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10 Graphic Design Internships for High School Students

For students seeking to expand their horizons beyond the classroom, graphic design can be an exciting world of visual expression that blends artistry with technology. It plays a vital role in marketing, communication, branding, and data visualization. A graphic design internship can offer firsthand experience across various industries, from business to nonprofit work and beyond.

Early exposure to fields like graphic design can significantly boost your college application, while also ensuring well-rounded skill and knowledge development. It demonstrates proactive engagement, drive and passion, and a genuine interest in exploring potential career paths in your chosen field. By participating in graphic design internships during high school, you will get a structured platform to express and hone your creative expression, develop problem-solving abilities, and a willingness to learn – qualities highly valued by college admissions committees.

Here's a curated list of 10 best graphic design internships for high school students, providing valuable hands-on experience.

Ladder Internships is a selective internship program for ambitious high school students. With this program, you will be paired with a startup or nonprofit anywhere in the world for a virtual internship role. Ladder’s partner organizations that you can intern with function across a range of industries, and you can take your pick! Choices include technology, engineering, media, sustainability, media, visual communication, journalism, artificial intelligence, health tech and more. As an intern, you will work closely with a manager from the startup or nonprofit on a real-world project, contributing to the organization’s larger goal. You will also be paired with a Ladder coach, who will serve as a second mentor, guiding you during the program. Interns are offered one-on-one training in communication, time management, and other valuable skills. They will also have the opportunity to attend group training sessions with other interns in their cohort. The virtual internship is usually 8 weeks long.

Location: Remote! You can work from anywhere in the world.

Eligibility: Students who can work for 10-20 hours/week, for 8-12 weeks. Open to high school students, undergraduates and gap year students!

Application Deadline: Summer cohort (regular admission 1): April 14, 2024 | Summer cohort (regular admission 2): May 12, 2024

Dates: The summer 2024 cohort starts on June 3 and runs till August. Multiple cohorts throughout the year, including fall and spring.

Cost: Starts at $1990. Financial aid is offered.

Design Hive is a youth-led program ideal for students who are interested in collaborative design projects and exploring design processes. During this program, you will work alongside professional designers to understand the process from initial concept to final design. Access to the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is included in the program, providing opportunities to engage with exhibitions, objects, and experts. Sessions occur every Tuesday and last for 2 hours. Stay updated on application announcements by monitoring the Design Hive page.

Location: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York, NY

Eligibility: High school juniors and seniors in NYC are eligible to apply.

Application Deadline: There is no information available on this at the moment.

Dates: The internship typically runs from November to May.Stipend: $2,000. Which is paid in two $1,000 installments during the program.

Medicine Encompassed, a student-led non-profit organization, seeks to raise awareness and improve access to medical career information. As a high school student, you can apply to intern with ME as a writer, editor, or resource creator, across 18 committees covering different medical fields like anatomy, surgery, neurology and more. Some internship roles offered also include graphic design, sponsorship work, and social media, to support the organization's goals. On becoming members, students are supposed to contribute toward the Medicine Encompassed medical curriculum, so they will work on developing content on various branches of medicine. Each position has its unique requirements. The graphic design position involves producing graphics and designing media/artwork for the organization’s website, blog posts, articles, and social media posts. You will also work closely with the Executive Graphic Designer and Executive Social Media & Marketing Director to create the most appropriate content. You can check the complete position description here.

Location: Remote!

Eligibility: All high school students can apply. Graphic design applicants should ideally have experience using design programs (experience with Canva is preferred, but not mandatory) and producing graphics on platforms without templates.

Application Deadline: Rolling basis

Dates: Runs throughout the year

Cost/Stipend: No cost; Unpaid

The Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) collaborates with global communities to enhance K-12 education. It offers internship positions in communications, marketing, and public relations to high school, undergraduate, and graduate students. Interns may contribute to developing social media communications materials, including content creation, graphics, videos, and campaign brainstorming. They also assist in communication dissemination, strategy, and asset management. Specific duties, schedules, and requirements vary by position. Explore available opportunities here. If you’re interested in a graphic design role, you may be asked to provide a sample of your work during the application process.

Location: Virtual and in-person options (Washington, DC)

Eligibility: High school students who are at least 16 years old can apply.

Application Deadline: March 31, 2024.

Dates: 10 weeks between May and August, with a flexible schedule for virtual internships.

Stipend: Students may receive a stipend.

Interns 4-Good, a nonprofit organization, offers high school students opportunities to work with leading nonprofits, to encourage community service and allow students to gain practical experience. Positions are available in diverse fields, including social media management, video editing, and graphic design. Applicants can specify their preferences on the application form. If selected for a graphic design role, interns may contribute to developing artwork, advertisements, flyers, and other promotional materials for the nonprofit. Flexibility is offered to accommodate students' schedules and time constraints. Explore internship options and apply here.

Location: Virtual

Eligibility: All high school students can apply.

Application Deadline: Applications can be submitted throughout the year.

Dates: The duration and dates vary as per the internship.

Cost/Stipend: No cost; Unpaid.

The Mary Miller Summer Program, offered by PHC Group, provides paid internship opportunities for rising high school juniors and seniors. Interns support the team with social media projects, online community engagement, and technical assistance. Responsibilities will include conducting social marketing research and enhancing remote collaboration and relationship building. The internship involves creating social media posts, offering a chance to utilize graphic design skills. Applicants with strong proficiency in Microsoft Office and a knack for quick learning are encouraged to apply.

Location: Virtual

Eligibility: High school juniors and seniors can apply.

Application Deadline: Not specified, but you are urged to apply as soon as possible.

Dates: Not specified, but the program is usually held in the summer.

Stipend: This is a paid internship, but information on the exact amount is not available. 

Museum of Arts and Design offers this paid art internship to NYC teens. Artslife is a 6-week program that blends art and design learning with leadership training, museum studies, and community engagement. Students will be introduced to careers in all museum departments—Curatorial, Education, Development, Communications and Marketing, Visitor Services, Security, and Registrar. The first week of Artslife will revolve around team bonding and an introduction to the museum. The next five weeks focus on collaborative projects (which could involve the creation of artwork and visits to other cultural institutions) with mentors, which include museum staff, local designers, and arts professionals. 

Location: Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), New York, NY

Eligibility: Rising high school sophomores and juniors in NYC can apply.

Application Deadline: April 7, 2024

Dates: July 9, 2024–August 16, 2024

Stipend: $16 an hour and an unlimited MetroCard for the duration of the internship 

Building-U is an organization that aims to provide students with a database of free resources in the form of opportunities, internships, scholarships, contests, and education programs. Currently, Building-U is looking for interns to assist with the administrative and/or business aspects of the organization. Although students can choose to intern in any one of 10 teams, you can opt for the social media content and analytics or animation team if you wish to work in graphic design. Both roles will involve content creation and addressing a specific business need at Building-U. Additionally, you will get to work with other students and develop teamwork and communication skills. You can send an email to to learn more about the opportunity.

Location: Virtual

Eligibility: All high school students can apply. 

Application Deadline: Rolling deadlines, it is recommended that you apply as soon as possible.

Dates: The internship usually runs for 3 months from June to August, but can be extended.

Cost/Stipend: No cost; Unpaid.

The ACE Intern (High School Student) position at Gensler's Chicago office offers a unique 8-week, part-time, paid internship opportunity for students interested in graphic design. As an intern, you will work closely with the design teams, engaging in exercises and collaborating directly with professionals. This immersive experience provides hands-on learning and insight into the design process at Gensler, a renowned architecture and design firm committed to creating a positive impact on the human experience. The internship aims to foster growth and development in graphic design, offering a comprehensive learning environment for students.

Location: Gensler, Chicago, IL

Eligibility: All high school students can apply

Application Deadline: This information is not available.

Dates: 8 weeks during the summer

Stipend: The internship is a paid position, though information on the amount is not specified. 

The National Student Leadership Conference offers pre-college experiences for high school students, including the Digital Arts & Design Program. In this program, students collaborate with industry professionals to explore potential career paths. Three tracks are offered: Photography, Animation, or Graphic Design. The Graphic Design track focuses on refining skills in Adobe Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, and InDesign CC. Participants learn digital image manipulation and vector graphic creation for logos and branding. They also delve into color theory and design principles to effectively convey messages through their digital designs. The program includes foundational design elements, creative workshops, and career exploration opportunities.

Location: Columbia University, New York, NY

Eligibility: Students between the ages of 14–18 who have completed at least one year of high school can apply.

Application Deadline: Rolling basis. The program will continue to accept applications if space is available.

Dates: You can choose between two summer sessions: June 17–25, 2024 and June 29, 2024–July 7, 2024

Cost: $4,095

One other option – Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you are interested in doing university-level research in art and design, then you could also consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students that I founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 4000 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.

Also check out the Lumiere Research Inclusion Foundation, a non-profit research program for talented, low-income students.

Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a Ph.D. student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.



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