What Are the Different Types of Urban Planning Internships?

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  • Written By: D. Nelson
  • Edited By: M. C. Hughes
  • Last Modified Date: 22 May 2018
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The two primary types of urban planning internships are paid and unpaid internships. Many students who are interested in pursuing careers in urban planning enroll in related academic programs, which often enable them to take internship positions with government agencies and firms that specialize in urban architectural development. Many urban planning internships are unpaid. Individuals who take internships not sponsored by academic institutions, however, often do receive payment for their work. Summer internships benefit students who would like urban planning work experience, but who cannot fit it into their regular academic schedules.

Urban planning describes analysis and strategy related to the development of urban areas. While many in the urban planning field have strong backgrounds in architecture, issues related to commerce, transportation, and other facets of public works often are part of urban planning. An internship in this field allows aspiring urban planners to gain valuable work experience that can help them to become proficient, successful professionals.

Students in undergraduate and postgraduate programs may take urban planning internships that are sponsored by their schools. In these cases, internships most often are unpaid. Students benefit from these opportunities, however, since they provide them with experience that otherwise might be difficult to attain. Internship experience also can strengthen a resume.


Many students who have large course loads may opt to take summer urban planning internships. These opportunities normally last for two to three months in between spring and fall semesters. These tend to be the least intensive of the urban planning internships because they last for a minimal amount of time.

Postgraduate students often must engage in urban planning internships as part of their studies. While undergraduate internships might require students to perform a number of remedial tasks, graduate internships commonly require students to utilize complex analysis skills and methodologies they learn in the classroom. Tasks that interns are expected to complete often are determined by representatives from a participating firm or government agency, though academic advisers may need to approve internships before students can take them for academic credit.

When individuals take urban planning internships after having completed degree programs, they are often eligible for paid internships. In many instances, these types of internships are similar to part time jobs or apprenticeships. Interns, in this context, assist established professionals, perform basic tasks, and earn wages.

Internships may be offered to individuals on the basis of merit. The process for getting a paid internship, for example, might be similar to the process for getting a job. Applicants turn in resumes or curricula vitae, references, and sometimes even statements of purpose. The strongest candidates are awarded the opportunity.



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