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Intern Development Program (IDP)

This program was designed to help bridge the gap between the knowledge you acquired during college and the knowledge you gain by working in an architectural practice. It is a comprehensive program that aims to maintain integrity and high standards within the architecture profession. IDP is also intended to better prepare you for the ARE exam as well as a career in the field of architecture.


The purpose of the program is to ensure that you will receive essential training and acquire the necessary skills to fulfill the state requirements for the competent practice of architecture. IDP establishes training level requirements, offers a mentorship program, and provides a record keeping system to document your activities and progress. Currently 49 of the state registration boards require interns to participate in the IDP program.


You can enter into the IDP program as soon as you have completed one of the following requirements, as stated by NCARB:

  • Three years in an NAAB or CACB-accredited professional degree program. The third year of a four-year pre-professional degree program in architecture accepted for direct entry to an NAAB or CACB-accredited professional degree program.
  • One year in an NAAB or CACB-accredited Master of Architecture degree program for interns with undergraduate degrees in another discipline.
  • 96 semester credit hours as evaluated by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) in accordance with NCARB's Education Requirement, of which no more than 60 hours can be in the general education subject area.


There is a free, online professional development resource called The Emerging Professional's Companion. EPC can help you acquire credit through the successful completion of beginner, intermediate and advanced exercises that cover key proactive issues such as liability, health and safety, and ethics. This challenges you to achieve the competencies required in each IDP training area. The program helps you earn IDP credit in areas lacking in your work environment and/or as a way to speed up the process of becoming a professional architect.For more information visit their site here.


With the disappearance of the traditional mentor/apprentice relationship, a comprehensive internship program was necessary to reinforce the discipline, integrity, judgment, skills, knowledge, and quest for learning that must serve the registered architect for a lifetime.


IDP has five objectives:

  • Define areas of architectural practice in which you should acquire basic knowledge and skills.
  • Encourage additional training in the broad aspects of architectural practice.
  • Provide the highest quality information and advice about educational, internship and professional issues and opportunities.
  • Provide a uniform system for documentation and periodic assessment of internship activity.
  • Provide greater access to educational opportunities designed to enrich training.

More information on the Intern Development Program, training requirements, resources, etc. here.

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