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Arts Internships

Saint Louis University Fine and Performing Arts students are offered a host of learning opportunities through internships.

Undergraduate students in the FPA programs of Art History, Music, Studio Art, and Theatre & Dance are strongly encouraged to take part in an internship during their college years. An internship during the semester or a summer can provide students with valuable experience to enhance classroom study at the University, to learn about possible jobs in the field, to make connections with other professionals, to hear about the many paths possible in their discipline, to rule out directions that are not enticing to them, and to find focus for their future choices. A guide to requesting an Experience can be found here.

What internship opportunities are there in St. Louis?

Our students take advantage of the active arts community at the University and in the surrounding St. Louis area. There are three museums on campus alone—the Historic Samuel Cupples House, the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art (MOCRA) and the Saint Louis University Museum of Art (SLUMA)—that offer students a chance to interact with the artists and artworks just a few steps away. The Art History program has a special internship related to SLUMA in particular called the Breidenbach Internship. For more information, visit the Art History program webpage.

In addition, we are within walking distance of the Fox Theatre, Powell Symphony Hall, and the Kranzberg Arts Foundation. Also in St. Louis, students have done engaging internships with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, the World Chess Hall of Fame, and the St. Louis Art Museum. See below for a list of more locations where our students have carried out internships.

What requirements are there for internships for credit?

The Fine and Performing Arts Department internship program allows students to earn course credit while gaining valuable professional experience as an intern at public and private institutions engaged in arts-related projects, often as the equivalent of a course in the major or minor. Depending on the amount of credit sought, interns must be able to devote the equivalent time of five to ten hours per week for a 14-week semester in an internship position jointly agreed upon by the student, a site sponsor, and the program director or internship coordinator.

Some of the FPA programs have their own requirements as well on timing and credit options, so be sure to discuss the topic with the program director or internship coordinator.

What are the internship protocols?

To take part in an internship, students must plan ahead, contacting the appropriate FPA program director or internship coordinator and the place where they wish to do an internship and completing the appropriate paperwork before the end of the drop/add period at the start of the relevant semester or summer term.

Internship work must occur in the same term as the registration for internship credit. Credit for internship work (prior or future) outside of the term of registration is not permitted.

In order to ensure the quality of the student learning experience and compliance with accreditation and Department of Labor requirements, undergraduate students must accomplish the following in order to be registered for an FPA internship in the College of Arts and Sciences (see internship protocols for the College of Arts and Sciences on the Policies and Procedures page).

To prepare for an internship, students will:

  • Work ahead of the start of the semester or summer term in which they carry out the internship.
  • Consider essential questions, such as what they would like to learn, as well as practical questions, like if their hours match with those of an institution with which they are seeking an internship.
  • Discuss their interests with a faculty member who is their major mentor and/or academic program director to determine how/if the internship can take the place of a course required for the Fine and Performing Arts major or minor.
  • Determine who will be their program sponsor from SLU. Depending on interests, this may be the major mentor, the program’s internship coordinator, or the program director.
  • Identify a site where they wish to conduct their internship and contact them. See the list below of locations where students have previously interned. 
  • Determine who will be their site sponsor to oversee the internship and communicate with them about the possibility of an internship.

The students will complete these administrative steps next:

  • Request an “Experience” in Handshake using the College of Arts and Sciences Experiential Learning Report Experience Type at least two weeks prior to the start of term (not later than the end of drop/add period for term). A guide to requesting an Experience can be found here.
  • Make sure that you communicate to your faculty advisor and site supervisor that they will be receiving a request to approve your Experience in Handshake. 
  • After your Experience has been approved in Handshake, you will be asked to complete the following forms using a digital document process via DocuSign:
    • The College of Arts and Sciences Learning Contract – Please complete the required fields in DocuSign. DocuSign will then route the form to your site supervisor and your faculty advisor for approval.
    • An Internship Acknowledgment of Risk and Release for elective internships


Once your contract and acknowledgment/release are completed in DocuSign, they will be forwarded to the Registrar and you will be enrolled by the Registrar in your internship course.

 

Does a student need to pay for internship credits?

To reduce some of the financial burden that can be incurred by students when taking an undergraduate internship course for credit, a modified tuition schedule for undergraduate credit-bearing internship courses ($150/cr. hr.) was created. These rates would apply only to internships courses that are not required as part of a degree program. These courses are usually coded as "3910" and "4910".

What are some possible internship sites?

Students at Saint Louis University have a plethora of opportunities for possible internships. Here is a select list of organizations, businesses, and institutions where past students have taken advantage of an internship:

At SLU:

  • Saint Louis University Museum of Art
  • Museum of Contemporary Religious Art
  • Cupples House

In St. Louis:

  • St. Louis Art Museum
  • Contemporary Art Museum
  • Pulitzer Arts Foundation
  • Link Auction House
  • Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis
  • Opera Theatre of St. Louis
  • Circus Flora
  • Black Rep Theatre
  • Campbell House Museum
  • National Blues Museum
  • World Chess Hall of Fame
  • Kranzberg Arts Foundation
  • Missouri History Museum
  • Fox Theatre
  • Powell Symphony Hall

Outside of St. Louis:

  • Art Institute of Chicago
  • National Gallery of Art (Washington D.C.)
  • Sotheby's Auction House
  • Nelson-Atkins Museum
What resources at SLU can help me seek out an internship?

In addition to the guidance of faculty, the Career Center at SLU is a great resource for internships, using the Handshake platform to make connections with SLU alumni and those interested in hiring SLU students and graduates. Please contact the Career Center, where a designated career counselor for the arts is available to help our students on their next steps. Contact Career Services at 314-977-2828 or career_services@slu.edu if you have any questions.