The Classroom Outside the Classroom

In addition to the formal internship experiences available to you through the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies’ internship office, you can gain valuable communication experience through campus organizations and activities, especially those directly associated with the field of communication.

Portfolio pieces are generated by your involvement in official internships, as well as student organizations and activities, volunteer professional experiences and classroom campaigns.

Clubs & Organizations

American Advertising Federation (AAF) is the oldest national advertising trade association in the United States, and the only association representing all facets of the advertising, marketing communication industry. The Duquesne Ad Club attracts students of all majors interested in advertising, marketing and/or public relations to do hands-on work for on- and off-campus clients with a variety of promotional needs. The club also invites speakers from industry and arranges tours of Pittsburgh advertising and marketing communication firms.
The Duquesne Debating Society is a student organization housed within the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies. The society's advisor (Sarah M. DeIuliis, Teaching Assistant Professor), assistant coaches and volunteer coaches and student leadership coordinate a number of activities open to all Duquesne undergraduate students.

We offer multiple opportunities for participation:

  • On- and off-campus public debates with local, regional, national and international participants: For the past four years, we have hosted iDebate Rwanda (a group of students and coaches based in Rwanda and traveling the U.S.), the CIDD British Tour (composed of two debaters from Great Britain) and the CIDD Japanese tour, planning and implementing three on-campus and several off campus events.
  • Competitive Debate Tournaments (NEDA and other formats): Duquesne is currently a member of the National Educational Debate Association (NEDA), an organization that hosts a number of competitive tournaments (2 vs. 2 format). We travel to between five and six of these tournaments annually. Students also attend public debate tournaments that provide opportunities for international travel and/or monetary awards to the top competitors and/or their institutions. The society covers all transportation, room and food costs associated with participation on the team.

We welcome students at every level of debate experience (from none to extensive) and are especially excited to increase the involvement of communication majors in our activities. The department offers a debate course for those interested in intellectual and/or practical skills development related to debate and the Catholic intellectual tradition. We do not expect members to participate in all of the events we host, and the debate course is not a requirement for participation. You can choose your level of participation in collaboration with the coaching staff.

IABC is a global network of communication professionals committed to improving organizational effectiveness through strategic communication. Established in 1970, IABC serves members in more than 70 countries for networking, career development and personal growth. The Duquesne University IABC invites communication & rhetorical studies majors to explore career opportunities and other professional development skills, help area nonprofit organizations with communication needs and conduct research projects on emerging issues in IMC and corporate communication.
PRSSA is a network of more than 11,000 college students interested in public relations and communication. The student branch of PRSA links students with resources and people in order to enhance education, broaden networks and launch careers. Connected with the Pittsburgh PRSA chapter, the Duquesne University PRSSA will help you gain practical experience in public relations through case studies, agency tours and special events.

Undergraduate Research & Development

The Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies is home to a communication research and development firm dedicated to for-profit and not-for-profit, client-centered communication work in integrated marketing, corporate and intercultural communication.

Interested majors are invited to participate in this firm beginning their freshman year. This work can be engaged as a volunteer opportunity or as a for-credit course experience.


From your first semester at Duquesne University, we invite you to "walk the humanities into the marketplace" by connecting classroom learning with practical experience. To this end, we encourage you to participate in a minimum of one internship during your time here.

Through our Internship Office, you have access to professional advisement by a number of qualified faculty and staff, including the marketplace and internship directors (the undergraduate directors serve in this capacity), marketplace and internship coordinator and communication internship assistant.

Our Internship Office is connected to over 100 organizations offering professional communication experience. We support your professional growth through the ongoing cultivation of marketplace opportunities related to your major and by providing you with invaluable resources and consultation in several areas:

  • Resume building
  • Interview preparation
  • Portfolio development
  • Professional leadership
  • Internship and career planning

As a complement to our professional services, we provide you with professional guidelines that shape your for-credit internship experience. These requirements serve to refine and enhance your professional development, making you an even more competitive candidate for future employment in your desired career or vocation.

Internship requirements include:

  • Completion of weekly time reports
  • Completion of two summary reports
  • Mid-term employer performance appraisal
  • Final employer performance appraisal
  • Completion of a final paper or portfolio project

Some of the organizations with which we have internship relationships are ALCOA, Bayer Corporation, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Penguins, Giant Eagle and Giant Eagle's Market District, Sargent Electric Company, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Chatham Baroque, the Michael P. Weber Learning Skills Center of Duquesne University, U.S. and state Senate offices, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, MARC USA, Ketchum Public Relations, Brunner and Mullen.

Recent placements have been at organizations such as:

  • 90.5 WESA Newsroom
  • Allegheny County Department of Human Services
  • Duquesne University Office of Alumni Relations
  • Duquesne University Office of University Advancement
  • I Made It! Marketing
  • Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
  • Pittsburgh Ballet Theater
  • Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership
  • UPMC
  • Wigle Whiskey

Lambda Pi Eta

In your junior year, if you have maintained an appropriately high GPA, you will be invited to join the national communication honor society. LPE members participate in service activities, invitation-only events and special marketplace opportunities.

Contact Us for More Information

Dr. Sarah DeIuliis