Architecture and Design

Architecture is the planning, design and project management of the creation of buildings. It is a collaborative field and requires close work with clients, urban and regional planners, engineers, developers and team members assisting with projects.

Architects are licensed professionals. Designers are not licensed, but often work in firms with architects to assist with projects. Architects spend most of their days developing proposals, producing drawings, managing active projects and specifications, and visiting work sites. 

After earning a bachelor's in architecture, many go on to earn a master's degree in the field which can take up to three additional years. In order to receive professional licensure, architects must pass the Architect Registration Examination. Prior to completing the exam, architects must complete internship and work experience requirements. 

You can learn more about this field in the Firsthand Guide to Architecture Jobs

Gaining experience

Students who are interested in pursuing careers in architecture or design can apply to internships or jobs at architecture or engineering firms, or other companies that perform design work. Students can begin to gain experience during their time at Princeton by building an independent project portfolio and working with student groups or through volunteer opportunities. It is not unusual for students to apply to Master of Architecture graduate programs before seeking professional experience.

Hiring process and timeline

Summer internship recruitment at architecture firms tends to begin in late winter/early spring. Recruitment for summer design intern roles in other settings varies and could start as early as the fall if it is a more structured program with an incoming intern class. 

Full-time positions are generally posted when the role is available and ready to be filled. As with many career interest areas, networking with alumni in architecture roles can be helpful to understand more about each firm as well as additional experience that may be valuable to be a competitive candidate in the process.

Professional organizations and associations

Professional organizations and associations are membership-based groups comprised of people working in a similar field. They can be helpful resources for students to learn more about a field, develop connections and discover related opportunities. An example for this field is the American Institute of Architects

You can search for additional organizations and associations using a database provided by the Princeton University Library

Princeton Alumni