What is the ECL Internship Program?

Internships are a great way to explore career options before you graduate. A degree in English and Comparative Literature, with its focus on writing, oral communication, and research, opens the door to a wide variety of career paths. The Department of English and Comparative Literature provides the opportunity for you to receive credit for an internship that relates in some way to the major.


Internships for Credit

The skills you learn as an ECL major prepare you for a broad range of career opportunities. In order to receive credit, you will need to identify a faculty adviser in the department. Your adviser can help you determine the position’s suitability for ECL credit, and you will meet with your adviser at least three times during your internship. In order to receive credit, interns must work at least 100 hours and submit a written project of at least 4000 words at the conclusion of the internship. Please refer to the Internship Learning Contract for more information regarding credit for internships. Internships for credit may be paid or unpaid.

Paid Internships

While many employers do not compensate their interns, some do. Payment can help offset travel costs and other expenses accrued while working. Especially during the summer months, when you have the ability to leave campus, you might consider looking further afield for internships.

Unpaid Internships

Increasingly, businesses and organizations that offer internships to college students do not compensate their interns; however, the benefits of the work experience can prove invaluable in the long term. Please be aware of the Department of Labor requirements for internship programs under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Steps for Receiving Credit

  1.    Identify a faculty adviser in the ECL department.
  2.    In coordination with your adviser, complete and submit an Internship Learning Contract by email to the Internship Program Coordinator. You must submit the form by the first day of the semester in which the internship will take place. For internships to be completed over the Summer, submit this form one week before the internship begins.

The Internship Learning Contract must be approved before the internship begins. Applications will not be approved if work on the internship has already begun; no late applications will be considered.  

  1.    You must have a GPA of 2.5 or above in order to qualify for credit. You must submit an unofficial transcript with your Internship Learning Contract. If you wish to appeal this requirement, please contact the Internship Program Coordinator.
  2.    At the end of your internship, you must submit a portfolio of selected work you have completed during the period, as well as a written project of at least 4000 words. Please also submit an Internship Performance Form by email to the Internship Program Coordinator.  

No student may earn more than 3 credit hours (equivalent to 100 hours of internship work) for an internship. Anyone working 100 hours or more fulfills the Experiential Education Requirement; the credit hours you receive for your internship count as an ECL elective.


How do I look for an internship?

While the responsibility for finding an internship rests with the student, University Career Services offers helpful resources for the process. Most employers ask for a resume, a cover letter, and references. Students can make an appointment with a counselor at University Career Services to discuss these materials. The ECL Internship Program also seeks out partnerships with businesses and organizations that provide internships. These opportunities will be posted to the Partnerships Page as they arise. LinkedIn and Handshake are great starting points for finding internships in your area.

Additionally, Dr. Hilary Lithgow is happy to work with you one-on-one to identify possible internship positions and connect you with ECL alumni in a variety of fields. Appointments with Dr. Lithgow can be scheduled via the “make an appointment” tab at advising.unc.edu or by emailing her at lithgow@email.unc.edu.


Who should I contact to learn more about the ECL Internship Program?

Dr. Eliza Richards is the current Internship Program Coordinator. To receive more information about the program, or to discuss potential partnerships, please contact her at ecr@email.unc.edu.