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
How Do I Register?
To register for an internship, you must complete the Internship Registration Form. This form requires the signature of the architecture internship coordinator to register. Only the internship coordinator's signature is required to add the course.
You may register for an internship through the last day of the add/drop period each semester. A $200 late fee may be charged for adding an internship after that date.
If you have not completed your internship by the end of the semester during which you are registered, you will be given an incomplete, or an E. (Note: A student's degree cannot be posted -- the official declaration of graduation -- until all paperwork is completed.
Required Internship Documentation
Journal or IDP/CIDP Documentation
Interns are also required to keep a journal of their activities while at work, turning in a copy of 10-14 pages from the journal to the internship coordinator upon completion of the internship.
Logs of tasks completed and new skills learned should be kept after approximately every 20 hours of work. As an alternative to the journal, the intern may open a council record with NCARB, identify a supervisor at the internship site, and complete an hour log for IDP as well as two sections of CIDP with the California Architects Board.
Time spent journaling or completing IDP forms is personal and should not be charged to the internship site.
Upon completion of the internship, interns should request from the site two copies of sample work completed for their portfolio and for CIDP documentation.
A copy of 2-3 pages formatted for the intern’s personal portfolio is also required and to be turned in with the above outlined forms.
Benefits of Interning
- Extend your educational experience into the professional world of architecture.
- Increase your chances of getting a job after graduation.
- Take your first step as a professional.
- Help professionals understand the value of CCA students.
- Begin earning internship credit toward your architectural license.
Timing of the Internship
It is recommended that students try to gain professional work experience early and often beyond the 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.)
The course is not required to be taken for credit. This permits you to count this experience toward professional licensure within NCARB's Internship Development Program (IDP).
To be eligible for the Architecture internship program for credit, a student must have successfully completed all required courses in the third year of the BArch or the second semester of the MArch programs.
After securing an intern position at an approved internship 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 practices. While compensation is up to the employer, we suggest students be paid $15 per hour.
At the end of the internship, the employer reviews the intern's performance by completing an evaluation form. That form, along with the student's evaluation of the internship site and a signed copy of the hour log, must be submitted to the Architecture program coordinator in the Academic Affairs Office.
Architectural internships must be completed at an approved site. The list of currently approved sites is property of the Architecture Program and must not be shared. Once a password is issued, the document may be downloaded.
More About Internships
New approved sites must provide architectural services (equivalent to training setting type A, B, or C of the IDP criteria; visit Training Settings on the NCARB website for more information).
Internships in engineering or construction offices (IDP training setting type D or F) will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. A minimum of 120 of the 225 required CCA internship hours shall be completed under the supervision of a licensed architect.
Any site, payment arrangement, or type of experience that falls outside of the requirements listed above must be approved by an internship coordinator prior to the start of any work.
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 a nonprofit organization.
If volunteering for a nonprofit, the student should verify the site with the internship coordinators.
For more information regarding internship payment procedures, please visit: