Professional Internship Program for Art

The Professional Internship Program is a formal experiential learning arrangement that is administered by the Center for Career Development. The Program offers students who apply and are accepted an hourly rate of $20.00 to participate in internships that would otherwise be unpaid. These include, but are not limited to, assisting professional artists and photographers in their studio practices, working at not-for-profit arts organizations and art galleries, acquiring skills in design and advertising firms, and assisting in film and video productions. Please see a sample list of internship sites here.

Mission, Vision, and Values Statement

Students must complete an application to be considered for the Program. Accepted students are expected to adhere to all requirements to participate in the Program.

The Professional Internship Program runs in two cycles: during the academic year (September – May) and during the summer (June – August).

Please review the following guidelines and eligibility requirements carefully.


  • All remote internships will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Students can intern in any field that interests them, including non-art-related areas. Nevertheless, the Program only supports unpaid internships.
  • We ask that students not intern with someone to whom they already have access or who already acts in a mentoring/teaching position to them, such as Cooper faculty or staff members.
  • Students are encouraged to seek unique and diverse internships that support their individual learning goals and enlarge their professional networks.
  • If a student is simultaneously interning at an additional unpaid internship site, the student will not be paid through the Program for the hours at the second internship site.
  • The internship experience must last at least one full semester or its equivalent.
  • The Program does not support short-term (less than 3 months) internships.
  • Interns may continue to work for more than one semester as long as the maximum stipend amount is not reached; however, they must meet with their internship site supervisor to reevaluate their responsibilities and learning objectives.

Applicant Eligibility

  • You must be a sophomore, junior or senior in the School of Art.
  • You must be a domestic student in good academic standing and enrolled full-time at the time of application.
  • Seniors and those who have not previously participated in the Program will take priority.
  • International students are not eligible for the Program.
  • Students who are on a leave of absence, studying abroad, foreign exchange are not eligible for the Program during that period; students who wish to participate during the summer must be enrolled full-time for the upcoming fall semester in order to be eligible.
  • Students on academic probation are not eligible for the Program.


Please contact the Center for Career Development with questions at

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.