Frequently Asked Questions
What is an internship?
It’s important to know how an internship differs from a job. An internship is an educational opportunity that allows you to gain practical hands-on work experience under the supervision of professional artists and designers and occurs off-campus in a professional work environment. These internships are completed during a set time frame with clearly defined learning objectives and goals that relate to your professional goals and academic coursework.
A six-month freelancing contract with a company is a job, and not an internship. Similarly, working remotely to design a website for a small company is not an internship.
I am studying on an F-1 Visa. Am I eligible to complete an internship?
Yes! After two full-time semesters at ArtCenter, students studying on an F-1 visa are eligible to intern through Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Students on F-1 visas should meet with the International Student Advisors in the Center for the Student Experience (CSE) to confirm their eligibility. If your internship takes place in a term you are required to be enrolled full-time, you have the option to register for 6 units of internship credit and will need to register for 6 more units (either additional classes, independent study, etc.) to maintain your full-time status. If you are working in the United States, you must receive CPT authorization. If your internship is located outside the United States, you will not need CPT authorization.
Can I complete a remote internship?
Not for school credit. In order for an internship to qualify for credit, you must be working on-site alongside the other staff at the company/studio. One of the main benefits of an internship is being able to work in a professional, collaborative environment with direct supervision. This allows you to experience working on a team and the dynamics of a professional workplace. It also gives you the opportunity to practice interpersonal skills, professionalism, and communication skills where you can get immediate feedback (verbal and non-verbal).
Can I take a term off to do an internship?
If you do not need to be enrolled full time, and your internship is paid, you can take a term off to do an internship. You must complete a Leave of Absence form and submit it to Enrollment Services by the end of the Break Week 3 (or Break Week 4 if it’s the break before Spring term starts). Note that this is a full week before the deadline to register an internship for credit.
I am an undergraduate student with less than 70 units but want to receive credit for my internship. What are my options?
If you have less than 70 units but would like credit for your internship, you will need to submit a petition along with your Internship Record. See Registering an Internship For Credit for more information regarding the Petition Process. Graduate students need 30 units to receive credit.
Should I be paid for my internship?
Yes. ArtCenter strongly believes that interns should be paid for their work. Career and Professional Development only posts paid internships on ArtCenter Connect, though exceptions are sometimes made for non-profit organizations. There may be a few cases where you might choose to accept an unpaid internship:
You want to work in a field that routinely does not pay interns. Be aware that the employer will require you to get school credit for your internship.
You want to work in a country where government regulations mean that interns, particularly foreign interns, may not be paid.
You want to work for a non-profit organization that is not able to pay interns. Be aware that the organization will require you to get school credit for your internship.
How much should I be paid for my internship?
That’s difficult to answer. The pay rate depends on the industry, the company, the job description for the internship, the cost of living of the internship location, as well as your previous experience and skills. Internships posted on ArtCenter Connect must pay at least minimum wage, but that is only a minimum threshold. (Internships at non-profit organizations or international internships that pay less or are unpaid may be posted.)
The company says the internship is unpaid if I can get school credit, but I know they pay interns who are not able to get school credit. What should I do?Please contact Career and Professional Development:
- Phone number: 626-396-2320
- Email: email@example.com
- Location: Hillside Campus Room 287 (across from the Library)
Do I have to receive credit for an internship?
Generally, this is your choice, though there are certain situations where you may be required to receive credit. You might be required to receive credit if
Your department has internship credit embedded within the program.
You are completing an unpaid internship. The employer will require you receive credit in order to hire you.
You are studying on an F-1 visa, and you need to be enrolled full-time for the term you are on internship.
Why should I register for academic credit, if I don’t need it for one of the reasons listed above?
Requesting credit for your internship is a great way to supplement what you’re learning in the classroom with real-world experience. It may allow you to replace a class you would otherwise need to take. Check with your department to make sure the internship you are considering would help you complete your degree requirements. Career and Professional Development also stays in contact through the term with students on for-credit internships and their employers. While we are here to help all students on internships, we are able to assist best with for-credit internships.
Can I receive credit for a paid internship?
Yes. Most internships, especially those listed on ArtCenter Connect, are paid opportunities and are eligible for credit.
If I didn’t find the internship on ArtCenter Connect, can I still receive credit?
Yes. As long as the internship meets the requirements. See Registering an Internship For Credit for internship requirements.
Do I have to pay for internship credit?
Yes. Internship credit is charged by unit of credit you are requesting. For example: if you are only completing an internship for either 3 or 6 units and are not taking any other classes, you only pay for those 3 or 6 units. Please contact Enrollment Services for any questions related to cost of credit.
What courses does internship credit fulfill?
As mentioned above, some departments may have internship credit embedded within the program so your internship will fulfill that course. If your department does not have internship credit embedded in it, you will meet with your Department Chair to discuss the course(s) your internship can waive. Typically internships fulfill studio electives.
Registration & Approval
If I missed the Week 1 registration deadline, what should I do?
The deadline to register your internship for credit is always the Friday of Week 1 of the term of your internship. It is important to plan ahead and be aware of all deadlines. Students who miss the deadline have the option to submit a petition and ask for an exception to this policy, however, it is not guaranteed that your petition will be approved. See Registering an Internship For Credit for more information regarding the Petition Process.
How long does the approval process take?
The time for approval depends on several factors, including whether or not the you have a completed form with all of the required information. The approval process through ArtCenter Connect requires several steps, and even a very quick approval may take 2-3 days. We advise you to begin the registration process at least 2 weeks in advance of the registration deadline (Friday, Week 1 of the Internship Term). Visit the Registering an Internship For Credit page for details on how to move the process along quickly.
What if I start working before my internship registration is approved?
We advise students to confirm that an internship is eligible for credit prior to starting work. If an internship does not meet the criteria, you will not be able to receive credit. This would be especially problematic if your internship site requires you to get academic credit for the internship, or if you are studying on an F-1 visa and need to be enrolled full time for the term.
What if I experience a problem at my internship?
If you experience any problems or have concerns about your internship, contact Lisa Santacroce in Career and Professional Development immediately (Lisa.Santacroce@artcenter.edu). Whether you need advice on how to work through an issue yourself, or need us to intervene on your behalf, we are available to support you. We can help you navigate any challenges in a professional manner so as not to damage your reputation or the reputation of the College.
What if I need to discontinue my internship before my agreed upon end date?
Always consult with Career and Professional Development first before you stop attending your internship. The internship is registered on your degree audit and includes grading requirements. If you leave your internship without notifying CPD, you risk receiving an Unsatisfactory grade and not receiving the credit you paid for.
What happens if my internship ends after the grading deadline?
You must still complete the grading requirements by the Week 13 deadline even if you are scheduled to continue working at your internship after the deadline. Your hour log, and both evaluations (one from you and one from your supervisor) must all be completed by the end of the term so that you can receive the credit you requested for your internship.
What if my internship ends after the term ends?
It is fine to continue working past the end of the term. CPD only counts the hours you complete at your internship that fall within the academic term dates. And if you are completing the internship for credit, all grading requirements must be submitted by the Week 13 deadline.