student internship info

What is an internship?
Why do students do internships?
Eligibility requirements and credit details
What qualifies as an internship for credit?
Paid vs unpaid
What time of year can I do an internship?
Deadlines to register an internship
Internship registration process
Registering an internship, not for credit

what is an internship?

• An internship is a form of immersive experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom and/or studio with practical application and skills development in a professional setting.
• Internships provide students with the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate student talent that may be suited for future opportunities with them.


why do students do internships?

• Internships provide students with first-hand professional experience that helps them build a strong resume, establish valuable connections to professionals and their networks, and offers exposure to career fields and job markets that can guide their decisions about what to pursue after graduation.


eligibility requirements and credit details

• Credit bearing Internships that are approved by the student’s department are taken for 3 credits for a minimum of 100 hours total.
• Summer internships require a minimum of six weeks involvement and a minimum of 100 hours total for 3 credits. Internships taken over the summer for credit will be included in the cumulative credit count for the upcoming year.
• Wintersession internships may be possible with academic department approval. These experiences last for five weeks and require a minimum of 100 hours for 3 credits. Some departments such as Apparel allow a 6-credit internship during Wintersession with approval in advance.
• May take a maximum of 6 internship credits toward their degree.
• Must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
• Are eligible to take a fall, spring or Wintersession internship once they have successfully completed their freshman year and may take their first summer internship after their sophomore year
• May take a maximum of 3 internship credits toward their graduate degree, except where exceeded by departmental requirements.
• Must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
• A summer Professional Internship (ARCH 2199) is required of all BArch and MArch candidates. Summer Internships are restricted to professional opportunities with a minimum of (8) weeks involvement of 35 hours per week or an equivalent breakdown of 280 total hours.

Additional information on internships for Architecture students
• International students MUST receive academic credit and apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) in order to legally participate in an internship in the United States. Students are urged to contact OISS and/or the Career Center about applying for an internship to meet CPT requirements.
• CPT must be approved before the student may begin work.

OISS Instructions on Applying for CPT

CPT Checklist for International Students Interning in the US


what qualifies as an internship for credit?

• Provide experiences that engage students in professional work.
• Facilitate growth and development of the student’s knowledge and skills that will compliment academic studio and classroom instruction.
• Provide intern supervision by a professional in the student's field.
• Virtual internships are rarely recommended. Experiences that provide exposure to the professional workplace are ideal.
• Internships may be eligible for academic credit when approved by the student’s academic department.
• Enrollment in an internship for credit requires approval of the student’s Internship Advisor/Department Head who will verify the experience for professional appropriateness.


paid vs unpaid

• These are internships that meet state requirements for minimum wage. Gaining academic credit is may be optional if you are being paid. Recent graduates, as well as students, are may be hired as paid interns.
• Under federal law, if a student is interning at a for-profit company and is unpaid, they will be required to receive academic credit for the experience. Credit is determined appropriate and granted solely by the student’s academic department, and is determined based on the educational merits of the internship offered.
• These internships typically offer stipends for travel or meals, Metro cards for transportation or a daily pay rate. These are not paid internships and do not offer any of the benefits or rights for interns in the workplace. If an internship is in the for-profit sector, these internships will typically require students to be registered for academic credit (like unpaid internships) under Federal Labor Laws.


what time of year can i do an internship?

• RISD students typically participate in internship during the summer (June, July and August) and during Wintersession (5 weeks in January and February).
• Students may work as part-time interns during fall and spring semesters if their class schedule allows. Students must also be enrolled in classes while participating in internships for credit during fall and spring semesters.


deadlines to register an internship

• Fall 2016: September 15, 2016
• Wintersession 2017: December 5, 2016
• Spring 2017: February 23, 2017
• Summer 2017: May 17, 2017
• ARCH 2199 2017: May 17, 2017
View the 2016-2017 Internship Timetable


internship registration process

• To register an internship for academic credit, students must complete the online internship registration form in ArtWorks. View the How to Register Your Internship Handout below for more details.
• The registration must be approved by the student's supervisor at the internship and the student's department before the student begins work.
• Please view the student/employer internship agreement below that defines the terms to be agreed upon for the internship.
• Evaluations must be completed by the Internship Supervisor and the student before internships can be graded for credit. View a sample Student Evaluation below. How to Register Your Internship in ArtWorks - Handout
Internship Agreement
Login to ArtWorks
Student Internship Evaluation


registering an internship, not for credit

• Department approval is not required for non-credit internships.
• The Career Center strongly advises students complete the online internship registration form in ArtWorks because it includes an internship agreement that is e-signed by the student and employer.
• The agreement clarifies student and employer expectations, student safety and termination of the internship if necessary. It serves as an effective reference point if there are issues or concerns that arise between the student and employer.

Internship Agreement