PMA Internship Guidelines

Internship Program Description

The Department of Performing and Media Arts (PMA) supports PMA majors and minors in the College of Arts & Sciences wishing to explore their interests in a career field and the development of their skills through a career-related summer internship experience.


  • assists students in finding a summer internship opportunity
  • advises students regarding their career interests
  • hosts campus information sessions in the spring term each year for students to learn about internship opportunities
  • coordinates with Cornell in Hollywood (CiH) to refer students into internships
  • coordinates with A&S Career Services on internships
  • offers academic credit for internships to PMA majors and minors in the College of Arts & Sciences through PMA 4952 Undergraduate Internship

Finding an Internship Opportunity

Find Your Own

Many students choose to find internships at their own initiative. Some companies have established internship programs to which students can apply. Cornell Career Services, located in 103 Barnes Hall, provides resources for students seeking to connect with internship employers. Or, students may develop their own internship opportunity through their personal contacts or through their own research. 

Through Cornell in Hollywood

Alternatively, students may take advantage of Cornell’s extensive alumni network to find an internship opportunity in the entertainment industry. Cornell in Hollywood (CiH), a program of the Cornell Club of Los Angeles, has established contacts with executives in over 30 entertainment industry companies in Los Angeles.

CiH is a selective program offering students a comprehensive introduction to the entertainment industry. The program combines a part- or full-time internship with seminars and events to allow students to make the most of their time in Los Angeles. The ten-week program begins in June and ends in August. 

Since 2007, CiH has placed more than 135 students with over 40 different Los Angeles film, TV, and media entertainment companies. 

Academic Credit

PMA offers academic credit for internships to PMA majors and minors in the College of Arts & Sciences. Student interns earn one academic credit for each 80 hours of structured and supervised work, up to two credits (credits count toward graduation). Students complete their summer internship between June and August and, in the fall semester following the internship, enroll in PMA 4952 Undergraduate Internship. Credit is awarded upon the submission and acceptance of a paper evaluating the internship experience. The Application for Academic Credit is due to PMA April 15. 

Key Contacts

Faculty Leader:

Samantha Sheppard, Associate Professor & Chair
Office phone: 607-254-2720

Administrative Contact:

Christopher Riley, Senior Department Manager
Office phone: 607-254-2731

Key Dates


Information sessions on campus for interested students. 


Deadline for student CiH online applications

Late March  

Students are matched with potential companies, phone interviews take place. 


Internship offers made. 

April 15

Application for Academic Credit due. 


Internship period begins. 


PMA will send a report template to the student near the end of the internship period. 


First or second week (dependent on internship). 


Student Internship Performance Appraisal due to PMA from the internship supervisor. Student Evaluation Report due to PMA from student intern. 

Applying for an Internship

Securing Your Own Internship

Students can, at their own initiative, secure an internship with a company offering internship opportunities or any other channel they may choose. A&S students who develop their own internships should contact Diane Miller, Assistant Director, A&S Career Services. 

Applying for a CiH Internship

Students can apply online at the Cornell Club of Los Angeles site, where they can review company profiles and submit a resume along with an application form and application fee. CiH matches student interests with those of companies offering internships. The CiH application is made available in January each year and should be completed and submitted by the end of February but no later than early March (the actual deadline date will be posted online). Companies will then contact students directly for phone interviews. Internship offers are generally made by the end of March. 

Cornell Internship Agreement

Students who receive and accept a CiH internship offer from a company must notify both CiH and PMA’s Administrative Contact, Christopher Riley. PMA will request that the company (typically the internship supervisor) complete and sign a Cornell Internship Agreement, which serves to document the educational benefit to the student and also serves as the basis for determining academic credit.  

In special cases where students have accomplished extensive internship work, additional independent study credit may be earned by doing supplemental research or writing related to the content of the internship work. Such independent study must be approved in advance of the start of the internship by the student’s faculty advisor following the procedures for any independent study. 

Applying for Academic Credit

Students who wish to receive academic credit for their summer internship should complete the Application for Academic Credit as soon as the student receives an offer and accepts an internship, but no later than April 15.

  • To be eligible for academic credit, the student must be either a declared PMA major or declared in one of the four PMA minors in the College of Arts & Sciences. For film, television, or digital media internships, students need to have taken at least one 3- or 4-credit PMA class in the study of the relevant area, or in a film production course, prior to the internship. For theatre internships, students need to have taken at least one 3- or 4-credit theatre-focused PMA class. For dance internships, students need to have taken at least one 3- or 4-credit dance-focused PMA class.
  • The Application for Academic Credit must be received prior to the start of the internship; academic credit will not be considered for any application submitted after the start of the internship.
  • The internship must be unpaid.
  • PMA will contact the company intern supervisor with a request for the company to complete and sign a Cornell Internship Agreement before the internship begins. This agreement, which outlines the duties and responsibilities of the intern, will serve to document that the internship offers a substantial educational benefit to the student and the number of academic credit hours to be earned.
  • The number of academic credits (1 or 2) is determined by the number of work hours agreed upon in the Cornell Internship Agreement established between the company and PMA. Interns earn one academic credit for each 80 hours of structured and supervised work, up to two credits. Grading is on an S/U basis. Standard add/drop procedures apply to all internships. Academic credit received for internships counts toward the total credits required for graduation.
  • To receive academic credit, the student intern must enroll in PMA 4952 Undergraduate Internship for the fall semester following their internship. Academic credit will be given for the fall semester, not for summer session. It is a requirement of the course that the student complete the Student Evaluation Report in which the student evaluates their internship experience and reflects upon its relevance to their career interests and skills development. The report is due no later than September 1 after which it is reviewed by the PMA Faculty Leader and is the basis for awarding academic credit.

Completing the Internship

Student Internship Performance Appraisal

At the conclusion of the internship the company (typically the internship supervisor) will be asked to complete a Student Internship Performance Appraisal. This evaluation of the student’s performance will be reviewed by the PMA Faculty Leader.   

Student Evaluation Report 

All student interns are required to complete a Student Evaluation Report at the conclusion of the internship. The Student Evaluation Report must be completed and returned no later than September 1 following the summer internship. All students are required to complete the evaluation report, even if they choose not to receive academic credit.