Bachelor of Arts in Urban Planning
UP 390, The Internship
The objective of the internship is to introduce students
to professional employment and planning practice, by means of practical
experience under competent professional guidance. The internship must be
preceded and succeeded by at least one semester of course work in planning
while in residence at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
- An internship must consist of at least 80 hours (two full-time
weeks) of appropriate planning-related work at an off-campus
agency. Generally, one hour of credit is awarded for each
80 hours of appropriate work.
- The work must be planning, or clearly related to planning; that is,
it must involve action directed toward the physical, economic, environmental,
or social betterment of a community. The agency must be involved in such
action, and the internship must be performed under the supervision of
a professional in the field.
- Internship credit will not be given for work that is primarily clerical
in nature (typing, coloring maps, answering the telephone, mindless data
entry), nor for manual labor (e.g., landscaping), nor for university research
(including CERL). Typically, an internship consists of support tasks similar
to those of an entry-level professional position. These might include
field data collection, map preparation, data analysis, preparation of
case memos, participation in public meetings, and preparation of reports
to support planning activities. To receive internship credit, you must
be actively participating in substantive planning work.
- Internship credit will normally not be given for work in real estate,
law, banking, engineering, architecture, or landscape architecture offices,
unless the work of the office has a clear planning component that distinguishes
it from the norm. Internship credit will normally be given for work for
relevant public agencies, consultants in planning or economic development,
community nonprofits, and private developers.
- UP 390 internship credit is given only to students enrolled in the BAUP
degree program. Prior approval of internships by the degree coordinator
is required, and completion of the three forms and weekly log must precede
the award of credit.
Most internships are during the summer break. Some students, however, are
able to obtain internships of suitable quality and duration during the academic
year. You must register and pay tuition and fees during the term or summer
session in which the internship is performed, in order for the course to
appear on the official transcript. Alternatively, students may choose to
register for internship credit in a subsequent semester. Internships may
be on a paid or volunteer basis, depending on your arrangements with the
You need to submit four forms in order to complete your internship:
Offer of Internship. This one-page form is
filled out by the professional who will act as your internship
supervisor. The purpose of the form is to assure the necessary
commitment of time by the supervisor, and to confirm that
the tasks will be appropriate for a planning internship.
It is your responsibility to provide this form to your internship
supervisor once you have accepted the internship offer.
Once you have received the Offer, you should submit it
to the BAUP Coordinator for approval. You will then be able
to enroll in UP 390, for the appropriate number of credits, as
determined by the BAUP Coordinator. If you aren’t
sure of your total hours of work, or if the BAUP Coordinator
needs further evidence regarding the planning component of your
internship duties, you can enroll in UP 390 following completion
of the internship (see below)
- Weekly Log. You need to maintain this during the internship. For
each week you should summarize your activities, in a brief paragraph
or bulleted list.
Internship Evaluation. This form must be completed at the
end of the internship in order to receive a grade of satisfactory
for UP 390.
Internship Evaluation>. Your internship supervisor must return
this form to the Department at the end of the internship. It
is your responsibility to ensure that s/he has the form and submits
it in a timely manner. The form provides the supervisor with
the chance to evaluate your skills and to reflect upon your contribution
to the agency. You may not receive a grade for UP 390 until the form
You should submit documents 2, 3, and 4 in one package to the BAUP Coordinator
upon completion of your internship, in order to receive UP 390 credit. If
you choose to enroll in UP 390 after completing the internship, the BAUP
Coordinator will advise you regarding the appropriate number of credits.