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Build your experience

Internships can be a great way to build experience in your chosen field. Internships you’d like to have registered for credit must be registered and processed through Handshake. Please be aware that internship processing and approvals typically take about ten business days after you have submitted all required documentation. Retroactive internship requests for credit cannot be approved.  Additional laws, rules, and regulations can be found here.

Summer Internship Drop-in Sessions


  1:00 PM - 2:00 PM (Arizona Time)

   1 hour 

   Virtual Online


Register your internship for credit


Before submitting your internship experience, please read all directions carefully and in detail.


Internships integrate knowledge and learning from the classroom into practical applications with hands-on experience. Internships go by many names like experiential learning, externship, co-op, apprenticeship, and more. Internships are typically short-term employment or project-based learning opportunities. Interns should be supervised by an expert in their field. Internship job-duties should be related to the field of study or career goals.  Interns should be learning new skills relevant to their career field, rather than merely performing remedial tasks around the office.

Internship credit is based on the total number of hours included in your offer letter or scope of work document. 45 working hours is worth 1 academic credit. Please make sure your registered internship hourly commitment aligns with the number of credits for which you have registered. Some courses have a minimum, maximum, or specific set of credit hour requirements. Speak with your faculty or academic advisor if you have questions.


Internship Credit by Hours Worked In Enrolled Semester

You can receive 1 academic credit hour for every 45 hours worked within your internship. Please see below for the estimated weekly internship hours based on the number of enrolled credit hours. We have included estimates below to help plan your internship hours.


  • 1 Credit Hour is 45 hours a semester. For a 16 week course, that averages to 2.8 hours a week. For an 8 week course, that averages to around 5.6 hours a week.
  • 2 Credit Hours is 90 hours a semester. For a 16 week course, that averages to 5.6 hours a week. For an 8 week course, that averages to around 11.25 hours a week.
  • 3 Credit Hours is 135 hours a semester. For a 16 week course, that averages to 8.4 hours a week. For an 8 week course, that averages to around 16.8 hours a week.


Paid internships and Internships in Places of Previous Employment

Students may be paid for an internship and are encouraged to seek out paid opportunities, but they may not receive internship credit for their full-time or part-time ongoing job unless the internship has clearly defined learning objectives outside of their regular duties. If you are applying for internship credit at an organization where you are regularly employed, indicate in the application and learning objectives how the internship work hours and duties exceed the normal job requirements within the sponsoring organization and please ensure that you have a different supervisor from your regular job duties. The internship may only be approved by faculty.


Before starting an internship, consider the following topics:

  • Am I required to get an internship for credit? Some programs offer credit for internships and some do not. But, you can still pursue an internship even if it is not for academic credit in order to gain valuable experience. Just make sure to tell your employer ahead of time if you are seeking academic credit or learning experience.
  • Is this internship paid or unpaid? It is a common misconception that internships are unpaid. Many internships can be both for pay and for credit! Arts and design students are highly qualified creatives so we strongly encourage you to seek out internships and experiential learning opportunities that properly compensate you for your time.
  • What is your purpose for getting an internship? Take some time to think about your personal academic, professional, and creative learning objectives. Does this particular experience support your learning? How will this internship further your personal and professional goals? What do you want to achieve? These will all be important questions to ask yourself throughout your internship experience.
  • What do you want to experience during an internship and how can you find the right internship for you? The objective of internships is to support learners in earning academic credit for experiential learning activities under the supervision of a faculty member or site supervisor, and in an educational context. As part of the process, you will articulate how career concepts and your coursework relate to the internship experience as well as how your internship experience applies to your future career trajectories and aspirations. Finding the "right" internship is all about exploring your unique aspirations, milestones, and goals for your creative journey.
  • How do I spot scams and protect myself against fraudulent internships? If you ever have questions about an opportunity, please contact Creative Career Services. We are more than happy to investigate or support you in your full internship process.

Ten reasons to intern

  1. Personal and professional development - As you discover and reinforce skills, knowledge and abilities in a new environment, you expand your personal and professional development.

  2. Academic credit - You can receive upper division academic credit. The number of credit hours received is based on the number of work hours required for the internship.

  3. Hands-on experience - Interning helps with career development, which enables you to explore interests and employment possibilities in a work setting.

  4. Career development - Working an internship helps your professional and 'in office' skills grow and develop.

  5. Networking opportunities - Assists with employment networking opportunities allowing you to meet and connect with potential employers in your field of study.

  6. Intellectual development - Expands your intellectual development by taking what you have learned in class and applying it to real-world experiences.

  7. Ethical development - As you face or observe the challenges inherent in making decisions for complex situations, you further your ethical development.

  8. Understand and value organizational culture - You will interact with others in your field, a process that will help you better understand and value organizational culture.

  9. Gain confidence and experience - You will gain confidence and experience and further validate you are on the best career path for you.

  10. A distinct advantage - Your work experience will give you a distinct advantage when conducting a job search upon graduation.

  1. Take the “Be Internship Ready” course to learn tips and strategies for finding internships.

  2. Handshake is a great place to start looking for internships. Use keyword search terms and filters to your advantage to focus or expand your search.

  3. Schedule a Creative Career Advising appointment for assistance.

  4. Use our Industry Overview Packets to find common job boards specific to your creative discipline, career interests, or field of study.

  5. Use your network. Speak with your faculty, advisors, classmates, alumni, and other people in your network to hear what they recommend.

All students are strongly encouraged to pursue internship opportunities and apply for academic credit through their academic unit. Your faculty members are great resources to tap when starting your internship search. You can also speak with your academic advisor for suggestions and use the links on this page for guidance.

Students in the following concentrations/ majors are required to complete an internship program for credit as part of their curriculum.

Required Non-Clinical Internships

  • BA in the Arts
  • Fashion
  • Graphic Design
  • Industrial Design
  • Interior Design
  • Landscape Architecture

Required Clinical Internships*

  • Art (Art Education)
  • Dance (Dance Education)
  • Music Learning and Teaching
  • Music Therapy

*Clinical internships and practicum placements for Art Education, Dance Education, Music Learning and Teaching, and Music Therapy are not overseen by Creative Career Services. Please work directly with your faculty advisor to learn more about practicums and clinical internships.

Students majoring in other disciplines at the Herberger Institute are not required but still highly encouraged to seek an internship. We suggest you discuss with your academic advisor or faculty to see how an internship might work best with your academic degree program.

Please note: You cannot begin to work at your internship without CPT/Pre-OPT authorization. CPT approval takes approximately 10 business days and Pre-OPT is suggested to apply at least 100 days prior to the start of work.

It is recommended that all international students speak with an International Students and Scholar Center (ISSC) advisor before applying to internships or enrolling in an internship course. F-1 students are required to speak with an academic advisor and an ISSC advisor prior to starting an internship.

  • If your academic program requires an internship for credit, you must request a CPT (Curricular Practical Training).
  • If the internship is not for credit but is directly related to your field of study and allows you to gain off-campus work experience, you will need to request a Pre-OPT. The process for Pre-OPT can take up to 100 days so speak with an ISSC advisor as soon as possible.
  • F-1 students who are completing a degree program can also gain experience off-campus through volunteering or as an unpaid intern only when there is no compensation of any kind and the position does not violate any U.S or state labor laws.

Schedule a Creative Careers Advising appointment on Handshake

Visit the Career Advising page and Resume and Application Materials page for more resources focused on finding, applying, and interviewing for various opportunities

For these internships, you will work with the Global Education Office to register for the appropriate credit for your international or global virtual program experience. If you would like to count this internship for an internship for your major, send your GEO Internship Coordinator Review Form to

Note: Internships facilitated through the Global Education Office (GEO) do NOT have to be registered through Handshake. A creative career staff member will reach out to the faculty for your major to determine whether or not this experience is applicable to your field of study or if alternative credit may be pursued. Please keep in mind, final faculty/departmental credit approval may not be provided until placement and job duties are confirmed.

Questions?  Email for support.