Design internships can be a valuable experience for Design students. A carefully planned internship enables students to expand their knowledge of the design field through the support and critical appraisal of experienced design professionals.
Finding a Design Internship
Internships are often listed on the national AIGA website. You might also review past AIGA design annuals to identify designers whose work you admire and write to them.
Getting Credit for Internships
Students may enroll in DES 495 (Undergraduate Internship for Credit) to receive credit for an design internship. Faculty sponsorship is required for enrollment in DES 495.
The Visual Communication Design faculty are willing to sponsor selected students for a maximum of 6 cumulative credits in DES 495, under the following conditions:
—The proposing student is a junior or senior in good academic standing in the Design program.
—The proposing student has submitted a written proposal for the internship at least 5 weeks in advance of the internship quarter.
—The internship does not exceed 15 hours per week.
—The internship is appropriately compensated.
—The proposing student agrees to give an public presentation of their internship experience.
—The proposing student agrees to write a one-page assessment of their internship experience. This assessment must be completed by Wednesday of finals week during the internship quarter.
Please submit an internship proposal to the Design faculty member you have asked to sponsor your internship. The proposal should consist of the official School of Art Internship Credit form, an unofficial transcript, and a letter from the employer on their official letterhead. The employer’s letter should:
—Describe the specific learning objectives of the internship. Internships that only introduce students to general design office conduct are insufficient for academic credit. Students should be assigned to specific design projects that broaden their knowledge of the field.
—Describe how the intern will be supervised. Interns should be assigned to a full-time professional who agrees to mentor the intern and oversee his/her activities. This supervisor is required to write a one-page evaluation of the student’s performance at the conclusion of the internship. Negative evaluations may result in lack of credit for DES 495.
—Describe the intern’s financial compensation and working hours. All faculty-sponsored internships must include a stipend for the student. To avoid interference with the student’s academic performance, the internship should not exceed 15 hours per week.