Graphic design students can gain valuable work experience and earn credit toward their degree by taking on an internship with a company or organization engaged with graphic design practice.
The Graphic Design program does not require an internship, but students can choose to earn either 3 or 6 hours of credit toward their Graphic Design elective requirements. To earn 3 hours of credit, students must work a minimum of 120 hours during the internship. 240 hours will earn 6 hours of credit. Students can work more hours on site than the minimum required for either 3 or 6 of credit.
When deciding how many credits to work toward, keep in mind that the Graphic Design curriculum requires 9 hours of Graphic Design electives. Students who earn hours of internship credit can only earn credit for one Graphic Design elective course.
When to go
The best time for a Graphic Design student to conduct an internship is the summer after their junior year or after completing specific coursework. At a minimum, students must have a GPA of 3.0 and have completed the following courses:
- Introduction to Graphic Design
- Typography I
- Typography II
- Idea Lab
We highly recommend that the following courses are also complete:
- Typography III
- Interaction Design I
If you wish to earn academic credit for your internship, first choose a site for your internship and apply. When choosing a site, look for one that will expected you to create and produce design work, and where you are under the direct supervision of a designer, art director or creative director. Once you have narrowed down your choices, meet with Mark Nystrom, the Graphic Design Program Coordinator, to discuss the internship, the type of work you will be doing and the application process. The approval process may take as long as month so start early. General advice about internships can be found at internships.appstate.edu.
While one site, learn more about your employer and their professional practice through interviews, observations and documentation. Following the internship, you will write a paper and design a book that documents the internship. Specific requirements can be found here.
Appalachian State students conducting internships are required to have liability insurance. See internships.appstate.edu/insurance for more information.