the intended semester. (See the academic calendar for dates.) Keep a copy for your records.

Register for FAVS 450: After we receive the Film at Mason Internship Application and entire Experiential Learning Agreement form, you will get override permission to register for FAVS 450 (3 credits). It is the student’s responsibility to register for the course after receiving the override permission. Please note that by adding this course, you are responsible for the 3 credits of tuition, as with any other Mason course.

During the Internship

Keep a log of the date and times worked and your activities and decisions made or research completed on site for each date. Your schedule can be configured in any way. This information becomes a journal entry that documents your work.

Journal entries are to be compiled throughout the internship. See the FAVS 450 Syllabus (sample) for prompts and deadlines throughout the semester. All journals are due via Blackboard.
Any problems should be reported to Prof. Chesler immediately. If you feel that you are not being challenged enough in the internship, please notify the Site Supervisor and Prof. Chesler. We will work together to maximize the internship experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

How soon should I get started?

Begin your internship search a minimum of three months before you want to start. Earlier is better. Application deadlines vary, depending on the organization. Turn yours in early to avoid disappointment.

What kinds of opportunities are available?

The Washington metro area provides many internship opportunities. Students can also do an internship outside of the D.C. area and abroad. Current Film internships. See current internship listings.

Are paid internships available?

Some organizations offer paid opportunities, but many are unpaid positions. Review the job posting and reach out to the organization for more information. Mason also offers some scholarships for those who pursue an unpaid internship. 

Can I substitute work experience for an internship?

All students, regardless of work experience, must complete an internship (FAVS 450).

Can current work experience count as internship credit?

An internship may be completed at the student’s current workplace only if a student is completing different/new work under a different supervisor and if Film at Mason's Director, Giovanna Chesler, approves the work.

How do I find an internship?

Most companies and organizations have listings on their websites or job search sites. While internships are available in almost any type of organization, some are structured, competitive programs, requiring a formal application process. If an organization has not previously hosted interns from Film at Mason, the new internship site will need to be approved. This approval may take time and may not allow the student to register for the experience in that particular semester.

How do I register for FAVS 450?

You will only receive approval to register for an internship course after you have been offered and accepted an internship. You must complete the Film at Mason Application and Experiential Learning Agreement and submit to Lori Yi, Academic Advisor, who will then submit an override to allow you to register on Patriotweb.

What can I do to improve my choices and chances?
  • Analyze your skills and interests, academic, and career goals.
  • Draft your résumé and ask friends and family or your advisor to critique it.
  • Take your résumé to Career Services for assistance.
  • Film at Mason Director, Giovanna Chesler, is also willing to provide guidance. 
  • Think about what kind of experiences you want.
  • What kinds of organizations sound intriguing?
  • What are your schedule constraints?
  • When can you start, and when must you finish?
  • Do you have geographical limitations?

Narrow your search to a manageable number of organizations, and rank them (your favorite organization, ideal locations, paid or unpaid, etc.). Try to get complete information on what each organization does, whether it has a formal internship program, and any application requirements. Develop a plan for each organization internship site. Review your résumé and cover letter to be sure they're tailored to the position.

What do organizations generally require?

Most want a cover letter, current résumé, examples of your work, recommendation letter(s), and an academic transcript. Prepare these materials ahead of time.

How many hours do I have to work at the internship site?

Undergraduate internships require a minimum of 150 hours for the 3 academic credits (FAVS 450). There are about 15 weeks in a semester, which works out to roughly 10 hours per week.

Some internships will require a longer period to complete with less hours per week for some venues, particularly for students who have part- or full-time jobs. Your site may require you to work more hours than the course requires.

How will I be graded?

You will be assessed on the progress you make toward your learning objectives. Multiple methods will be used to assess your performance, including your journal entries and a formal written evaluation from your on-site supervisor. All written work must be submitted through Blackboard by their deadline.

What if I have a problem during my internship?

Bring complaints or issues about your experience, work environment, or site supervisor to the attention of Film at Mason Director, Giovanna Chesler, immediately.

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