Internship Information for Landscape Design and Planning Students


What is the required internship? 

The internship is an opportunity to work in a professional environment under the guidance of an environmental design professional. It is a transition step between your education and your professional career.


Who is eligible to complete the internship?

Landscape Design & Planning majors who have earned at least a C- in LA 3002 and LA 3003 are eligible to complete the required for-credit internship.


What are the enrollment and work expectations?

  • Enroll in LA 4096 for 1 credit. Note: The course grade base is S/N, which means you must earn the equivalent to a C- or better in order to receive credit for the course
  • A minimum of 250 hours of work is expected.


When should I do my internship?

Internships are typically completed in the summer between your junior and senior year, but you may also complete your internship during fall or spring semester terms.

It is important for you to register for the semester during which you are completing your internship hours. When completing the internship in the summer, check with the Director of Undergraduate Studies about when to register for LA 4096.


Who will be my faculty supervisor?

The Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUGS) in the Department of Landscape Architecture will serve as your internship faculty supervisor. The terms faculty advisor and faculty supervisor are used interchangeably.


Who will be my internship site supervisor?

Your internship site supervisor will necessarily be more knowledgeable about the field than you and, thus, be able to mentor and guide you in learning the tasks outlined in your learning agreement. Supervision by a friend or family member is not allowed.


Where should I complete my internship?

Consider your career goals when looking for an internship. Meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies to discuss possibilities for internships that will provide you with the experiences you need to succeed in your career.


Design Track (for students admitted prior to fall 2018)

Students typically pursue their internship with a firm involved in the design/build phase of the landscape industry. They might work with a nursery, a larger garden center or a landscape contractor.


Planning Track (for students admitted prior to fall 2018)

Students usually pursue their internship with a government agency administering a planning program or with a firm offering professional planning services on a consultancy basis. They might work for an agency in a municipality or county, various state agencies (e.g. MN Department of Natural Resources or Department of Transportation) or a Planning/Engineering, Planning/Landscape Architecture or Planning/Architecture firm.


Freelance Positions

Because our goal is for you to work with landscape design and planning professionals, typical freelance jobs usually will not meet the internship criteria. Your search for an internship will be much like a job search, and you want to find a position that will be appropriate for your interests and abilities.


If I own my own business, do I need to complete an internship?

If you are a small business owner for whom conducting an internship with another company is unrealistic, talk with the Director of Undergraduate Studies about possible alternative strategies for completing the internship requirement. 


Do I need to set learning objectives prior to the internship?

Yes. In the Internship Experience Agreement, you must define how your internship activities will relate to specific learning objectives to be pursued in completion of your internship responsibilities. Simply specifying a desire to work 250 hours for a particular firm or agency would be an insufficient definition of learning goals. 

The vast majority of the tasks you undertake should be professionally relevant to one or more of your internship learning objectives. For example….


Defining Course objectives

Course objectives will vary depending on the type of internship you select. You might specify objectives related to learning about a specific form of construction (e.g. dry-stack wall, rain-garden installation); a software system used in the industry; the process of bidding on a construction proposal; financial and managerial accounting associated with project implementation and firm management; project scheduling related to equipment, materials, and personnel; or techniques of client contact. Alternately, you might specify by example objectives related to learning about the structure and operation of the site plan or zoning variance review processes; preparing technical memoranda for planning board agenda item consideration; use of geographic information systems technology in urban planning; or procedures for inter-agency cooperation that are required in plan preparation or administration.

Important: Prior to LA4096 registration students must complete the required internship learning agreement found on the GoldPass site

Note: Through Spring 2021 all off-campus internships that are conducted in-person must also include a request for an approval to conduct in-person, off-campus community-based learning, internships, and field work. Link to request form


How do I register for my internship?

Refer to the Internship Enrollment Checklist and Internship Experience Agreement Instructions.


Do I need to submit any documents after completing my internship hours?

In order to receive credit, you must submit all of the following documents to the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUGS) upon completion of your internship:

  • journal in which you describe your daily internship activities and the corresponding learning goal(s) from your Internship Experience Agreement
  • 5-7 page synthesis paper in which you…
    • describe your internship and how you met your learning goals
    • relate the internship experience to your environmental design education (e.g., In what ways did you use what you learned in school? What did you learn at the internship that you could not learn in a classroom setting?)
  • Final Internship Evaluation Form: Employer – to be completed by your internship site supervisor  Note: It is your responsibility to ensure submission of this form by your internship site supervisor to the DUGS.
  • Final Internship Evaluation Form: Student – to be completed by you

In the Internship Experience Agreement, you will see a field that requires you to enter the above information.


Who do I contact if I have questions?

Contact Brad Agee, Director of Undergraduate Studies: