Internships in Art
Internships and fieldwork placements help you build the foundation for a career in the art world. Whether you’re an undergraduate or graduate student, an internship provides opportunities to explore academic concepts and career options while gaining practical experience.
Undergraduate students in Studio Art and Master’s students in Costume Studies and Visual Arts Administration participate in internships. Master’s students in Art Education participate in a fieldwork placement known as student teaching. Master’s students in Art Therapy participate in a clinical fieldwork placement.
We nurture long-standing relationships with many museums, galleries, auction houses, magazines, design firms, and fashion designers for internships as well as with schools and health care organizations for fieldwork placements. Our students are highly sought after as interns for their abilities and training. Many of our interns go on to work within the same organizations in which they interned.
Each semester, more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students in our department complete an internship or fieldwork placement.
Students enroll in a variable credit internship course, with required hours per credit, for which a grade is given. A typical 3-credit placement is about 2-3 days per week, amounting to a total of 135 hours over the course of an academic semester. Coursework typically includes an extensive journal recording your internship experiences, a research paper on the organization, a summation paper, and regular meetings with the Internships and Graduate Professions Advisor. Requirements for Art Education and Art Therapy vary, so be sure to check those program descriptions. Fieldwork placements are handled by coordinators in those programs.
An internship, student teaching or fieldwork placement is vocational training in a workplace environment and supports the student’s educational and career goals. Interns, student teachers, and fieldwork students may not displace regular employees but work under their close supervision. Federal guidelines can be found on the Department of Labor website. Additionally, all such placements must be ethical and free of conflict of interest.
Internships in Art is a variable credit course, with required hours per credit, for which a grade is administered. Internships are suited to a student’s interests and needs and provide a vital link to the New York art world while helping students focus her or his career goals.
Coursework for Internships in Art includes an extensive journal of your internship experience, a research paper on the organization, a summation paper and regular meetings with the Internships and Grants Administrator. Additionally, your internship sponsor will provide us with an evaluation of your performance as part of your final grade. Please see Julia Olson for a complete syllabus.
Do not start an internship without the prior approval of the Internships and Grants Administrator before the drop/add deadline of the semester in which you are interning or it will not count toward your degree.
Finding Internship Positions
Ideally, an internship is suited to your interests and needs and will provide many wonderful connections while helping you narrow down your goals for a career. Here are some things to help you think about your future internships:
- Large organizations such as museums or established non-profits have internship criteria and information on their websites. If you are interested in interning at MoMA, for example, plan at least a semester ahead of time. If you are interested in a smaller non-profit like Artists Space, you should still look at their website for information. Always check any organization’s website for the current deadlines and contact information. Larger organizations and companies such as Viacom will handle internships through their Human Resources Department.
- Galleries are the exception to this rule as they do not list any of this information on their websites and do not work as far in advance as a museum or large company might. To secure a gallery internship it is recommended that you think about what type of artwork or gallery you are interested in, what part of the city you want to be in and the Internships and Grants Administrator can help you navigate the choices. You can always contact a gallery to request an internship. Most are eager to sponsor an intern but not always proactive about soliciting applications. See the Resources listing below.
Applying for an Internship Position
Feel free to meet with the Internship Coordinator for feedback on your cover letter and resume before applying to an internship as well as to prepare for an interview. You may set up an Internships in Art appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Business Cards for Students
Did you know that undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in NYU Steinhardt may order (for a fee) business cards printed with the School logo, student email address/phone number, graduation month/year, etc. The cards are useful in job searches, in informational interviews, and at informal gatherings.
Other Practical Considerations:
- If sponsors require a letter verifying that you are registered for the course Internships in Art and will receive credit, please contact the Internships and Graduate Professions Advisor.
- Apply for the NYU Wasserman Funded Internship Award offered every semester. The purpose of this $1,000 award is to provide financial assistance to students pursuing unpaid internships in the arts, education, public service and other not-for-profits. The deadlines and guidelines for applying are found on the Wasserman website.
- International students must apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) via the NYU Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) to receive work authorization and especially to receive any form of payment including hourly wage, travel reimbursement, stipend, etc.
- Internships may be paid or unpaid. You may earn academic credit for paid internships. It is important to note that sponsoring organizations cannot offer academic credit as that is part of your degree completion through NYU and not overseen by outside entities.
Majors in Studio Art, Costume Studies, and Visual Arts Administration receive weekly emails through the Department listserv with current Internships and Jobs in the Arts. These are people that have contacted us and these tend to be for the immediate future. These emails will provide some wonderful opportunities but by no means are they the only way to find an internship. Use your imagination and meet with the Internships and Grants Administrator for ideas. Visit the selected listing of internship sponsors on our website.
You can find many helpful websites that list available internships on our Employment Resources website.