The purpose of the Architecture internship program is to provide advanced-level students with a grounded, real-world experience in a professional design environment.
While the role of an intern is humble in nature, each student will be exposed to the daily processes involved in running an architectural office, which may include any of the following:
- project management
- client relations and business development
- research, feasibility studies and preparation of reports
- collaboration with engineers and other consultants
- design presentations
- detailing and drafting
- construction documentation
- construction administration
Contact the internship coordinator to set up a one-on-one in person consultation about your internship.
How will an internship benefit me?
- Increase your chances of getting a job after graduation.
- Take your first step as a professional.
- Obtain additional skills and expertise that will enhance the completion of your degree.
- Help professionals understand the value of CCA students.
- Begin earning internship credit toward your architectural license.
When should I do an internship?
It is recommended that students try to gain professional work experience early and often beyond the internship requirement. The more students understand the role of architects in practice, the more they can leverage their learning at CCA. (This may mean doing internships beyond the one required for graduation.)
Although required for the completion of your degree, the course is counted as zero credits. This permits you to be paid for your work and to count this experience toward professional licensure within NCARB's Architecture eXperience Program (AXP).
What are the requirements?
To be eligible for the Architecture internship program for credit, a student must have successfully completed Studio 2 of the MArch program.
After securing employment at an approved site, students must log a minimum of 225 hours at the site. CCA's Architecture Program supports the AIA's requirements that all student interns and employees be compensated for their work in any architectural, landscape, or design practice.
While compensation should be negotiated with your employer, we suggest students be paid $15 per hour, minimally, as an employee. Contract work can also be counted towards internship credit and the hourly rate should include appropriate tax and additional overhead.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), and the American Institute for Architecture Students (AIAS) fully support student internships that are paid, except in instances where a student volunteers for an approved nonprofit organization.
If volunteering for a nonprofit, the student should verify the site with the Associate Chair.
How do I get my internship site approved?
Students perform their own internship search using a variety of resources: industry websites and job boards, program suggestions, Career Development resources; networking, and personal contacts.
Prior to starting work, students MUST obtain site approval from the Associate Chair; early verification of the internship site is critical to obtaining credit for the internship, especially if the site is located outside of the United States.
(To receive credit for internships located outside of the United States, obtaining site approval from the internship coordinator is required. International students must contact CCA's ISAP for instructions and requirements related to employment in the United States and abroad.)
Internship sites providing architectural services eligible for either Setting A, or O based upon NCARB's AXP Guidelines are typically approved, and students finding other opportunities that would contribute their understanding of the profession are eligible for consideration for internship credit based on the discretion of the Associate Chair. Internships completed at landscape architecture, interior design, structural engineering, fabrication shops or building construction firms will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and must be approved prior to commencement of internship.
Teaching assistants and researchers paid by the college may count their experience towards internship. Prior approval is required by the Associate Chair.
Any site, payment arrangement, or type of experience that falls outside of the requirements listed above must be approved by the Associate Chair prior to the start of any work.
How do I start the internship process?
To initiate the internship process, students should schedule an advising meeting with the Associate Chair prior to starting their internship search. It is recommended that the student prepare strategies and materials needed to secure an internship to discuss during this appointment.
How do I register for the internship requirement?
The completion of the student’s internship is recorded and credited through the Internship Course, which is a zero-unit pass/fail class. To take this class, students who expect to complete their internship requirements prior to the end of the coming semester should register during Priority Registration in WorkDay for the MArch Internship (MARCH 6980-01).
During the Add/Drop period; students who have registered for the Internship must complete a learning agreement. Students who have registered for the Internship course but do not have a Learning Agreement on file, may be dropped from the course. The Internship Learning agreement can be submitted digitally, by email to the Associate Chair and Program Manager.
Students who wish to receive credit for an internship they have just completed, but have not gone through the process correctly, must contact the Associate Chair as soon as possible.
What is the required documentation pre-internship?
After an internship offer is made, students work with their site supervisor to complete the learning agreement; negotiating the terms, learning objectives, and expectations of the internship.
To receive internship credit, the Learning Agreement must be submitted to the Associate Chair and Program Manager for site approval, before starting the internship.
International students, you must fill out the learning agreement and schedule a meeting with CCA's ISAP Office, before work authorization can be granted.
What are the requirements during and post-internship?
Students will track their internship hours on the internship hours log that they will turn into the Associate Chair and Program Manager after the internship is completed.
After the student submits the Internship Hours Log to the Internship Coordinator, the program will send the supervisor and student a digital evaluation form; submission of all these forms is required for successful completion of the internship course.
An email confirmation will be sent to the student’s CCA email address confirming the evaluation has been sent and also when the completed evaluation is received by CCA.
If the employer evaluation is not received, the student is responsible for following up with the employer to ensure its completion before the deadline.
Contact the Internship Coordinator with questions about the process.
- internship hours log
- employer evaluation
- student evaluation
Are there any additional requirements?
Students are encouraged to start a record with NCARB to record their hours toward the requirements for licensure. Time spent completing AXP forms is personal and do not contribute time to the completion of the internship.
The employees of architecture offices are expected to keep samples of the work they’ve produced for their personal portfolios and future job searches.
Students must request permission to use the images from the employer and provide appropriate attribution to the work (i.e., “image courtesy of Smith Associates”).