Internship Overview

While there is ample published research and writing on architectural education and practice, there is comparatively little focused specifically on the crucial time that links graduation and registration: internship. Since the 1970s, the AIA and NCARB have made great efforts to institutionalize the Intern Development Program (IDP), the profession as a whole has been reluctant and painfully slow to embrace this program or interns in general.

Numerous committees and reports on architectural internship have taken shape under the direction of the five national organizations, particularly within the past decade. The primary impetus for this current round of discussions was the 1996 report, Building Community: A new future for architecture education and practice. In the section of their report titled "A Unified Profession," authors Boyer and Mitgang write, "[I]nternship is perhaps the most troubled phase of the continuing education of architects" (p.115).

The Building Community report did and continues to inspire dialogue within the profession. The single-largest initiative to take place since the report was the 1999 Collateral Summit on Architectural Internship. The five national membership organizations ((ACSA, AIA, AIAS, NAAB, and NCARB) formulated extensive position papers and reports in advance of the Collateral Summit, including two unprecedented surveys of interns by the AIA and NCARB. The Collateral Summit, however, has produced only more reports of its own. Even the most specific recommendations from the three years of subsequent discussion--that portions of the ARE be offered to graduates concurrent with internship, and that the title "architect" be used to refer to any graduate of a professional degree program--are nowhere near becoming realities.

It is also worth noting that IDP was not discussed at the Collateral Summit and has not been addressed in any public proceedings since the program's inception in the mid-1970s, at the mandate of NCARB. There is a separate, private program evaluation and policy-setting process employed by NCARB, which governs the IDP in complete isolation. Beyond NCARB, and even within its own ranks, consensus exists that internship requires increased attention and substantial reform.

Technically speaking, every state registration board requires that an intern--someone in the process of satisfying a board's training standard--work under the supervision of a licensed architect for a period of time before qualifying for licensure. Many boards allow some of this time to be spent working in the offices of related professionals (engineers, landscape architects or planners) or for general contractors. Almost all jurisdictions require interns to complete their training period before they may sit for the Architect Registration Examination (ARE), but six states empower graduates to take some or all of the examination sections concurrent with internship. Many boards also allow some training credit for work experience gained while still in school. In all cases, a license is granted only after successful completion of both phases.

The following chronology documents the formation of the regulatory organizations; institution of state IDP training requirements; important committees, meetings, and conferences; as well as significant articles, publications, and reports related to architectural internship.

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) is founded.

NCARB hosts its first annual meeting.

An NCARB resolution establishes the title "Intern Architect" and the development of an internship program.

Research begins on developing a program for architectural internship. A national IDP committee is established by the AIA and NCARB.

The Five Presidents Task Force on Internship Final Report is published.

Draft Statement of AIA Objectives: The New Internship Program (statement of AIA's objectives in participating with NCARB in the program) is released.

In February, the Intern-Architect Development Program (IDP) is implemented as pilot programs in Colorado, New Jersey, and Texas.

"Update IDP," by Charles Blondheim, is published in Telesis: The Architectural Student Journal.

The AIA SupEd Guide series is published "expressly to enlarge the interns' learning opportunities they've found difficult to experience firsthand."

"Progress Report on the Pilot Phase of the Intern Program," by Mary Osman, and "Interns, Sponsors, Advisers Meet to Compare Notes," by William Houseman, are published in the December issue of the AIA Journal.

Mississippi is the first state to require IDP training for initial registration.

"The IDP: No Small Affair," by William Houseman, and "IDP: My Side of the Mountain," by Robert Rosenfeld, appear in Crit: The Architectural Student Journal.

"On Training Young Graduates: Some Useful 'How-To' from NCARB," by Walter Wagner, is published in Architectural Record.

"The Intern Program: A Progress Report," by Mary Osman, is published in the December issue of the AIA Journal.

"Tracking Study of Architecture Graduates," edited by Roger Schluntz, is published by the ACSA.

NCARB IDP Assessment Committee issues a report on its pilot program and initial program implementation.

"Internship and Licensing: Let's think about it from the student's point of view," by Walter Wagner, is published in Architectural Record.

The Final Report of the AIA IDP Evaluation Task Force, chaired by Ray Stainback, Jr., is published.

"The IDP Equation: Not Adding Up," by Kimberly Stanley, is published in the spring issue of Crit: The Architectural Student Journal.

In February, "Internships in Architectural Education: the role of experiential learning in architectural school curricula in the United States, Canada, and Mexico," by F. Gene Ernst of Kansas State University, is published.

Arkansas and Florida require IDP training for initial registration.

Louisiana and Texas require IDP training for initial registration.

Oregon and Tennessee require IDP training for initial registration.

"Who Needs IDP?" by William Wiese, is published in the May issue of Architectural Record.

Alabama and Maine require IDP training for initial registration.

Georgia requires IDP training for initial registration.

"The Intern-Architect Development Program, a status report from the trenches" is published in the March issue of Architectural Record.

Kentucky, North Carolina, and Rhode Island require IDP training for initial registration.

The Five Presidents' Council approaches Ernest Boyer, then-president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, to study architectural education and practice.

Nebraska and Nevada require IDP training for initial registration.

Architectural Practice: A Critical View, by Robert Gutman, is published by Princeton Architectural Press.

"P/A Reader Poll: Internship and Registration" and "Education: The Medical Model," by Douglas Pegues Harvey, are published in the June issue of Progressive Architecture.

Alaska, Maryland, and Wyoming require IDP training for initial registration.

"IDP: Still Controversial but Increasingly a Fact of Life," by Douglas Gordon, is published in the May issue of Architecture.

Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, and New Mexico require IDP training for initial registration.

The IDP Outstanding Firm Award is established by the IDP Coordinating Committee (IDPCC).

In May, the "1990 Architect's Learning Activities Survey Report," is prepared by the Oklahoma Research Center for Continuing Professional and Higher Education at the request of the AIA Firm Recognition Task Force on Outstanding Education in Practice.

"Patterns of Exploitation," by Thomas Fisher, is published in the May issue of Progressive Architecture.

The AIAS administers a questionnaire on the quality of internship experiences to its chapters and all AIA Intern/Associate members.

"We Are From the Government and Are Here to Help You," by Jack Hartray, is published in the AIA Chicago chapter newsletter.

Colorado, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania require IDP training for initial registration.

Results of the AIAS' 1991 questionnaire on internship experiences are published.

A special report, "The Teaching Office: A Proposal for a New Education Program" is published by the National Institute for Architectural Education.

NCARB's Member Boards vote at its Annual Meeting in June to require IDP training for NCARB certification effective 1996, subject to provisions for exempting certain applicants.

At their June meeting, the AIA Board of Directors discusses NCARB's Annual Meeting resolutions regarding the IDP and the Architect Development Verification Program. Soon after, the AIA states that "AIA policy supports structured internship program such as the [IDP] for licensing, but does not support IDP as the sole method for satisfying internship requirements; AIA's intern members strongly support AIA's policy and oppose mandating IDP, largely because of the cost of NCARB's record-keeping function and the lack of attendant benefits."

"Employers of IDP Interns Who Ignore Federal Wage and Hour Laws May Be in for Trouble," by NCARB Chief Legal Counsel Carl Sapers, is published in the winter issue of IDP News.

Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wisconsin require IDP training for initial registration.

At its annual Grassroots leadership conference, the AIAS Council of Presidents passes a resolution regarding intern compensation and encourages the other four collateral organizations to do the same.

"Intern Compensation Revisited," by Carl Sapers, is published in the September issue of IDP News.

The ACSA Board of Directors votes to support the AIAS' resolution on intern compensation.

Work begins in fall for what would be a thirty-month study of architectural education and practice conducted by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and sponsored by the collateral organizations.

A paper, titled "NCARB and How It Relates to Architectural Professional Associations," is published by NCARB. This paper explores how two principle considerations, federal antitrust law and public credibility, collectively define the extent to which NCARB can engage in joint undertakings with the other collateral architectural organizations.

Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, and Ohio require IDP training for initial registration.

"Can this Profession be Saved?" by Thomas Fisher, is published in the February issue of Progressive Architecture, offering a preliminary comparison of architecture with other professions.

The AIA Board of Directors votes to support the AIAS' resolution on intern compensation.

"The Intern Trap: How the Profession Exploits its Young," by Thomas Fisher, is published July issue of Progressive Architecture.

The AIA Board of Directors passes a mandate that instructs AIA staff to investigate all possibilities and legal ramifications of implementing mechanisms that ensure their membership that the Institute is neither promoting nor being promoted by architects that do not adhere to compensation labor laws.

The Final Report of the AIA Licensing and Reciprocity Task Force released by the AIA. This report identified the need for the AIA to be a more effective advocate in the area of registration standard setting.

Montana requires IDP training for initial registration.

In an open discussion paper dated February 5, then-ACSA President James Barker, states "By the year 2000, we must have in place a process for 'accrediting' or 'validating' the quality of individual professional offices for internship experience with the same care and thoughtfulness that we have given to the accreditation of schools of architecture...The challenge of the IDP Coordinating Committee in the year 2000 is to put themselves out of a job; to ensure that the quality of experience is accredited by our profession."

In June, delegates to the NCARB Annual Meeting approve resolution to study incorporating an addition to the NCARB Rules of Conduct specifying that architects compensate their employees according to applicable laws and regulations.

The Final Report of the AIA Task Force on Education and Internship Standards for Licensure is released by the AIA (chaired by Robert Clough). The report contains 12 recommendations relating to improving IDP and the internship process.

North Dakota requires IDP training for initial registration.

IDP training becomes a requirement for NCARB certification, including exemptions for certain applicants.

In April, Building Community: A New Future for Architectural Education and Practice, by the late Dr. Ernest Boyer and Lee Mitgang, is published by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

At its May meeting, the AIA Board of Directors passed a three-part position statement on the IDP calling for a collaborative standard-setting body, a focus on mastery of learning objectives rather than durational requirements, and a "significant" cost reduction of the program.

Minnesota and Utah require IDP training for initial registration.

NCARB accepts the Final Report of the AIA Learning Objectives Task Force and redefines the IDP Training Areas in terms of "Core Competencies." This is seen as a first step in the evolution of the IDP training standard from prescriptive to performance-based, but nothing ever came of it.

New Jersey requires IDP training for initial registration.

"Internship Best Practices," by Ed Friedrichs is published in the January issue of Architectural Record.

In June, "Methods for Evaluating the Intern Development Program" is presented by Beth Quinn and Pamela Hill at the NCARB Annual Meeting in San Diego.

In October, the AIA Large Firm Roundtable convenes to discuss internship and soon after publishes a graphic report titled AIA Internship Best Practices I.

"Interns: In the In-between," by George Takoudes, is published by Architecture Boston.

The District of Columbia, New York, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, and Virginia require IDP training for initial registration.

The Canadian Intern Architect Program: Issues and Perspectives is published by the Committee of Canadian Architectural Councils (CCAC).

The 1999 AIA National Survey on Internship is published.

Architectural Internship Evaluation Project: A National Survey of the Internship Experience, conducted by Pamela Hill and Beth Quinn, is published by the NCARB.

The Collateral Summit on Architectural Internship is held in Shaker Village, Ky., April 12-14.

The Architectural Internship Steering Committee (AISC) is initiated.

The AIA Compensation Survey is published.

"Architects Must Reform Internship Now," by Reed Kroloff, is published in the May issue of Architecture.

"Intern," by Raymond Dehn, is published in the May issue of Architectural Record.

That same month, the first issue of what would later become ArchVoices newsletter is published.

In June, the Union of International Architects (UIA) Accord on Recommended International Standards of Professionalism in Architectural Practice is approved at the XXI UIA Assembly in Beijing, China.

"Common Good," by Eric Adams, is published in the June 1999 issue of Architecture.

The AIA Board adopts a policy advocating that students of accredited degree programs be eligible to take and be prepared to pass the ARE immediately upon graduation.

"Comparative National Analysis of Structured v. Unstructured Internship Programs" is conducted between January and June by Pamela Hill and Beth Quinn, thereafter referred to as the "California Internship Analysis."

An Evaluation and Assessment of the Architectural Internship Development Program is presented to the NCARB by Pamela Hill and Beth Quinn.

"Overwhelmed by Requirements, Interns Cheat on Reports to NCARB," by Lee Mitgang, is published in the July issue of Architectural Record.

The South Carolina Board of Architecture votes to fund the IDP enrollment fee for every fourth-year undergraduate student enrolled in Clemson University's School of Architecture, as well as the balance of IDP fees for all graduate students.

"Lost in Space," by Robert Ivy, is published in the October issue of Architectural Record.

"Learning to Lie: Falsification in Architectural Internship," is presented by Pamela Hill and Beth Quinn, at the 1999 ACSA West Regional Meeting in Portland, Ore.

In November, the AISC changes its name to the Collateral Internship Task Force (CITF).

In December, the AIA Board of Directors votes to change the structure of its Intern/Associate Committee in order to communicate with Associate members more effectively.

Hawaii requires IDP training for initial registration.

For the first time, the 2000-02 AIA Firm Survey includes an employment category for "non-registered architects." Non-registered architects account for 17% of all staff at architecture firms nationwide.

In April, the AIA Large Firm Roundtable convenes once again to discuss internship and soon after publishes a graphic report titled AIA Internship Best Practices II.

The California Architects Board (CAB) votes at its May meeting to require the IDP, effective January 1, 2005.

During its May 2000 meeting, the AIA Board of Directors approved the formation of the AIA National Associates Committee, comprised of regionally elected Associate member representatives.

Effective July 1, all IDP mentors must sign and date the employment verification form to acknowledge he or she has met to review an intern's training progress.

The AIA announces, also in July, that three states (California, Illinois, and Virginia) have been asked to conduct an 18-month pilot "Competency-based IDP" (C-IDP) study, starting July 2001. California, it turns out, is the only state that pursues such a study--one that is funded and led entirely by the California Architects Board (CAB).

In August, the AIA publishes its "Preparing Students for a Changing Profession" position paper in advance of the NAAB Validation Conference.

"Strong Economy Continues to Increase Workloads: Firms express concern about interns' preparation," by AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, is published in AIArchitect.

Following its August meeting in Quebec, the CITF releases a preliminary report for consideration at the 2001 NAAB Validation Conference.

The triennial NAAB Validation Conference is held October 10-12 in Shaker Village, Ky.

The inaugural NAC Annual Meeting is held October 27-29 at the AIA headquarters building in Washington, DC.
Washington state requires IDP training for initial registration.

In January, the Collateral Internship Task Force Final Report is published and presented to the Five Presidents' Council.

In advance of its annual Grassroots Leadership and Legislative Conference, the AIA publishes four "issue papers" responding to four AIM Objectives. The paper topics include architectural education and inclusiveness.

In February, the Collateral Internship Management Group (CIMG) is created.

NCARB issues its 2000-2001 Practice Analysis Report in February, 'validating' the IDP and ARE. The report is based on an 18-month study called "A Survey of the Practice of Architecture."

The inaugural "NCARB Prize for Creative Integration of Practice and Education in the Academy" is announced in March.

On April 12, 2001, seventeen national intern and young architect leaders write an open letter to the ACSA, AIA, AIAS, NAAB, NCARB Boards and Board-elects as well as all 50 State Licensing Boards, calling for their help in planning a 2002 Internship Summit, based on the triennial NAAB Validation Conference model used to assess architectural education.

The NCARB Board rejects, 11-1, that interns should be able to take the licensing exam immediately after graduation, as recommended by the CITF. It also rejects, unanimously, conferring the title of 'Architect' on new graduates, as recommended by the CITF.

Effective October 25, the Texas Board of Architects and Engineers allows interns to begin taking the ARE if they have completed a professional degree program and have completed six months' experience under the direct supervision of a licensed architect.

The California Architects Board (CAB) establishes a Competency-Based IDP Task Force, charged with exploring the development of competency-based training criteria and assessment tools, as recommended in the CITF Final Report.

Missouri and Vermont require IDP training for initial registration.

The CIMG convenes its first meeting, February 10-11.

The 2002 National Summit on Architectural Internship and its dedicated website are announced publicly via ArchVoices.

On May 3, ArchVoices launches the first website dedicated to uniting information on architectural internship.

At its May meeting, the Five Presidents' Council is expected to hear an update by the CIMG, including actions of the collateral organizations in response to the CITF Final Report.

Also in May, ArchVoices launches this interactive website and publishes its 100th newsletter.

The 2002 National Summit on Architectural Internship, organized by ArchVoices, is hosted by the College of Architecture at the University of Oklahoma, October 4-6.
In January, ArchVoices announces the first-ever essay competition for young professionals.
In March, ArchVoices and the AIA National Associates Committee administer the largest and most comprehensive survey ever of young professionals, the 2003 Internship & Career Survey.