Department of Music, Theatre and Dance

Internships - Music Industry and Recording Arts

Completing an internship is one of the best ways to gain experience and investigate whether or not a career area is appropriate for you. Experience is highly valued by a potential employer - even short-term or volunteer work. They are able to see your interest in a career field, as well as the career specific skills you have developed. Interest and skills are great indicators of your ability to contribute and succeed in their organization. In fact, many job opportunities develop out of summer jobs, internships, volunteering, or networking with career professionals. 

Employers expect you to supplement your career interests with work experience. You can convince them of your career sincerity by demonstrating the relationship of your summer experience to the job being offered. Even if the career fields are different, you have developed essential work-related skills fundamental to any job. You also get the chance to develop contacts in your chosen career. The people in your network can be valuable for advice information, and job leads. While in college, these internships are taken for academic credit to build career related experiences.

Need help finding an Internship?

Do your research! Where do you want to work? Which part of the industry are you interested in? Do you want to work for a specific company/organization? Meet with your advisor! Talk to your friends, peers, and family members. Be motivated!

Helpful links

Getting Credit for your Internship

  • All internships require concurrent enrollment in MUSC 489 - Directed Field Projects in Music
  • All Internships have to be approved, on a case-by-case basis, before enrolling in MUSC 489
    • You are required to meet with your internship advisor for approval
    • To facilitate approval, before meeting with your advisor be sure to have the following information
      1. Internship term (e.g. Sum’21 or Fall’21)
      2. Internship title and description
      3. Name & address of Company/Organization
      4. Internship supervisor contact information
      5. List of internship duties
  • All internships must fulfill the requirements 37.5 hours of work per unit
  • Internships must be meaningful and commensurate with your discipline
  • Music Industry internships must be predominately business based
  • Tech & trade internships are extremely valuable but do not necessarily apply to the Music Industry degree requirement. Consult with your advisor to find out whether your internship will apply
  • Summer enrollment is through CSUC Regional & Continuing Education (RCE) with instructor approval
Course Information

MUSC 489 – Directed Field Projects in Music

This course is a directed field project offered for variable units (1-5 units). A project must be commensurate with the student's major curricular and professional goals and must be comparable in substance to work of a similar nature within the University music curriculum. You may take this course more than once.


The following three forms must be completely filled out. Hand deliver all three completed forms to PAC 106 for approval. Once all approvals are in place, you will be registered for MUSC 489. Partially complete forms will not be approved and will be returned for completion. 

Internship Enrollment and Employer Verification (PDF) (to be completed by the student)

Site Assessment for Internship (PDF) (to be completed by the internship advisor)

Student Learning Plan (PDF) (the student and internship advisor should work together to complete this form)

You Should Know

Most internships in the Music Industry are unpaid. Companies require that students are able to show current enrollment in the university and that the internship is approved for you to receive credit in lieu of payment. This is a legal matter of sizable consequence for the internship hosts if those criteria are not met. 

If you wait to do an internship till your senior year summer, you will have already graduated and therefore may be ineligible since you are not enrolled.

It is highly recommended that you plan wisely and do your internship before your senior summer.
It is also encouraged that you do more than one internship to broaden your perspectives in multiple areas of interest.

Professional experience with positive letters of recommendation and references puts you far above the norm of those who only are able to show academic proficiency via a transcript and GPA.