The first thing to remember about internships is that no matter where you are working, it is a real job. It is easy to think that because it only lasts a short time, or maybe is only a part time job, that it is okay to slack off. This is not true at all because companies often offer a full-time job to their interns. Think of this as a tryout for a full time job once you graduate!

Internships give The Art Institute students the opportunity to apply classroom instructions to real-world experiences while earning academic credit. Most Art Institutes programs require a minimum of 99-110 hours of internship. Any internship for credit must be approved by the student’s Academic Director in order for class credit to be obtained. The Office of Career Services and Student Affairs partners with employers in all majors for students who need assistance in locating internship opportunities. Students who locate Internships on their own must inform Student Services and their Academic Director to ensure eligibility.

Internships are short-term, supervised work experiences related to a student’s degree field, for which the student may earn academic credit. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh does not assign nor find internships for students. We support the student’s search for this opportunity. Ultimately, it is the student who must obtain the internship.

Internships provide you an opportunity to experiment and pursue careers that match your academic and personal interests. There are many benefits to completing an internship including the development of strong teamwork skills balanced with the exercise of individual responsibility, the opportunity to experiment with jobs that match academics and personal interests, and the chance to develop industry-specific abilities. Internships also increase the likelihood of building professional networking contacts and mentoring relationships. Internships can help students become viable, experienced job applicants when seeking employment after graduation.


  • Paid or unpaid have the same experience value
  • An edge in the job market
  • Assistance with decision-making
  • More likely to be be considered for full-time job offers
  • Try out different types of companies
  • Doing multiple internships can give you broader experience
  • Gain references
  • Networking opportunities
  • Connecting your coursework with real world experience
  • Developing skills


  • Searching for an internship is like searching for a job. Check with your academic department first to see if you can do an internship for academic credit
  • Check out the Job Board under the heading “Internships” for the newest postings
  • Many companies have internship programs and list them on their website. Be aware that many internship programs have early deadlines
  • Have an updated version of your resume, cover letter, and link to your portfolio for when you apply to internships

Intern Responsibilities:

  • Each student should verify eligibility with their Academic Director
  • Students are required to submit an internship agreement to the Academic Director prior to class enrollment.
  • Interns must be enrolled in the internship class to receive course credit.
  • Interns will be prepared to meet the requirements expected of the position (i.e. skill level and schedule)
  • The intern must abide by the code of conduct and mission of the organization.
  • Each intern is expected to be timely, efficient, and respectful.
  • Interns are to work a total of 99-110 hours during the designated quarter (depending on degree)
  • 99 hours of work over an 11 week quarter (approximately 9 hours per week). It is recommended that full time student work no more than 15-20 hours per week to responsibly manage their class schedule
  • Supervision and access to equipment/hardware/software at internship site in order to fulfill internship duties
  • Experience relevant to the student’s program of study, utilizing the skills and competencies of the respective program
  • During the internship, the Supervisor will be expected to provide training to the intern and approve the regular log of internship hours worked. The Supervisor will also be required to complete a midterm and final internship evaluation for the intern

Mentor/Employer Responsibilities:

  • The mentor/employer will expose the student to as many aspects of the work environment as possible
  •  Each mentor/employer will be asked to complete a final evaluation report
  • Candid feedback on the student progress will be encouraged and expected
  • The mentor/employer must have an established location of business (interns are not permitted to work from home studios/offices)
  • The intern must work from their place of employment at least once weekly


  • Paid or unpaid? Review the guideline from the Wage and Hour Division
  • Pay is determined by the mentor/employer and intern (such as an hourly rate or a stipend)
  • The mentor/employer is to provide guidance and supervision of the student activities on a daily basis
  • In order to do this effectively, the student must have a mentor/employer with the industry experience directly related to the student’s program of study.

Here are some great online internship resources to explore:

Internship Search:

Simply Hired
Career Rookie
Creative Interns
Internship Programs

*Art Institute of Pittsburgh Job Board*

Internship Information by Program

For more information, contact:

Robert Mills