Internship Programs

Receive academic credit while employed as interns in professional practice

A+D students may elect to receive academic credit while employed as interns in professional practice. The School offers the following internship programs:

A+D students may elect to receive academic credit while employed as interns in professional practice. The School offers the following internship programs:

Architecture Professional Internship Program

This program offers the opportunity for 4th-year undergraduate architecture students to receive academic credit while employed in an architectural practice. The program specifies that a student engage full time for the entire semester in a professional architecture firm or a design practice with equivalent architectural pursuits. The place of employment must be located in an environment where students have an opportunity to broaden their understanding of new locale and human settlements, away from familiar hometowns or parental residences. Students will be paid by the architectural firm while employed during the semester of participation in the Professional Internship Program. Students who plan to participate in the Professional Internship Program should seek out firms which agree to provide a sufficient level of mentorship and direct them in their daily activities and need to make clear to their mentors prior to the internship semester that their engagement should be mainly centered around the typical professional architectural tasks, such as schematic design, design development, construction documents, bidding and negotiation, permit and construction preparation, and construction/contract administration, client contact, and construction site visits.

Students are advised to maintain weekly documentation of their work to demonstrate content comparable to ARCH 4015 (4th year studio). Other course requirements such as Professional Practice or Independent Study can be fulfilled by taking advantage of the professional setting and the study of everyday practices. Other coursework may be arranged with permission of the Advanced Professional Program Chair up to a maximum of 15 credit hours. Generally this option is only offered in the Fall Semester. It is not possible to obtain academic credit for part-time or summer employment.

Students must have attained a minimum 3.0 overall GPA prior to the Professional Internship Program Semester.

All students must receive approval from the Advanced Professional Program Chair before the beginning of the term in which they plan to take part in the Professional Internship Program.

At the end of the semester each student will be asked to submit a self-assessment, including a short description of performed tasks structured by week, and a work portfolio [pdf] supporting the descriptions.

All documentation, together with a letter of evaluation by the employer, should be submitted to the Advanced Professional Program Chair. Employers who prefer to send the letter via U.S. mail service should address it to the attention of 4th-year Architecture Professional Internship Program, 201 Cowgill Hall, 1325 Perry St., Blacksburg, Virginia 24061.

More info on the NCARB Architectural Experience Program (AXP) [formerly Intern Development Program – IDP]…


Third years in the architecture program are invited to participate in a brief, immersive internship experience over two weeks in January. The professional practice is integrated with course curriculum through partnership with the Cooperative Education and Internship Program (CEIP). This intensive program is designed to give students a brief sampling of a range of offices, offering exposure to offices that they might not
otherwise be able to access.

2023 is the pilot year for the program, and will include firms that range in size, scope, and geographic location. The work opportunities will include contributing to project teams, conducting research, developing precedent and case studies, creating drawings, models, graphics, and design concepts (depending on their prior experiences). We also encourage our partner firms to have interns attend client and consultant meetings, participate in site visits, and work with to other sectors and operations of the firm.

More information on W_Internships…

FAQ for students…

Industrial Design Internships

Students interested in doing an internship or co-op for credit should contact the Industrial Design Program Chair.

Interior Design Field Study

The Interior Design Field Study program is an excellent opportunity to gain hands-on experience within the design profession while earning credit toward your degree in interior design. Credit for this experience is only offered to students who have successfully completed all interior design course work through their third-year design studies. If you are not approved for field study, then you may use the credit hours for free electives.

This opportunity is given to those students whose Field Study Application has been approved by the interior design faculty. Because of the nature of the review, Field Study is an earned opportunity, not a right. Professionalism across the major is a primary evaluative benchmark that determines whether or not a student can enroll for Field Study credit.


To enroll in Field Study, interested students must first pick up and complete the Interior Design Field Study Application Form. This form must be signed and submitted to the academic advisor in 121-D Burruss Hall no later than 4PM the Monday after returning from Thanksgiving break. At this point the faculty will review the Field Study applications and formally invite those accepted to participate in Field Study for credit by the end of the Fall semester, prior to the last day of classes. Professionalism within all ITDS courses is the top criterion for invitation to Field Study. All Field Study must be overseen by a licensed or certified interior designer or architect. Exceptions to this rule will be made on a case-by-case basis as approved by the Field Study Coordinator.

There are three steps toward fulfilling Field Study requirements, and each step has a set of criteria that must be met at the time requested:

  • Step 1 – your effectiveness in preparing for your internship both in time management and in keeping up with, and in communication with, your Field Study coordinator as stated under the section of FS Application and Requirements;
  • Step 2 – your Field Study experience as based on the coordinator’s discussion with your sponsor and the final results from your sponsor’s Student Intern Evaluation Form;
  • Step 3 – your presentation of your experience and your involvement, attendance, and participation in the mentoring of future interns during the assigned presentation times.

Landscape Architecture Internships

Interested students can pursue work experience for academic credit through pre-arranged internships with firms in the United States or another country. Agreements are made between the student, faculty advisor, and the firm. Arrangements for academic credit must be made prior to starting work. Students have worked in public, private, and non-profit landscape architecture situations.

To obtain more information and guidance on study abroad and fourth-year study opportunities, please contact professor Terry Clements, Landscape Architecture Program Chair.