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Last updated on Mar 21, 2024

Fine Arts: Fine Arts Internships (BFA)

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General Information

Internships are a great way for you to get hands-on, real-world experience that will foster your professional skills alongside your creative practice.

You can earn credit for an internship (Fine Arts, Individualized Major, and History of Art and Visual Culture majors) through the Fine Art Internship Course (FNART-3980), which satisfies a Studio Elective.

You are responsible for securing an internship with an individual or organization that has academic relevance and is enriching to the student’s creative practice. This is commonly done in your third year (often in the summer prior to your senior year), with approval from the Internship Coordinator.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of doing an internship?

  • Extend your educational and studio experience into the professional art world.
  • Learn skills through experience and mentorship that will lead to a productive, sustainable creative practice.
  • Contribute to a broad understanding of the values, skills, and commitments necessary for achieving success as a creative practitioner.

How will an internship advance my education?

  • An internship expands your educational and studio experience into the professional art or literary world, increasing your chances of finding a balance in making work and making a living.
  • Internships help grow your network of like-minded creative professionals and can help you envision a future for yourself in a creative career.
  • It also contributes to a broad understanding of the values, skills, and commitment that CCA students bring to the disciplines of visual art and visual studies.

When should I do an internship?

  • Students typically do internships in their junior year; however, you should try to gain professional work or mentorship experience early and often, beyond the internship class.
  • The more you explore and understand the professional work environment, the more you can leverage your learning and creation at CCA.

What are the requirements?

  • After securing an internship at an approved site, you must log 90 hours. The internship counts for 3 credits and is generally completed during the summer between junior and senior years.
  • All interns should be compensated through wages, stipends, or access to additional resources (e.g., studio space, use of equipment, travel/food).
  • Although some available internships currently posted are unpaid, this tendency is rapidly changing nationwide, and the CCA internship program is committed to helping you negotiate appropriate forms of compensation for your work.

How do I get my internship site approved?

You perform your own internship search using a variety of resources: industry websites and job boards, program suggestions, and the Office of Career Development:

Prior to starting work, you must obtain site approval from the program’s Internship Coordinator. Note: Early verification of the internship site is critical to obtaining credit for the internship, especially if the site is located outside of the United States.

To receive credit for internships located outside of the United States, obtaining site approval from the Internship Coordinator is required. International students must contact CCA ISS for instructions and requirements related to employment in the United States and abroad.

For a site to be approved, it must provide 90 hours of work that will take place during the 15-week semester (fall or spring) or over the summer.

A student may continue an internship at a site beyond the semester, but credit will only be given for completion of hours during the semester.

Any site, payment arrangement, or type of experience that falls outside of the requirements listed above must be approved by the internship coordinator prior to the start of any work.

How do I start the internship process?

To initiate the internship process, undergraduate students must first meet with their academic advisor, followed by meeting with their Internship Coordinator early in the spring or fall semester, prior to starting their internship search.

How do I register for the internship class?

Summer internships

  • When you register for fall semester during Priority Registration, those who wish to do an internship over the summer will register, in fall, for the Internship class (course number FNART 398-02). Contact your advisor for more information about registration.
  • If you wish to receive credit for an internship you have just completed but have not gone through the process correctly, you must contact the Internship Coordinator as soon as possible.
    Important: A $200 late fee may be charged for adding the internship course after the Add/Drop deadline.

Fall & Spring Internships

  • If you wish to do an internship during the fall or spring semesters, you need to register for the Internship class, course number FNART 398-02 during Priority Registration in the semester you intend to do the internship.
  • In the weeks leading up to Priority Registration, you are required to meet with your academic advisor to review your graduation plan and confirm you qualify to take the internship class. Once confirmed, the advisor initiates the internship process (see How Do I Start the Internship Process, above).
  • In addition, you are required to meet with the Internship Coordinator to review the internship process and requirements. Informational meetings are offered each semester. Contact the Internship Coordinator for additional information.

Required documentation prior to the internship

  • After an internship offer is made, you work with your site supervisor to complete the Internship Learning Agreement (ILA), this is how you will negotiate the terms, learning objectives, and expectations of the internship.
  • To receive internship credit, the Learning Contract must be submitted to the Internship Coordinator for site approval before starting the internship.
  • International students must additionally complete the CPT form and turn it in to ISAP, along with the internship offer letter, before work authorization can be granted.
    • Internship Learning Agreement (ILA)
    • CPT form (international students only)

Requirements during and after the internship

Midpoint Check-In

  • A quick check-in by email or phone will be conducted by a CCA representative with both the student and the internship supervisor to ensure the internship is going as expected.


  • Students will track their internship hours using the Internship Hours Log that they will turn in to the Internship Coordinator upon completion of the internship.
  • After you submit the Internship Hours Log to the internship coordinator, the program will send the you and your site supervisor a digital evaluation form. Submission of all these forms is required for successful completion of the internship course.
  • An email confirmation will be sent to your CCA email address confirming the evaluations have been sent and also when the completed evaluation is received by CCA.
  • If the Employer Evaluation is not received, you are responsible for following up with your employer to ensure it's completion before the deadline.

Contact the Internship Coordinator with questions about the process.

Project section or additional requirements

Class meetings: The Fine Arts Internship course meets three times as a class during the semester:

  • First meeting: At the start of the semester, you’ll discuss the syllabus, the midterm presentation, and answer internship questions.
  • Midterm meeting: You will present a short (5-10 images) PowerPoint presentation that documents your internship.
  • Final meeting: The class regroups at the end of the semester to discuss and reflect on overall experiences.

One-on-one meetings: Prior to the start of the internship, you are required to meet with the Internship Coordinator to discuss your internship opportunity and to evaluate your Learning Contract.