The purpose of the Interior Design internship program is to provide junior and senior students with a grounded, real world experience in a professional design enf

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 their  chances of securing a professional posItion in their 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 225 hours at the site. The internship counts for zero credits and is generally completed during the summer between junior and senior year.

While compensation should be negotiated with the employer, we suggest that students be paid a minimum wage per local/state regulations. CCA supports Federal and California Labor Department requirements that all student interns be fairly compensated for their work.

If the student decides to take the licensure examination such as National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) in future, hours accumulated from an internship program could qualify for required hours as part of the Interior Design Experience Program (IDEP).

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: Handshake Job BoardWeekly Picks, and Career Expo, networking, and personal contacts.

Prior to starting work, students 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 ISAP for instructions and requirements related to employment in the United States and abroad.

For a site to be approved, it must provide interior design or design-related services.

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 start: first by meeting with their Academic Advisor, followed by their Internship Coordinator, early in the spring or fall semester, prior to starting their search.

How do I register for the internship requirement?

During Priority Registration, prior to starting the internship, students will register in WebAdvisor for the Interior Design Internship Placeholder (INTER-398-01)

During the Add/Drop period, students who have registered for the Internship Placeholder and who have a Learning Contract on file, will be registered by Student Records in the internship course (INTER 398-01), check your schedule during Add/Drop for these changes.

Registration in the Internship course INTER 398-02, is not available for online registration in WebAdvisor. Questions about this should be directed to the Internship Coordinator.

Students who have registered for the Internship Placeholder but do not have a Learning Agreement on file, will be dropped from the Placeholder and will not be registered for the internship 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.

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, you must fill out the learning agreement and schedule a meeting 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 will track their internship hours on the Internship Hours Log that they will 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
  • Résumé
  • Cover Letter 
  • Sample of work: No more than three well-organized sheets, showcasing your drawing, modeling and rendering skills.

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

Explore the BFA Interior Design Viewbook >>

bfa interior design viewbook

General Inquiries

Jared Elizares
Program Manager
Bachelor of Architecture
BFA in Interior Design

Postal Address
Interior Design Program
California College of the Arts
1111 Eighth Street
San Francisco CA 94107-2247

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