Internships are a great way for students to get hands-on, real-world experience in a professional design environment. Every Industrial Design student is required to do an internship while at CCA. This is typically done after the third year, often in the summer prior to the student's senior year.

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact the internship coordinator to set up a one-on-one in person consultation about your internship.

Why do an internship?
  • Expand students' educational experience into the professional world of design.
  • Increases chances of securing a professional position in chosen field.
  • Contributes to a broad understanding of the values, skills, and commitments that are necessary for achieving success within the discipline of design.
How will an internship benefit me?

An internship expands your educational experience into the professional world of design, increases your chances of securing a professional position in your chosen field. It also contributes to a broad understanding of the values, skills, and commitment that CCA students bring to the discipline of design

Through internships, students are exposed to the daily processes involved in a design-related industry. Among them:

  • Design presentations
  • Product research, selection, specification, and coordination
  • Marketing proposals
  • Client relations / meetings
  • Collaborations with architects, designers, and other consultants
  • Project management
  • Construction drawings
  • Site visits
When should I do an internship?

Students should try to gain professional work experience early and often, beyond the requirement. The more students understand the role of the designer in the work environment, the more they can leverage their learning at CCA. This may mean doing internships beyond the one required for graduation.

What are the requirements?

After securing an intern position at an approved internship site, students must log a minimum of 120 hours at the site. The internship counts for zero credits and is generally completed during the summer between junior and senior year. Students who have not completed their internship before the second semester of their senior year will not be able to register for ID6-Senior Thesis Project.

While compensation is negotiated with the employer, we suggest students be paid $15 per hour, minimally, as an employee. CCA supports Federal and California Labor Department requirements that all student interns be fairly compensated for their work.

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 (Handshake Job Board, Weekly Picks, and Career Expo); networking, and personal contacts.

Prior to starting work, you must obtain site approval from the program’s Internship Coordinator. 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.

For a site to be approved, it must provide industrial design services, and students must be supervised or mentored by an industrial designer.

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.

How do I start the internship process?

To initiate the internship process, students must first meet with their Academic Advisor, followed by meeting with the Internship Coordinator, early in the spring or fall semester, prior to starting their internship search.

How do I register for the internship requirement?

In spring, during Priority Registration for the upcoming fall semester, prior to starting their internship, students will register for the Senior Thesis Research Placeholder (INDUS-404-01). Completion of the internship requirement and the associated paperwork is required before students can take Studio 6: Senior Thesis Project.

After completing the internship, during the Add/Drop period, students who registered for the Internship Placeholder and who have a Learning Agreement on file, will be registered by Student Records in the Senior Project Research course (INDUS 404-02), check your schedule during Add/Drop for these changes.

Students who registered for the Placeholder but do not have a Learning Agreement on file, will be dropped from the Senior Thesis Research Placeholder and will not be registered for the Senior Thesis Research requirement. Students, who wish to receive credit for an internship they have just completed but have not gone through the process correctly, must contact the Internship Coordinator as soon as possible. IMPORTANT: A $200 late fee may be charged for adding the internship course after the Add/Drop deadline.</p>

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 Internship Coordinator for site approval, before starting the internship.

International students must fill out the learning agreement and meet with CCA's ISAP Office before work authorization can be granted.

Requirements during and post-internship

Midpoint Check-In

A quick check-in by email or phone will be conducted by a CCA representative with both the student and the internship supervisor, to ensure the internship is going as expected.


Students track their internship hours on the Internship Hours Log that they turn into the Internship Coordinator 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.

Project section or additional requirements


Contact the Internship Coordinator for more information about any additional requirements.