Graphic Design Internship FAQs


What is the purpose of the required internship?

The internship is an opportunity to work in a professional environment under the guidance of design professionals. It is a transition step between your education and your professional career.


When should I do my internship?

Graphic design majors who have successfully completed GDes 3352 are eligible to do the internship required by the degree program. You may complete your internship during fall or spring semester or during the summer term.

Note: Your faculty advisor may not be on campus in the summer, so you will need to register for your summer internship with the department head and make arrangements for submitting your internship documentation materials to the department head by the last day of the summer term. You may also register for summer internship credit for the following fall term. Please contact your faculty advisor with any questions regarding summer internships.


Where should I do my internship?

Consider your career goals when thinking about finding an internship. Meet with your faculty advisor to discuss possibilities for internships that will provide you with the experiences you need to succeed in your career. You might work in a design firm, an advertising agency, or an in-house design group within a company or institution. You might choose to focus on specific areas such as web design, publication design, or exhibit design. Our goal is for you to work with design professionals; therefore, typical freelance jobs might not meet the internship criteria. Your search for an internship will be much like a job search, and you want to find a position that will be appropriate for your interests and abilities.

Once you have an internship offer, email or meet with your faculty advisor to explain the scope of the work. Your faculty advisor will let you know if the position will fulfill the internship criteria. If approved, you may proceed to complete the internship Experience Agreement in GoldPASS.


How do I find a site for an internship?

It is your responsibility to find an internship. Your first step should be to meet with a career counselor in Career and Internship Services (198 McNeal Hall or 411 Bruininks Hall). Internship postings are listed in GoldPASS, although students frequently find an internship by contacting a work site directly to inquire about internship possibilities.


Who will be my faculty internship supervisor?

Your departmental faculty advisor will serve as your internship faculty supervisor. Refer to your APAS if you do not know who your faculty advisor is. Note: The terms faculty advisor and faculty supervisor are used interchangeably.


How do I get credit for the internship?

  • Complete the Internship Experience Agreement (Refer to the instructions for completing the Internship Experience Agreement.)
  • Enroll in GDes 4196, being sure to select the section assigned to your faculty advisor.
  • While you may select to complete 1-3 credits for your required internship, the graphic design program strongly recommends a 3-credit internship in order to give you the most experience in the work environment.
  • For each academic credit, a minimum of 45 hours of work is expected, but you should be aware that most internship positions will involve more than the minimum 45 hours per credit.
  • The internship grade base is S/N. A grade of “I” (Incomplete) will be assigned until you have turned in all the required materials to your faculty advisor.


Do I need to submit any documents during or after my internship?

Yes, during your internship you will need to gather/create the following documentation to submit upon completing the internship. You will be prompted to note these required documents when you complete the Internship Experience Agreement.

During your internship:  

  • Keep a journal that describes your daily and/or weekly activities.
  • Keep examples of work you produced.
  • Check in with your faculty advisor at the mid-point of your internship.

At the end of your internship:

  • Write a 1-2 page synthesis paper that (a) describes your internship and how you met your learning goals and (b) relates the internship experience to your design education (e.g., In what ways did you use what you learned in school?
  • What did you learn at the internship that you could not learn in a classroom setting?)
  • Request a letter of evaluation from your internship site supervisor.

Upon completion of your internship hours, submit the required internship documentation to your faculty advisor. Once your faculty advisor has received and reviewed all required documentation, they will assign a grade.


Are there any funding opportunities for my internship?

You may apply for an internship scholarship through the College of Design. Awards of up to $500 are available to students in the Department of Design, Housing and Apparel who are completing paid or unpaid internships. Applications are available online