Internship Policies

In many cases, students network for their own internship opportunities and the Career Development Coordinator compiles requests for interns from organizations and posts those opportunities through bulletin boards, email messages, and the web. A&D students in good academic standing are eligible to apply up to three internship credits toward graduation requirements. Students are registering for credit, and as such, are charged tuition for the credits. Credits may be applied to the semester in which they are earned OR the next semester for which the student is enrolled. When in doubt, ask the Career Development Coordinator for which semester you should apply the credits. The following credit for internship guidelines apply:

  • Students may earn one credit for each 50 hours of internship experience with a maximum of three credits applied toward graduation requirements. While students may have as many internship experiences as they wish, a MAXIMUM of three internship credits may be applied toward graduation requirements.
  • Grade is pass/fail only.
  • NO internship credits are granted retroactively.
  • The Internship Proposal Form must have student, site supervisor, and Career Development Coordinator signatures before an internship is undertaken. The proposal itself must address the following:
    • Educational goals
    • Tasks to be performed
    • Expected outcomes
    • How the internship furthers the student’s individual creative endeavors
  • The internship proposal must describe the educational benefits for the intern. Unpaid internships have further requirements based on the US Department of Labor and the National Association of Colleges and Employers guidelines.
  • The student’s and site supervisor’s signatures on the Form indicate a contractual agreement. The Career Development Coordinator’s signature indicates approval to pursue internship credit.
  • The completed, signed Form represents proof that the student intern will receive credit for the internship experience.
  • Students register for Internship (ARTDES 351) after they have been issued an over ride to do so. No over ride is given without first turning in the Internship Proposal and the Internship Proposal form.
  • At the end of the internship the student must submit a summary of the experience addressing what was initially proposed (educational goals, tasks performed, outcomes, furtherance of creative endeavors)
  • At the end of the internship the employer must submit the Internship Evaluation Form (letters of recommendation are NOT acceptable)
  • Internship credits count toward academic/experiential electives, not studio credit

More to keep in mind when proposing credit for an internship:

  • Students cannot receive internship credit for Work Study
  • In general, internship credit is non transferable
  • Be wary of any entity that asks you to pay for an internship placement: some may be on the level, others may not
  • A&D does not grant internship credit for “brand ambassador” positions
  • A&D may grant internship credit for “virtual internships” on a case by case basis
  • You must propose the internship BEFORE you start it in order to get credit
  • Final credit for the internship will not be granted until you have submitted your summary and your supervisor has submitted an evaluation

US Department of Labor and the National Association of Colleges and Employers Guidelines for Non-paid Internships

Credit may be earned whether the internship is paid or unpaid. However, if an internship is unpaid in a for profit business, then it is the expectation of the School of Art & Design that the following Federal and State guidelines and applicable laws will be observed by the employer:

  • The training, even though it includes actual operation of the employer’s facilities, is similar to training that would be provided in the educational environment.
  • The training primarily benefits the student (not the employer).
  • The intern does not solely carry out "routine" tasks.
  • The student does not displace regular employees, but works under the close observation of a regular employee.
  • The employer provides the training and derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the student.
  • Occasionally, operations may actually be impeded by the training.*
  • The student is not entitled to employment at the conclusion of the internship.
  • The employer and the student understand that the student is not entitled to wages.
  • The intern has basic protections in the work setting consistent with all laws (State and Federal), ethical considerations, and sound business practices

* - Although open to interpretation, this portion of the federal guidelines, as interpreted by the School of Art & Design, means that an internship is more a training/learning experience as opposed to employment, and must be predominantly for the benefit of the student and not the internship sponsor.

Not for profit organizations are generally exempt from the Federal Guidelines concerning whether an intern should be paid or unpaid.

For more information, please consult the NACE Position Statement on Internships.