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Enrichment and Extracurricular Opportunities

The CAS department offers students many opportunities to enrich their academic experiences in and out of the classroom.  These experiences broaden and deepen students’ expertise in communication, they help students stand out on the job market and among graduate school applicants, and they build memories that will last a lifetime. 

Assistantships and Independent Study

The Department of Communication Arts and Sciences offers a variety of opportunities for hands on experiences, and student may earn credit for participating in these activities. 

Students can gain firsthand experience working on communication research projects with members of our faculty – scholars who are leaders in the discipline.  Students also have the option to earn credit for assisting instructors with teaching.  See below or contact Lori Bedell for more.

Research Assistantship
Teaching Assistantship
Independent Study Agreement Form



Internships are designed to provide you with the opportunity to identify connections between your major in communication and a possible career. Specifically, it is expected that your internship experience will enable you to:

  • explore a potential career path
  • apply your knowledge of communication in a practical work setting
  • develop new communication skills
  • make valuable contacts in business, government, and other applied settings

You will find more information about how to have a successful internship by exploring the following links. The Department will help you through the process – please contact Dr. Peter Miraldi with questions.  You can also find help through the Career Enrichment Network.  We hope to provide you with connections and suggestions for internships, though you are also welcome to seek out your own. Wherever you choose to intern, please see your academic adviser so that you may register properly and be assured that you are following all the necessary steps to be successful.

Registering for Internship Credit

Planning for Your Internship

CAS 495 Syllabus

Examples of Previous Internship Positions


Study Abroad

Studying abroad is a life changing experience for many students.  Study abroad can help you:

  • Expand your career opportunities; prepare for an increasingly diverse and international workplace.
  • Compare another educational system to your own educational experiences.
  • Improve your second language skills.
  • Enhance your critical thinking skills.
  • Gain confidence in yourself personally and professionally.
  • Experience journalism written in English from many cultural and national perspectives.
  • Understand English language and its multiple world dialects from an international perspective. Comparative perspectives and experiences allow you to place communication and language in much larger and more diverse context. Such experiences will change your life and career options in many ways. Employers and professional schools today seek applicants with significant cross-cultural experience.

In the past, the faculty in Communication Arts and Sciences has led study abroad programs in Africa, Greece, and Morocco, and we currently offer an annual study abroad experience in Vienna.  You can learn more about study abroad in Vienna by contacting faculty member .


CAS Club

The Communication Arts and Sciences Club (CAS Club) is devoted to helping all undergraduate students improve their communication skills, professional development, networking opportunities, and careers. We welcome all majors and anyone who is undecided.

For more information, contact: Vanessa McLaughlin, Faculty Advisor of CAS Club


Lambda Pi Eta

Lambda Pi Eta (LPH) is the National Communication Association's official honor society at four-year colleges and universities nationwide. The honor society recognizes outstanding student scholars in Communication with more than 500 active chapters in 47 states! If you are a CAS major with a 3.25 GPA, you are welcome to be part of PSU's Zeta Rho chapter and distinguish yourself among your peers.

For more information, contact:

, Faculty Advisor of Lambda Pi Eta

To be eligible for LPE, you must:

  1. Complete 60 semester credit-hours (90 quarter credit-hours)
  2. Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 for all courses taken
  3. Complete the equivalent of 12 semester credit-hours (18 quarter credit-hours) in communication studies
  4. Have a minimum GPA of 3.25 for all communication studies courses
  5. Currently be enrolled as a student in good standing, as determined by the institution's policies
  6. Rank within the highest thirty-five percent of one’s class in general scholarship


Penn State Speech & Debate Society

The Penn State Speech & Debate Society is a student organization co-sponsored by the Center for Democratic Deliberation and the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences. The mission of the society is to provide students opportunities to improve their skills as advocates and citizens, while promoting ethical and open discussions about important issues.  The Speech and Debate Society hosts several events a year and participates in public debates and regional tournaments. Practices are held weekly, and they are open to anyone who wishes to participate. To learn more, visit the Penn State Speech & Debate Society website.


Penn State Mock Trial Association

The Penn State Mock Trial Association is a competitive, student-run undergraduate organization designed to increase legal literacy and help members hone their presentation skills. The organization fields several teams that compete in American Mock Trial Organization tournaments across the country hosted by many prestigious colleges and universities. Our competitors represent almost every academic college, and all majors are encouraged to join the organization. It’s for everyone: actors, debaters, public speakers, law enthusiasts, chemists, you name it. If you’re interested in joining or learning more about the club, visit: