People looking out window in Hamon Tower

Photograph by Henrik Kam. © Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

College programs

Our college programs focus on artistic enrichment, art history perspectives, studio art, and performing arts that highlight specific time periods, current events, or traveling exhibitions.

Interpretation and Outreach Associates

Interpretation and outreach associates (IOAs) are individuals with intersecting experience and interests in art history, art practice, community organizing, education, museum studies, and more. As key museum collaborators, the associates participate in a rigorous 10 week training program that includes readings, discussions, and workshops on museum education, interpretation, and programming with Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco staff and leading practitioners in the field. Associates engage visitors with the Museums’ collections through in-gallery conversations with a critical, inclusive, and people-centered approach.

Applications for the IOA program open in the spring. Training begins in the fall.


We offer paid internships to emerging professionals — undergraduate, graduate students, or recent graduates — who are interested in art and museum careers, and passionate about equity and inclusion. Interns work directly with museum staff to support departmental goals and on individual projects that support their personal and professional goals. Interns participate in training sessions, professional development, and talks from leaders in the field. They gain knowledge of museum careers and culture, receive mentorship from full-time museum staff, receive hands-on project experience and feedback, and join a network of emerging museum professionals. 

We value diversity in all its forms: culture, race, ethnicity, disability status, language, gender expression, religion, sexuality, and beyond. Candidates from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in the arts and museum fields are encouraged to apply.

Summer internships are now open. Apply by February 25, 2024.

Collections research

Explore our Collections or search to view more than 100,000 images!

Tours for college groups

Instructors from any accredited college may arrange docent-led tours of select special exhibitions for their classes. Please note that tours of special exhibitions have a fee. Tours must be arranged four weeks in advance and are about 45 minutes long.

Educators are also welcome to lead their classes on self-guided tours through either the de Young or the Legion of Honor. Reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance. Please note that self-guided tours of special exhibitions have a fee.

To arrange a tour or self-guided visit of the permanent collection, please submit the Museum Visit Request. You may also fax, email, or mail a PDF request (fax: 415.750.3540, email:, mailing address: Cynthia Inaba, de Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118).

Requests will be processed in the order received. If you have questions please, call 415.750.3638 or email

To arrange a tour or self-guided visit of a special exhibition, please contact Group Sales at 415.750.3620.

Sketching in the galleries

Sketching in the Museums requires special permission and a permit. If your class would like to sketch in the permanent collection galleries, please make a reservation at least four weeks in advance by completing the Museum Visit Request.

Prior to the visit, classes should review our sketching, copying, or painting guidelines.

Class visits to the works on paper collection

The Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts houses the Museums’ collection of works on paper (prints, drawings, and photographs) and is available for classes of up to 12 students. Object selection and class sessions are coordinated with a curator. Appointments to view objects from the collection can be requested by filling out this form. See our guidelines for class visits here.


For information regarding college events, please email or call 415.750.3638.