Student Internship Guidelines

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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 Internship Development Program (IDP).

What are the requirements?

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 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 a nonprofit organization.

If volunteering for a nonprofit, the student should verify the site with their internship coordinator.

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: CCA Works Job Board, Weekly 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 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 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 internship coordinator.

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?

During Priority Registration, prior to starting the internship, students will register in WebAdvisor for an Architecture Internship Placeholder (ARCHT 398-01).

During the Add/Drop period; students who have registered for the Internship Placeholder (ARCHT 398) and who have a Learning Contract on file, will be registered by Student Records in the internship course (ARCHT 398-02); check your schedule during Add/Drop for these changes.

Registration in the Internship course ARCHT 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 Contract on file, will be dropped from the Internship Placeholder and will not be registered for the internship course.

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 Contract; negotiating the terms, learning objectives, and expectations of the internship.

To receive internship credit, the Learning Contract must be submitted to the Internship Coordinator for site approval, before starting the internship.

International students, additionally, must fill out the CPT form and turn into ISAP along with the internship offer letter, 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.

Post-Internship

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

Journal or IDP Documentation

Interns are required to keep a short weekly journal of their activities while at work. Time spent journaling or completing IDP forms is personal and should not be charged to the internship site.

Sample Work

Upon completion of the internship, interns are to submit two pages of images showing examples of completed work during the internship with caption descriptor.

Students shall request permission to use the images from the employer and provide appropriate attribution to the work (i.e., “image courtesy of Smith Associates”).

These images are to be submitted in PDF format with the forms and journal.