The entire third year (or internship year) is spent under the supervision and mentoring of conservation professional(s) at one or more host institution(s) or private laboratories, where the student functions as a cooperative and productive staff member. The fundamental objectives of this year are to broaden the student's exposure to specialty object problems and treatments, refine hand skills, build confidence in object assessment, decision-making, and analytical abilities, and to improve report-writing skills. Monthly and bi-monthly reports are submitted by the students to their faculty supervisors and members of their advisory committees, who regularly review the progress of the internship through these reports and personal contact. At the end of the third year, students submit a portfolio and present formal 30-minute talks that summarize their work, which includes the second summer work project and the third-year internship. Oral examination by the faculty advisory committee is also required to satisfactorily complete degree requirements for a Master of Science in Art Conservation.
After completion of the third year, a student should demonstrate:
- Professional behavior, institutional accountability, and professional responsibility
- Skill in performing complex treatments using a range of conservation procedures and techniques
- Ability to make independent judgments regarding the extent of conservation treatment to be performed on individual objects or entire collections
- Ability to develop alternate or innovative solutions to problems using traditional approaches and new technologies or techniques
- Ability to interpret and utilize current literature, scientific data, and research
- Ability to make decisions relating to the preservation of cultural property, and to establish priorities for such recommended action
- Ability to conduct collection assessments and conservation surveys, and in doing so identify the nature or properties of the materials, the causes and extent of deterioration, and practical/realistic options for their short and long-term preservation
- Awareness of personal strengths, limitations, and areas for improvement, including the ability to accept and provide constructive criticism
- Ability to function as an effective and productive member of an interdisciplinary project team
- Time management skills and the ability to identify and formulate priorities for action
- Awareness of appropriate behavior within an organizational structure Note that these characteristics should be an integral part of all three years but are perhaps best acquired following completion of the second year. The development of these skills, knowledge, and abilities will continue through one's professional career. Ideally, initially this will take place under the supervision of an experienced conservation professional and/or through an advanced postgraduate fellowship opportunity.