RISD Guidelines for Remote Internships – Employers & Students

The following guidelines are highly recommended for effective remote internship experiences, and they will be taken into consideration during the review and approval of internship experiences for credit at Rhode Island School of Design.


Formal Job Description

  • Job title
  • Internship start and end dates
  • Hours per week
  • Days of work per week
  • Compensation (Paid, Credit, Stipend, Unpaid)
  • Description of intern’s primary responsibilities
  • Clearly stated expectations for how the intern will carry out their responsibilities
  • Clearly stated expectations for outcomes from the intern’s work
  • Clearly stated learning objectives that complement the intern’s academic studies
  • Description of training and supervision provided for the intern, including clearly identifying who the supervisor will be during the experience and the remote work policies that impact the internship
  • Description of resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the employer to support the intern’s learning objectives/goals
  • Opportunities for the intern to present work and/or collaborate with other employees
  • Requirements or qualifications needed for the intern to be successful in the position
  • Compliance with the applicable Department of Labor provisions and guidance for the Fair Labor Standards Act in regard to internships
  • Compliance with Curricular Practical Training (CPT) requirements of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for international students undertaking an internship in the United States


Internship Supervisor Requirements

  • Supervisor must be a professional with expertise, education, and/or professional background directly related to the intern’s field of study and job responsibilities
  • Supervisor must provide a detailed explanation of how supervision will be provided remotely, including any expectations about security for data access
  • This includes a clearly stated communication plan between supervisor and intern stating:
    • Number of direct supervision/mentoring hours the intern will receive
    • Schedule for check-in meetings to review projects, respond to questions, and monitor progress and outcomes
    • Daily check-in meetings are highly recommended; no fewer than three check-in meetings are acceptable if the intern works five days per week
    • Agreed-upon methods of communication and data security for check-in meetings: Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, Email, GChat, Phone
    • If possible and under strict guidelines for Covid-19 protocols issued by the CDC, in-person meetings onsite between supervisor, intern, and other staff may be held to further orient intern to their job, the work culture, and internal networks


Equipment and Tools

The employer/internship sponsor will provide the following for remote internships:

  • Commitment to provide necessary technology and tools if and as required for the intern to perform their job, including:
    • Access to hardware, software, proprietary programs, and shared files for digital work
    • Access to specialized materials, tools, and equipment to create 2D and 3D work
  • In no way should the student have to incur personal costs to develop or complete a project for the employer. Employers should cover costs or advance funds for costs associated with the internship, and rely on reimbursement of any costs by the intern only as a last resort.