An internship is required for all students who are pursuing a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) degree. The internship requirement is completed by enrolling for and completing the course requirements for LA 371, Internship, for three units of credit on a CR/NC basis.
Third year (Junior) standing in Landscape Architecture is a prerequisite to enroll in LA 371. Students should complete their internship requirement PRIOR to beginning their fifth year in the program.
Requirements and Duration
A minimum of 90 hours of work experience is required for course credit and students must enroll in LA 371 within 18 months of the completion of the work experience. The work experience should offer the student the minimum wage for the jurisdiction where the internship takes place, although in some cases volunteer opportunities will be considered. If you are having trouble finding an internship, meet with the Department Head to review your options.
Students should consider completing the work experience during the summer quarter (mid-June to mid-September) although options are available for other times throughout the year. The internship work experience should be completed prior to enrolling in LA 371.
The purpose of the internship program is to expose students to a broad spectrum of office practice and procedures related to the Landscape Architecture profession. Access to a range of individuals in the firm and to a range of job tasks and project types is heavily encouraged. Exposure to as many areas of practice as possible is desirable, particularly those which are not available in the educational setting, and might include:
|Site Visits + Analysis||Construction Documents||Project Management||Office Operations||Planting Design|
|Cost Estimation||Budgeting and Estimation||Construction Site Observation||Marketing and Proposal Development||Product and Material Specifications|
|Design Development||Post Occupancy Evaluation||Bid Document Review||Detail Design||Irrigation Design|
|Presentation Shadowing||Client Contacts||Contractor Meetings||Design Reviews|
The student is responsible for contacting potential employers, providing them with an application for employment and providing a portfolio as required. In addition, the student should present a copy of the Internship Program Guidelines, the Internship Program Introduction Letter from the Department Head, and the Intern Evaluation form. Please see the Ten Steps to an Internship for additional information.
The intern is expected to be a responsible and productive member of the firm or agency, utilizing his/her employable skills to the highest extent on behalf of the employer while observing and gaining knowledge of office operations. The intern is an employee, rather than a guest, and is expected to conduct him/herself accordingly.
During the internship, the student is expected to work diligently under the direction of the employer and is required to keep a daily journal of experiences, activities and work samples. In order to receive course credit, the student must submit the following to the Department Head by the end of the quarter in which enrolled in LA 371:
- A copy of the Daily Journal (40-60 words per day).
- A reflection essay (1000 words) on what he/she gained from the experience and work collaborations. Relevant work samples, digital photographs may be included.
- A signed Introduction Letter and Intern Evaluation (these may be faxed or emailed directly to the department).
- A completed and signed university liability waiver form.
- If the internship is part or fully in-person (not virtual), a completed Site Self-Assessment form that is signed by the employer or employer representative and the student.
Once the above has been submitted, students should signup for an interview with the Department Head to discuss the internship experience.
Employers should sign the Introduction Letter from the Department Head that outlines the internship's educational goals as well as complete the Intern Evaluation and Site Self-Assessment forms (provided by the student) summarizing the student's value to the firm or agency. Employers should include the approximate dates of employment, an outline of the duties and responsibilities performed, and any areas needing improvement. Students should be paid at least the minimum wage reflective of the jurisdiction in which the internship occurs for the duration of the internship.
The LA 371 course is administered and coordinated by the Department Head or a faculty member. At the end of the quarter, the instructor of record for LA 371 will determine, based on the student's summary report, journal, and employer's evaluation form, whether credit will be awarded for the experience.
Internship Forms and References
Internship Site Self-Assessment (only if internship is fully or part in-person)
Click here for current opportunities posted on the Department web site.
Career Services can help you explore career options, prepare for your internship search, connect with employers and more. You can visit their site for information on their services here.
Having Trouble Finding an Internship?
Do not wait until your last quarter of study to enroll in LA 371 and begin looking for an opportunity. If you are having trouble finding an internship to satisfy the LA 371 course requirements, keep reading and meet with the Department Head to review your options.
Consider the following:
- Review the internship requirements and understand their intentions.
- Review related job sites including Architecture, City and Regional Planning, Mustang Jobs, and Craigslist.
- Identify with employers that you are looking for a 90-hour internship to satisfy an academic requirement. Ideally this would be a paid position but identify that this is not a request for full-time employment.
- Consider a volunteer or unpaid position.
- Consider a compilation of more than one opportunity.
- If you are having trouble making contact with key personnel, send contact information to the Department Head.
- Consider "shadowing" a professional or professional project for 90 hours. This option requires personal initiative to: research a project, review public information, review press coverage, meet with key individuals and stakeholders (owners, city employees, architects/planners/landscape architects, community groups on both sides of the project). Create a summary report along the lines of the Internship Journal that documents what you did, who you met with, how many hours you spent, key observations and lessons learned, etc. This option requires approval from the Department Head prior to beginning the project.
- Propose an alternative that you think meets the program goals and requirements, create a proposed timeline of activities, and submit the solution to the Department Head for review and approval.