The purpose of CCA's Graphic Design internship program is to provide level 4 (or higher) students with a grounded, real-world experience in a professional design environment under the supervision of an experienced designer.

Successful careers commonly begin with an internship that relates to a student's career path. Employers look at whether a prospective student has interned, and this often can be a deciding factor in who is offered the job.

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While the role of an intern is humble in nature, each student is exposed to the daily processes involved in running a design firm:

  • Project management
  • Client relations
  • Research
  • Collaboration with photographers, illustrators, and writers
  • Design presentations
  • Production of print, motions, and/or web-based graphics
  • Vendor selection and coordination


CCA’s Graphic Design internship program is only open to students currently enrolled at California College of the Arts. To be eligible, students must have successfully completed all required Level 3 courses at CCA. (Students from other institutions are not eligible.)

Students who intern at an approved site before that they complete their required Level 3 courses may not use the experience for credit.

After securing an intern position at an approved internship site, students must log a minimum of 225 hours at the site.

Compensation is a mandatory requirement of our internship program. Unpaid internships tend to devalue the contributions of our students; beyond school, unpaid work is not a sustainable model for professional graphic designers.

We require our students be paid at least $11 per hour (preferably between $12 and $15 an hour). We discourage our students from working at sites that are either unwilling or unable to provide adequate monetary compensation.

At the conclusion of the internship, the employer is required to review the intern’s performance by completing an evaluation form. That form, along with the student’s evaluation of the internship site and a signed copy of the hours log, must be submitted to the graphic design program manager.

The student will not receive a passing grade (and credit) for their internship until all forms have been submitted.

Students will be periodically contacted to provide them with information regarding the internship program and updates on employment opportunities. The internship coordinator is also available for in-person consultation by appointment.


To register for a CCA internship, you must complete the internship registration form available in the Academic Affairs Office. This form requires the signatures of both your internship site supervisor and the Graphic Design internship coordinator, so be sure to leave yourself enough time to get those signatures before the registration deadline.

You may register for an internship through the last day of the add/drop period each semester. A $200 late fee applies for adding an internship after the add/drop deadline.

If you have not completed your internship by the end of the semester in which you are registered, you will be given an incomplete (grade E). If you have not filed the necessary paperwork for the internship by the end of the following semester and have not been granted an extension, your grade will be recorded as an F.

Note: All international students must obtain work authorization before beginning any internship or off-campus employment.
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