Graphic Design

Practical Experience

To graduate with a BFA in Graphic Design, students are required to either participate in the Rome Program or complete an internship. An internship typically is done during the summer between your junior and senior years, although some students choose to have an internship earlier or to complete multiple internships.

Internships are a great way to learn more about an organization or industry and develop valuable skills for use later in your education and career. Many employers prefer to hire graduates who have internship experience, which significantly reduces the amount of on-the-job training required.

Students in the Graphic Design Program have interned everywhere from Ames and Des Moines to Minneapolis, Boston, and even London. Employers have ranged from small design firms to newspapers to large advertising agencies. The College of Design has internship coordinators and a career services coordinator to help with the internship search and application process.

An internship for credit must meet the following basic requirements: 320 hours over approximately eight weeks (when taken in the summer), take place on-site at a sponsor's place of business, and be performed under the direction and guidance of another designer, art director, or similar. For full details, please read the Summer GD Internship contract (PDF) and the most commonly asked questions (PDF). Internship coordinators for the Graphic Design Program are Paul Bruski and Paula Curran.