All undergraduate students in the School of Visual Communication Design are required to complete 300 hours of internship before graduation.

Most design and illustration internships are paid positions with private businesses, individuals, organizations and government entities. Over the last 30 years, the school has forged hundreds of local and national relationships with some of the most prominent businesses in Cleveland, Columbus, Chicago, San Francisco and New York. In addition to internships on the Kent State campus, other internships are available locally in Kent, Ravenna, Akron, Youngstown, other Ohio cities and out of state.

For a listing of our most recent employers seeking interns, please email School of VCD Internship Coordinator Kathy McConaughy

Download the current VCD Internship Packet

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is the purpose of internship?

The purpose of an internship is to place a current student into a real world work environment before graduation. An internship allows the student to work with professionals in a professional environment while still taking classes.

Because the intent of the internship is to allow the student the opportunity to work with professionals in a professional situation, the following work situations will not be considered internships:

  • Any job in which the student is the sole designer
  • Any job in which the student is not under the direct supervision of a professional in the field 
  • such as creative director, art director or senior designer
  • Freelance design

The following jobs on the KSU campus can count towards internship credit:

  • Glyphix Studio
  • IdeaBase
  • KSU Alumni Association Magazine
  • University Publications (Uhuru, The Burr, Fusion, etc.)
  • The University Press
  • University Marketing and Communications
  • Departmental/School/College design staff
  • Signum

Note: Other jobs on the KSU campus will be considered for internship credits on a case-by-case basis.

In addition to internships on the Kent campus, other internships are available locally in Kent, Ravenna, Akron, Cleveland, other Ohio cities and out-of-state.

2. Who must complete an internship?

Every major in the Visual Communication Design degree program must complete one credit hour of 43091: Internship 1 (or Internship Seminar for Photo-Ill students) and three credit hours of 40192: Internship 2.

3. When are internships available?

Internships are available throughout the year: fall and spring semester, winter break, spring break and during the summer.

4. How do I go about finding an internship?

You may use any of the existing approved school internships or you may arrange for your own. If you arrange your own internship, it must be approved in advance by the internship coordinator. The internship coordinator will email students about available internships throughout the year. It is your responsibility to apply for those that interest you. Job listings may also be found in the Cleveland Ad Club’s Torch Light, Crain’s Cleveland Business or on most business websites. Career Services also provides listings of VCD internships. Go to and click on “Find Jobs & Internships.”

5. Are internships graded?

No. Internships receive either an “S” (Satisfactory) or “U” (Unsatisfactory) grade. No other letter grades apply. Your employer will not be asked to grade your performance. Keep in mind that a “U” computes as an “F” in your grade point average.  

6. Are internships paid?

Most of the internships available through the school are paid. Internship pay ranges from minimum wage up to $20 per hour. Several of the on-campus internships prefer students to be on the Work-Study Program. Some internships do not pay but offer other incentives. For instance, some employers will pay for the tuition for the internship credits. Other places may allow you to get free typesetting, dye sublimation prints, etc. for class assignments. Be sure to inquire about what salary an employer is willing to pay and/or what other compensation is available. Keep in mind commuting and parking expenses.

7. What types of design fields qualify?

You may set up your own internship as long as the job is involved in an area within the profession such as: Graphic Design, Advertising, Illustration, Printing, Exhibition Design, Signage, Audio Visual and/or Multi-Media Presentation Design, Public Relations, Computer Graphics, Environmental Graphic Design, Web Design or Production.

8. How many hours of Internship 2 do I need?

Three credit hours of 40192 Internship 2 are required and the maximum of 6 credit hours cannot be exceeded. The additional three hours above and beyond the three hour requirement may be applied towards the VCD Elective requirement or towards the university General Electives requirement.

9. How many hours do I need to work for class credit?

For each one credit hour of 40192 Internship 2, designers must complete 100 work hours. Photo-Illustration students must complete 300 paid work hours or 150 unpaid work hours per credit.

10. Which is better? One internship for six credit hours or two internships for three credit hours each? (Or any other combination?)

The department recommends experiencing two different internships, but ultimately it is up to what works best for you. Since the purpose of an internship is to gain professional experience while still a student, the more varied the experiences, the better. Please note that there are very few internships available which are strictly illustration-oriented. It is therefore recommended that illustration majors investigate internships at magazines, newspapers or any other areas which utilize illustration.

11. When do I register for Internship 2?

Any student may be registered for 40192 Internship 2 after they have successfully passed Internship I or Internship Seminar, and have arranged an approved internship.

Note: You must be registered for Internship 2 during the semester in which you are completing the internship experience. Failure to find an internship during the semester in which you are enrolled will result in a grade of “U” (Unsatisfactory). You may not register a semester in advance or a semester after completing an internship.

12. What are the tasks at the end of the internship experience?

See pages 3 and 4 of the Internship Packet for a step-by-step guide.