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Intern Development Program

The Intern Development Program (IDP) structures the multiyear transition from architecture student to licensed professional. The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) sets the program’s criteria and monitors it across the country. The IDP is guided by the Intern Development Program Advisory Committee (IDPAC), which includes AIA and NCARB representatives, including interns-at-large. In addition to the advisory role of the IDPAC, suggested changes to the IDP come from such sources as the Practice Analysis Survey of Architecture.

To learn more about the program and to download the current IDP Guidelines, visit the NCARB IDP Overview webpage. In November 2012, NCARB updated IDP to include up to 930 hours of Construction Work as supplemental experience for elective hours. The cap on the amount of hours gained through Academic Internship experience was also eliminated by NCARB. Learn more at

Who Is Involved with the IDP?

Many people contribute to a successful IDP experience, from clients to architects. These people have specific roles in the experience:

  • Interns: People who are working toward meeting a registration board’s training requirements; that is people who have met the academic and professional requirements for starting the IDP program and are now working toward their architecture license. Download the most recent NCARB IDP Guidelines here.
  • Supervisors and Firms: Registered architects with interns working under their direct supervision. Learn more about the role of IDP Supervisors and Mentors and download the Supervisor Guidelines via NCARB’s website here.
  • Mentors: Registered architects committed to meeting periodically with interns and reviewing their training progress. Learn how to become a mentor.
  • IDP Coordinators: Volunteers who help manage communications between the AIA, the NCARB, and their membership, and help educate and support interns. Individuals may be state, educator, or auxiliary coordinators. Find your IDP Coordinator or become an IDP Coordinator one today.

Are You Ready? Let’s Get Started!

The AIA can help make your internship a success by providing resources, information, and supplementary education. We can also provide assistance in finding a mentor and a nationwide network of IDP Coordinators who educate and aid interns at state, regional, and local levels.

Best Practices

AIA Best Practices represent the collective wisdom of AIA members. They are a compendium of practical knowledge acquired by AIA members in the real world of architecture practice—knowledge gained from experience, immediately applicable to a task at hand.

IDP Firm Awards Program
Since 1991, the IDP Advisory Committee has recognized firms from across the country who actively embrace the NCARB Intern Development Program (IDP) and demonstrate their commitment by making the path to licensure an integral part of the firm’s culture. Learn more at


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