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An internship provides a student an opportunity to gain professional experience in their particular major or discipline. The Department of Design believes that quality internships provide an invaluable stepping-stone towards professional practice and create continuity within the design profession. We recognize an internship as an important part of a student's education to apply design skills acquired in school to real-world projects, collaborate with professionals, gain insight into the professional world of design, and to test-drive a particular working environment where the student may hope to land a full-time job.

Internships vary in their duration and compensation. Internships typically last for a few months, a semester and/or a summer. Students may obtain a paid or unpaid internship. However, the Department of Design does not encourage students to take unpaid internships. The student should research their prospective employer’s policies prior to applying.

If a paid internship is proposed, the student should request the rate of pay and any other benefits prior to beginning. It is the student’s responsibility – with input from their advisor – to determine whether they should pursue a paid or unpaid internship.

Students must be junior level or higher standing in their major. A faculty advisor within the student’s area of study must approve all internships. Working with a faculty advisor the student must obtain/secure the internship and complete internship agreement form and any additional requirements from the student's discipline.

Internships are pass/fail (S/U). Every 40 hours worked is equal to 1 credit hour of internship. To gain 3 hours of credit the student must have worked 120 hours. (The credit can be retroactive, i.e. work in the summer, and enroll for credit in the fall semester). Students can get paid and get school credit. It is not an either/or scenario. An internship can be repeated for credit. Up to 6 hours.

Final documentation requirements vary depending on the student's area of study and will be specified by the faculty advisor. Generally, the department will request from the employer a written outline of the student’s responsibilities/duties, an evaluation of the student's performance and/ or the completion of a short survey.  From the student; a reflective summary about the experience, a log of hours, and examples of work.

At the end of your internship, please retain permission from your employer to show your project(s) online and/or in a printed portfolio. In all cases when referring to the work done be clear about the name of the employer, creative leadership, and your role.

Please contact a faculty member in your area or for further details and enrollment permission to ADS 531.

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