1-3 Credit Internship2022-06-21T13:22:45+00:00

REAL internshipsexperiences = professional success

Interior Architecture internships

What you need to know

The FIU Interior Architecture department encourages students to pursue professional opportunities while they are still in school, and by doing so, they learn important industry lessons that only experience can teach. Internships expose students to various aspects of the interior design industry and build on their academic knowledge, positioning them for professional success upon graduation.

All students enrolled in the FIU Interior Architecture program are encouraged to complete an internship in an interior design-related field prior to graduation, and the 3 credit internship can replace a required elective.

There are several options for which students can register to ensure that their internship appears on their official academic transcript: 1-3* credits or zero** credits. Students may select the option that best suits their academic needs.

Internship options


*1 and 2 credit internship options coming soon
** 0 credit internships not available for international students

1-3* credit internships

Earn credit for your internship experience

Did you know that FIU Interior Architecture students can earn credit toward their degree by securing an internship in an interior design or related field and enrolling in the IND 5948 Graduate Internship course?

Credits apply to the fulfillment of the Master of Interior Architecture degree’s elective requirement, and students can select from earning 1-3* credits depending on their credit needs.

Enroll in the internship course:

  1. Contact your academic advisor to confirm the number of credits needed to fulfill your elective requirement.
  2. Read the internship requirements/ course syllabus.
  3. Secure an internship that meets the course requirements.
  4. Review and complete the Internship Employment Agreement Form with your employer supervisor and submit it to the internship course professor for approval prior to course registration (professor varies- verify with your academic advisor or department chair).
  5. Register for the IND 5948 Graduate Internship course (1-3* credits) with your academic advisor after you receive written approval from the internship course professor.

Immerse in your internship:

  1. Work, learn, track your hours and document your experiences.
  2. Reach out to your professor with any questions or concerns you may have about your internship (we recommend a mid-semester check-in, even if your internship experience is awesome).

Complete your internship hours & course: (before the end of the semester)

  1. Ask your employer supervisor to complete and submit the Internship Completion + Evaluation Forms to your internship professor (provide your employer supervisor with your professor’s contact information).
  2. Complete and submit the following to your professor:
    1.  Documentation of your work experiences – written and visual (pdf).
    2. Internship questionnaire and photos for CARTA News (if required).

Add your internship to your resume and Handshake and LinkedIn profiles!

*1- and 2-credit internship course options coming soon

Zero Credit Internships

Validate your internship experience

Whether it be by necessity, curiosity, or pure drive, many of our FIU Interior Architecture students work while in school, but not everyone needs the credits.

Why register for the “zero credit” internship?

  • “Zero credit” means you don’t pay for the course.
    • Some students take multiple internships and therefore have too many credits or simply don’t want the expense of additional credits.
    • Some internships do not meet the IND 5948 course requirements.
  • Your internship will appear on your FIU transcript.
    • This validates that your experience meets the Interior Architecture Department’s standards for academic-related work experiences.
  • You will increase the value of your degree.
    • High numbers of internship registrations help boost our college rankings.

FAQs for students

Get your questions answered

Q | How do I register for an internship course?

A | Through your academic advisor. All internships must meet the minimum requirements outlined in the internship course requirements and be approved by the internship course professor prior to course registration (professors vary by semester – verify with your academic advisor or department chair). 

Q | What if my internship does not meet all the requirements outlined in the course syllabus? For example, my Employer Supervisor is not NCIDQ certified and is neither a licensed interior designer nor a registered/licensed architect with interior design expertise?

A | Some requirements may be waived on a case-by-case basis. Contact the internship course professor to request a requirement exception and internship approval. If you are not granted an exception, you can register for the zero credit internship course.

Q | Do I need to have an internship before I register for the 1-3 or zero credit internship courses?

A | Yes, but if you don’t secure your internship until after the start of the semester, you can still add the course up until the add/drop date.

Q | Will FIU place me in an internship if I don’t already have one?

A | No, but we can help you find and secure an internship. You can begin your search by looking through the openings on Handshake and our LinkedIn CARTA Career Community. Then, schedule an appointment with a CARTA Career Specialist for personalized help with your internship search.

Q | Where can I go to het help with my resume and cover letter?

A |  You can schedule an appointment with a CARTA Career Specialist for help with resume and cover letter preparation, mock interview practice, salary negotiation coaching and more!

Q | Can the 1-3 credit internship course satisfy my elective requirement(s)?

A | Yes.

Q | How do I know if I need credit for my internship?

A | Ask your academic advisor.

Q | Can I take the internship course more than once?

A | Yes. Verify your specific credit needs with your academic advisor. If you need the course credit, you can register for the 1-3 credit course. If you do not need credit, register for the zero credit course so it appears on your transcript.

Q | Is it best to intern at the same company until graduation?

A | No. Since internships give you industry experience, staying at the same company greatly limits your experience. Interning at a variety of companies will increase your knowledge of the industry.

Q | Are international students eligible to take an internship course (zero credit or 1-3 credits) and work as an intern?

A | All international students MUST contact the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) for approval prior to obtaining an internship (paid or unpaid) or registering for the internship course. Failure to do so may lead to very serious violations of immigration policies. Remember, when in doubt….check with ISSS!

Q | Will my internship count toward the NCIDQ work experience requirement?

A | Maybe. The zero credit internship course may count if you meet the following criteria:

“Up to 1,760 hours of interior design work experience, earned prior to graduation, may be included in overall work experience total…[and] hours must be earned and affirmed by a Direct Supervisor or Sponsor.

“A Direct Supervisor and/or Sponsor must be a design professional, defined as someone who meets at least one of the following three criteria:

    • NCIDQ Certified Interior Designer

    • State/Provincial Licensed/Registered/Certified Interior Designer in the U.S. or Canada

    • State/Provincial Licensed/Registered Architect in the U.S. or Canada who provides interior design services” – NCIDQ 

Because the 1-3 credit internship counts toward your degree, it will NOT count toward your work experience hours for the NCIDQ. 

Q | My employer does not meet any of the criteria to qualify as an NCIDQ Direct Supervisor or Sponsor. Can my internship professor affirm my work experience hours for the NCIDQ?

A | Yes, if your internship professor is NCIDQ certified, they can affirm your work experience hours on a case by case basis. Contact your internship professor for more details.

Q | Why do I need to pay tuition fees for an internship course, especially if I obtain my own internship?

A | FIU charges tuition fees to earn course credits that are applied toward your degree. If you do not need the course credit(s), you can register for the free zero credit internship course.

Q | I need 1 or 2 internship credits. When will these options become available?

A | Currently, students can register for 3- and 0-credit internship courses. The 1- and 2-credit options are pending University approval and should become available Spring 2023. Contact your academic advisor to verify your options.

Q | I submitted my Internship Employment Agreement Form and registered for an Internship course, but my internship was canceled or postponed. What should I do ?

A | Contact your academic advisor and Internship professor immediately.  

Want to learn more?

FAQs for employers

What you need to know

Q | What is the difference between an intern and a design assistant?

A | While the duties may be the same, a design assistant implies it is an ongoing position with the same weekly work schedule, unless otherwise agreed upon by the employer. An intern’s schedule should be flexible because a student’s school schedule takes priority and generally lasts one semester, or 16 weeks maximum, unless otherwise agreed upon.

Q | Why should internships be paid hourly and comply with the state minimum wage?

A | Internships can be subject to stringent labor guidelines. In the U.S., federal law mandates that unpaid interns must not benefit the company economically or be used to displace the work done by paid employees. Therefore, any unpaid design work or work contributing to the profit of the company can be construed as violating federal internship guidelines. Paying an intern protects the employer as well as the student.

Q | What is the maximum number of hours an intern should work per week?

A | During a semester in which a student is taking classes, students should work no more than 20 hours per week. The hours should be flexible, especially during midterms and finals to allow the student to balance both their academic and work obligations. 

Q | Can I require that an intern have prior experience and work independently with no supervision? 

A | No. A student intern may have prior professional work or internship experience, but their work must be supervised by a regular employee of the company. Their supervisor should not be another intern. Interns are not responsible for company project deadlines. The supervisor is responsible for the intern’s workload, and should ensure they have enough work to do and understand what is required. The intern should not be expected to seek out other company employees for tasks.

Q | How do I post a job, attend a career fair, and/or establish a recruitment plan at FIU? 

A | FIU uses the career platform called Handshake to connect employers with students and alumni. For more details, visit our the employer section of our CARTA Career website.

Q | What is the cost of posting a job on Handshake? 

A | Posting jobs on Handshake is free. 

Q | What jobs should I post on Handshake?

A | Paid jobs related to the field of interior design. For example, positions in an interior design or architecture firm, trade or retail showroom or other established business related to interior design. Each posting is reviewed by our Career and Talent Development team to ensure they are a great fit for our interior design students.

Q | What positions do not qualify for the FIU Interior Architecture internship course requirements? 

A | Jobs related to a field outside of interior design. For example, marketing of any kind, website posting and maintenance, posting of social media and administrative duties that fall outside of interior design related tasks, i.e., bookkeeping, reception, office management, and personal assistant duties of any kind.

Want to learn more?

Find an internship

CARTA’s got connections


  • Search for jobs and set up customized searches,
  • Make an appointment with a CARTA career specialist,
  • Create a profile that is searchable by employers and more!