The College of Fine and Applied Arts follows the guidelines of the Fair Labor Standards Act when advising students about accepting unpaid internships. The Department of Labor notes the seven criteria used to determine whether an internship qualifies for exclusion from payment:
- The extent to which the intern and the employer clearly understand that there is no expectation of compensation. Any promise of compensation, express or implied, suggests that the intern is an employee. . . .
- The extent to which the internship provides training that would be similar to that which would be given in an educational environment, including the clinical and other hands-on training provided by educational institutions.
- The extent to which the internship is tied to the intern’s formal education program by integrated coursework or the receipt of academic credit.
- The extent to which the internship accommodates the intern’s academic commitments by corresponding to the academic calendar.
- The extent to which the internship’s duration is limited to the period in which the internship provides the intern with beneficial learning.
- The extent to which the intern’s work complements, rather than displaces, the work of paid employees while providing significant educational benefits to the intern.
- The extent to which the intern and the employer understand that the internship is conducted without entitlement to a paid job at the conclusion of the internship.
Providing class credit is not sufficient to exempt employers from paying interns. Contact the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor for additional information.
The College of Fine and Applied Arts follows AIGA guidelines for ownership of intellectual and creative property. Students are discouraged from entering competitions to create materials that promote clients, products, or events. Students also should avoid providing work for free—spec work—with the expectation of later payment. However, students should seek out opportunities to submit their existing creations to competitions judged by professionals in their field.
Offer Deadlines for Office-Based Positions
In accordance with University of Illinois policies, employers must allow students three weeks to consider offers of full-time employment or internships. This timeline does not apply to performance-based job offers.