ICA produces dozens of cultural events each season, some of which are for Penn students, others are open to all students. Visit the ICA Calendar to find the latest events.

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 to gain an even closer look at the art of today.

    As a Penn Student member you will:

  • Meet artists and curators at our private exhibition previews
  • Be the first to know about each season’s programs when an announcement arrives at your door (or inbox!)
  • Receive a 25% discount in our bookshop
  • Be invited to an annual event at ICA exclusively for Penn students

Penn undergraduates can join the ICA Student Board to help foster engagement between their varied campus communities and the activities of the museum. Student Board members serve as campus ambassadors, organize student events, produce an annual arts publication, and manage promotions to students. They develop pre-professional skills and gain access to artists, curators, and other art world professionals.

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 your understanding of contemporary art in a supportive environment.
  • Improving public speaking and active listening skills.
  • Strengthening group dynamics.
  • Enhancing your 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. 

During this pilot year, Pennsight tours will only be available to university student groups and classes. Professors and student leaders looking for a creative educational experience are encouraged to participate.

To schedule a Pennsight tour please complete this form.

Pennsight is made possible by a generous grant from the Sachs Program for Arts Innovation.

Intern and Work Study

While ICA is not currently accepting internship applications, there are a limited number of positions available for University of Pennsylvania work-study students; interested parties should apply through the Student Financial Services website (under “Institute of Contemporary Art”)

Work with ICA’s team to gain valuable museum experience and enrich the arts community at large. Work-Study Students play a vital role in ICA’s mission to provide access for all to engage and connect with the art of our time. We recruit energetic, organized, sharp, and creative people for positions in all of our departments, often working closely with individual staff members. Hours are flexible and there are many opportunities to receive professional training, attend lectures and events, and link up with other art lovers

Research Fellowships

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

Graduate Student Lecturers

PennDesign MFA students and Penn History of Art PhD candidates can apply for one of four annual ICA graduate student lecturer positions. Lecturers work closely with our programming department to organize and lead exhibition tours and facilitate Coffee & Conversation events on topics related to their practice or research.