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 2022 (or September 2022). Am I eligible for SIPA?

Yes. Seniors and co-terms are eligible to participate even if they're graduating in June or September. However, seniors and co-terms may be given lower application priority. Please note that seniors and co-terms are required to be enrolled (either in coursework or with a special registration status) during Spring 2022. Students graduating in March 2022 are not eligible for SIPA.


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

SIPA internships are full-time experiences.

Program participants are permitted to work in a job or volunteer position for no more than five hours per week. 

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 VPA self-designed arts internship program per academic year. This includes SIPA and CAF.


Should I apply for SIPA or CAF?

It depends on your learning goals for the summer:  

  • If you are interested in any of the following, CAF may be a better fit: working at the intersection of arts & social justice; apprenticing with an established artist; completing an independent, community-based project.
  • If you want to learn more about how to be involved in the arts ecosystem beyond being an artist, SIPA may be a better fit.

Program staff for both CAF and SIPA are available to help you navigate the two programs.


Can SIPA support my independent project idea?

SIPA's focus is on arts administration and working with organizations. If you are interested in pursuing a community or independent project (such as making a film, apprenticing with an artist, pursuing a writing project, developing community artwork, etc.) you are encouraged to explore the following Stanford opportunities:


Are recommendation forms required?

Yes. All applicants must submit include a recommendation form 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 reference writer early in the application process.


Can I send my recommendation form 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

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. Check Handshake and the organization's website to see if they've posted any current opportunities for students.  If nothing is listed you can also try reaching out to the organization directly as part of your internship search strategy.


My potential host organization is headquartered outside of the United States. Would my internship be eligible for SIPA?

No. SIPA internships must be with organizations based in the United States. If you are interested in international opportunities you may want to consider the following opportunities:


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

Ultimately you will need to select one organization for your SIPA application. We encourage students to make their choices based on individual learning goals rather than organizational prestige.


I'm interested in interning with two different organizations during the summer. Is this possible through SIPA.

No. SIPA stipends only support full-time internships with a single, eligible organization. Stipends do not support multiple placements (e.g. two part-time internships.)


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 has already committed to provide a stipend or other form of compensation, we may prorate a student's SIPA stipend. Program staff will contact all host organizations to verify the amount of any compensation or stipend provided to SIPA interns.


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 in an unpaid internship. We hope that, in the years to come, more arts organizations will be able to offer paid internship programs.



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. Applicants are encouraged to discuss options with their host organization in the event that they're not selected for a SIPA stipend.


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


Will I be able to participate in SIPA in a future year?

Prior SIPA participants are welcome to apply again in a future year. However, the selection committee will generally give priority to students who have not yet participated in SIPA or the Lyric McHenry Community Arts Fellowship.

Sabrina Wilensky 2018


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