UCLA Extension

The Internship Program Description

***NOTE: For internship eligibility and requirements, please thoroughly review the Internship Process.***


An internship is a very important step in the transition from “student status” to “professional status.” The opportunity to participate in this practical experience in a design office or showroom is invaluable. Internships are interesting and challenging positions available for students with varying degrees of technical skills and backgrounds.

The Professional Interior Architecture Internship course (ARCH X 473) will count as a 2-unit Elective in the Master of Interior Architecture degree program. Elective credits are not required for the Certificate Program.

The internship course requires the completion of 136 working hours with a reputable design firm. Firms are usually flexible and will work around a student’s schedule. Generally, two full week days (16 hours) is required. The beginning and ending dates do not have to exactly coincide with our quarter dates. Some firms will pay the internship course fee and some may pay a salary, but it is the student’s responsibility to enroll into the course prior to starting the internship in order to receive credit. It is illegal in California to employ someone without pay unless that person is enrolled as an intern in a school program such as ours. Please review details pertaining to eligibility and requirements on the Internship Process page.

Students must treat these interviews as they would a professional job interview, dressing accordingly and being prepared to present their work or a portfolio and a resume. Often, firms will require an emailed resume, cover letter, and digital work samples before arranging an interview. If necessary, a student may make an appointment to see the Program Advisor, who can review the student’s work and academic history and can assist with setting up interviews with appropriate firms.


The goal of the Internship is to provide the student with experience in as many of the following areas as possible:

Client Relations and Job Presentation

  • Interviews and analysis of needs
  • Contracts and letters of agreements
  • Space planning, drafting, drawing, rendering, and layout, manual and CAD
  • Color, furniture, and material research
  • Preparation of presentation
  • Budget and estimating
  • Job presentation to client

Measurements and Requirements

  • Window coverings
  • Floor coverings
  • Upholstery
  • Cabinetry and built-ins

Installation of Job

  • Delivery and installation coordination
  • Supervision at installation
  • Inspection and touch-up

Business Procedures

  • Office procedures
  • Professional ethics
  • Understanding costs, mark-ups, specifications, overhead and profit
  • Purchase orders
  • Budget Control
  • Expediting orders
  • Deposits and billing
  • Project Management

Sources of Supply

  • Trade relations
  • Knowledge of samples and supplies
  • Up-dating of catalogs and sample files
  • Showroom exposure
  • Purchase and work orders-Written and Verbal instructions

Personal Development

  • Relationships-Employer/Employee, Client/Designer, Designer/Supplier
  • Productive interviews
  • Design concepts
  • Selling techniques

Ready to start your internship? Continue to the Job + Internship Opportunity Listings to find the right position!