Students participating in ICA's annual Free For All event.

The ICA Student Board is an organization comprised of Penn Undergraduate students who are committed to advancing accessibility and inclusion within contemporary art. They serve as ambassadors of ICA exhibitions and programs, working with museum staff to establish the Institute as an essential space for student engagement with the arts at Penn.

The Board leads initiatives that foster and strengthen the relationship between the museum and Penn’s student body, advises ICA staff as representatives of the University community, develops dynamic student-centered events, produces an annual arts publication, and manages promotional networks designed specifically for student outreach.

As a board member, students gain a unique opportunity to learn from artists, curators, and other professionals in the art world, in addition to acquiring invaluable leadership skills.

For additional information about the ICA Student Board contact Natalie Sandstrom – Program Coordinator at

Pennsight is a new student-led initiative designed to enhance visual acuity through art. Pennsight tours are facilitated by undergraduate docents trained in Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS), an innovative approach to viewing art that encourages critical thinking, evidence-seeking, and empathetic communication through collaborative conversation. Acquiring its foundational structure from cognitive psychology and art education, VTS has been integral in advancing fields such as medicine, design, education, and business.

Pennsight tours are ideal for:

  • Deepening participants’ understanding of contemporary art in a supportive environment
  • Improving public speaking and active listening skills
  • Strengthening group dynamics
  • Enhancing participants’ ability to consider possibilities that extend beyond the norm

A 1-hour tour consists of three 15-minute viewing sessions, each devoted to a different work of art. Using the open-ended, inquiry-based VTS model, docents guide participants through unpacking the layered meanings of contemporary art, discovering their own connection with the work in the process. Pennsight tours are ideal for professors, student groups, teachers, and community leaders/organizations seeking a way to expand the minds of the individuals they work with.

To schedule a Pennsight tour please complete this form.

For additional information about Pennsight contact Natalie Sandstrom – Program Coordinator at


Work with ICA staff to gain valuable museum experience and enrich the arts community at large. Student interns play an integral role in ICA’s mission to provide access for all to engage and connect with art. We recruit energetic, organized, intelligent, and creative people for positions in each of our departments.

Interns gain access to the inner-dynamics of museum administration, often working closely with staff members on curatorial projects, public programs, and marketing campaigns. Hours are flexible with opportunities to receive professional training, attend lectures and events, and connect with professionals in the arts.

There are a limited number of internship positions for University of Pennsylvania work-study students. These positions are generally available at the beginning of the academic year. Potential applicants should apply through the Student Financial Services website and search for the positions under the Institute of Contemporary Art heading.

Research Fellowships

Each summer, Penn’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships funds the Summer Humanities Internship Program (SHIP), an intensive, full-time apprentice position at ICA that prepares students for entry into professions within the arts. Read about SHIP intern Heather Holmes’s ICA experience.

Exhibition Docents

PennDesign MFA students and Penn History of Art PhD candidates can apply for one of four annual ICA graduate Exhibition Docent positions. Students work closely with our Public Engagement and Curatorial departments to organize and lead exhibition tours and facilitate discussions on topics related to their practice or research through our program series, Coffee & Conversations.

For additional information about our Exhibition Docent program contact Alex Klein – Dorothy & Stephen R. Weber (CHE’60) Curator at

For more than fifty years, ICA has brought cutting-edge contemporary art to Penn’s campus from all over the world. Claim your free student membership today!

    As a Penn Student member you will:

  • Access to artists and curators at our private exhibition previews
  • Early announcements about each season’s exhibitions and programs
  • 25% discount on our publications
  • Personal invitations to exclusive ICA events

For additional information about student memberships contact Michele Pierson – Development Administrative Coordinator at