Urban Studies & Planning

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Internships & Careers

This document is intended to assist students, soon to be graduates, and recent graduates of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at California State University, Northridge  to search for internships (paid and unpaid) and entry level employment in the broad area of urban studies and planning. 

The first section below identifies several key resources, books and websites, which may be helpful in seeking advice our guidance on a search for an internship or entry level job.  The second section “General Sources – Weblinks” identifies a wide range of websites that advertise positions broadly related to urban studies and planning.  The following four sections, Government Agencies; Cities – Municipalities; Businesses; and Non-Profit Sector focus specifically on potential employment sources in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Region.  Thanks to Rebecca Correa and David Canlas for their assistance in compiling these materials.  The web links and sources have been updated and are current as of December 2020.  


It is easy to enroll in the class and there is almost always space available in the class.  So don't worry about getting in.  First though, you have to go out there and find an internship because the department does not allow students to enroll in the class until they have confirmed an internship with a business, agency, government office, non-profit organization, etc.  You may want to take a look at the following book chapter The value of an internship experience for early career geographers (.pdf) which while focusing on geography includes useful sections on how to look for an internship regardless of the specific field. 

Once you have made contact with an organization that wants to offer you an internship, then you need to speak with the department’s internship coordinator and make sure that the proposed internship is acceptable.  Once that hurdle is passed, you can complete the required paperwork (see below), meet with the internship coordinator to review and submit the paperwork, and then to get a permission number and enroll in the class.  

Once the internship is approved by the internship coordinator, all of the following forms most be completed prior to enrolling in the internship class:

  1. Please complete the “Internship Learning Plan” form. It needs to be signed by you, the department’s internship coordinator, and whomever will be your internship supervisor (your direct supervisor) in the organization. Internship Learning Plan (.pdf), (student, agency supervisor, faculty member).
  2. You must also write a brief paragraph that explains what you and the organization have agreed will be your responsibilities/duties during the internship period.  This need not be long and details, but it should be three or at least an idea and it should be attached to the Internship Learning Plan (above).   
  3.  Student and Agency Conduct (Internship Orientation Confirmation (.pdf), (student and faculty member).

    You need to review this document carefully and if you can abide it, then sign.  The class instructor, is the contact person, so put his/her name in the space.  You and the instructor must  review this document together (in person).
  4.  Agency agreement (Request to Initiate an Internship Agreement) (.pdf), (agency and faculty member).
  5. Internship Site Self-Assessment and Student Acknowledgement of Risks (.pdf)
  6. Internship Waiver of Liability & Hold Harmless Agreement (.pdf)

All internships must have an approved agreement between CSUN and the agency prior to a student beginning the internship. 

First students should check the list of approved agreements at the link below:

Approved Agreements

If you find the name of the agency (e.g. local government, non-profit organizations, and business), then note it on the agency agreement form that you return to the faculty internship supervisor. If not, then you will need to complete the internship form following the directions below. 

The basic info needed on the form is the official address, email, website, phone of the department and the name of whomever is the administrator or perhaps the head of the department (not your immediate internship supervisor).  This is an insurance/risk document that they will sign off on as will the CSUN contracts office.  

Also all of these forms will not save on the CSUN website.  So you must either fill them out and print them immediately or you can download them to somewhere else, then fill them out.  That way the info is saved.  Alternatively you can also print them and fill the out by hand.