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I don't have any prior experience working in a museum/theater/film company/etc. Can I still apply to SIPA?

Absolutely! SIPA opportunities are designed to help you take the first step in exploring career pathways in the arts. The majority of SIPA participants have never completed an internship in the arts (or even a formal internship.) Students accepted into the program participate in an online orientation that will provide a solid foundation for you to maximize your summer experience. 


Are there any course pre-requisites for SIPA?

No. We encourage students from all majors/backgrounds to apply. However, for some types of internships (such as curatorial and artistic development), students have found it helpful to have completed some coursework related to their internship field before the beginning of the summer. You can always take a preparatory course Spring Quarter before you start your internship.


Can I participate in SIPA while on a Leave of Absence?

Students are not eligible to participate in SIPA while on a Leave of Absence.


I am a senior/co-term graduating in June 2021 (or September 2021). Am I eligible for SIPA?

Yes. Seniors and co-terms are eligible to participate even if they're graduating in June or September. Please note that seniors and co-terms are required to be enrolled (either in coursework or with a special registration status) during Spring 2021. Students graduating in March 2021 are not eligible for SIPA.


Can I enroll in classes or have another job while participating in SIPA?

For the 2020-2021 program, students are permitted to enroll in up to five units of coursework during the Flex Term in which they are participating in SIPA. If you elect to enroll in coursework please make sure that your internship supervisor is aware of this commitment and your class schedule.

Program participants are permitted to work in an additional internship, job, or volunteer position for no more than five hours per week. If a student is enrolling in coursework, then the student is not permitted to engage in any additional internship/work/volunteer opportunities.

SIPA participants are not permitted to engage in another full-time internship, job, or volunteer opportunity (whether funded by Stanford or otherwise), including but not limited to an Undergraduate Research Capstone Grant, a Chappell Lougee Scholarship, a Beagle II Award, a full-time departmental or faculty-grant supported research position, and the Global Studies Internship Program. These opportunities require significant time commitments, and are each intended to support full-time efforts.

Please note violations of SIPA program policies are also violations of the Fundamental Standard and may be referred to the Office of Community Standards.



How many internships can I apply to through the Stanford Internship Program in Arts Administration?

You may apply for one self-designed arts internship program per academic year. This includes SIPA and CAF.


Are letters of recommendations required?

Yes. All applicants must submit a letter of recommendation from a Stanford faculty or staff member, or from a former non-Stanford supervisor. Your reference provider should be able to speak to your ability to complete the requirements of the internship program. It is strongly recommended that you secure your letter writer early in the application process.


Can I send my letter of recommendation request before submitting my application?

Yes. You can send the reference request form via SOLO before you submit your full application. Applications are not complete until all materials have been received.


How do I request a Stanford transcript?

Students must request and submit an unofficial transcript as part of the fellowships application. Unofficial transcripts may be requested online via Axess. Once you have received your unofficial transcripts, save as a PDF and upload to your application. Please contact the Registrar's Office for additional information.


Finding a Host Organization

Why do I need to propose my own internship placements this year? 

In prior years, SIPA offered pre-arranged internships with nonprofit arts organizations in the SF Bay Area, New York City, and Los Angeles. In Summer 2020 we decided that it was time to change the program model to meet the needs of our new landscape (including, but not limited to: COVID-19, global uprisings for racial justice, movement for equity in the arts, larger adoption of remote work.) We hope that by shifting the program to a self-designed model students will have access to a broader array of organizations throughout the United States that more closely align with their interests.


How can I find potential host organizations?

Review the materials on the Application Resources page for guidance.


I noticed that, in prior years, SIPA interns did a placement with <NAME OF ORGANIZATION>--will that organization still accept SIPA interns?

Many of our past organizational partners are eager to continue working with Stanford students. If you are interested in a specific organization make sure to include it in your personal statement.


What if I have been in touch with more than one potential host organization?

Each potential host organization will need to complete a separate questionnaire. Materials can be submitted prior to the application deadline. Make sure to give your organization contacts enough time to complete the materials prior to the application deadline.


My proposed host organization already pays their interns. Can I still receive a SIPA stipend?

SIPA is intended to support service opportunities that are otherwise unpaid, and in most cases host organizations are not expected to contribute to a student’s stipend. If a host organization is able to provide a portion of a fellow’s stipend, we may deduct the stipend amount provided by the organization from the student’s total stipend award. Program staff will contact all host organizations to verify the amount of any compensation or stipend provided to fellows.


Doesn't the structure of SIPA perpetuate the practice of nonprofit organizations offering unpaid internships?

We would love to see a vibrant, equitable arts sector that pays all of its workers (including interns) a fair wage for their contributions. However, this change is going to take time. For now, SIPA is one way of opening up opportunities within the arts for students who may not otherwise be able to participate. We hope that, in the years to come, our partner organizations will be able to offer paid internship programs, and that programs like SIPA will be the norm rather than the rare exception.



How competitive are the internships?

Competition for SIPA varies from year to year. Competition is based on the applicant pool and it is impossible to determine in advance how many students will apply. The amount of funding available determines the number of SIPA internship awards available each year.


When will I find out if I have been moved on in the process?

Refer to to the application timeline for specific dates. If you have a time-sensitive question about your candidacy please contact Sabrina Wilensky.


What if I have an offer from another internship or opportunity but haven’t heard back from SIPA yet?

If you choose to take the other opportunity, please communicate your decision to both us and your potential host organization.


After Your Internship

Does SIPA qualify for Cardinal Quarter and/or the Cardinal Service Notation?

The majority of internships funded through SIPA are Cardinal Quarter opportunities.

Students are eligible for the Cardinal Service Notation after completing one of the following:

  • Cardinal Courses: Students complete a minimum of twelve units in certified Cardinal Courses (students must take courses for a letter grade if offered), and receive a 3.0 or higher in all courses; or
  • Cardinal Quarter: Students successfully complete a full-time (minimum 35 hours per week), quarter-long (minimum 8 weeks) public service experience.

Students who complete the requirements for both the Cardinal Quarter and the Cardinal Courses need only apply under one of the categories. Choose the experience that most influenced your overall education and experience here at Stanford, and share with us why in your academic integration statement.

More Info & Application

Sabrina Wilensky 2018


Sabrina Wilensky (she/her)
Manager of Grants and Programs
Office of the Vice President for the Arts

Schedule a meeting (for students only)

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