Architecture, Urban Development, Design

Architecture careers combine art and science into the design of spaces and environments. Architects determine needs for buildings and structures, transforming them into concepts for designs that are ultimately built by others. They may also teach, conduct research, or provide consultation to building owners. Urban development (or urban planning) careers revolve around the structure and function of cities. Urban planners tackle complex problems facing a region and develop strategies for future growth and development by helping to create a broad vision for the community. Design is interdisciplinary by nature, incorporating elements of various fields including engineering, technology, social science, media, and the arts to create the objects and tools we use everyday.

Finding Internships

Architectural internship experiences for undergraduates are limited, as they are usually reserved for students earning a Bachelor of Architecture degree. Consider shadowing with an architect to observe a typical work day. Alumni from the College or Graduate School of Design can be found through the Alumni Directory and are often willing to speak to undergraduates about career paths and preparation. Urban development and planning internships are available with cities, suburban communities, county planning agencies, and state and regional planning agencies, as well as with private planning consulting firms whose clients include municipalities, states, and developers. Design firms typically seek juniors with engineering or technical concentrations for summer internships.

Finding Jobs

Most full-time job in the architecture and planning industries require a graduate degree. Some administrative opportunities (e.g. office manager, assistant) do exist to gain exposure to the fields. While an undergraduate degree is typically the standard prerequisite for design jobs, a graduate degree in industrial design, engineering, or architecture is often required to advance beyond entry level opportunities.

Graduate and Professional Programs

A Master of Architecture degree is necessary for a career as an architect. Students graduating with a bachelor’s degree in a field other than architecture can apply for a M.Arch degree, a three-year program at most institutions. A master’s-level graduate degree is considered the standard for those interested in city/urban planning or development.

6 Tips for Attending a Career Fair

Below are the top MCS tips for attending career fairs: 

Explore which organizations will be attending by logging into Crimson Careers > Events > Type=”Career Fairs & Expos.” Search and filter on things like who is looking for Master’s students …

By Deb Carroll
Deb Carroll Director, Employer Engagement and Operations
Read more »

Create Your Own Website or Portfolio with Muse!

MCS has partnered with Muse to offer Harvard students free lifetime access to the site.

College and graduate students across the U.S. and internationally with career objectives from creative fields and the arts to engineering and tech can use Muse …

By Anthony Arcieri
Anthony Arcieri Anthony Arcieri, Director of Undergraduate Career Advising and Programming, Architecture, Engineering, Environment Advising
Read more »

…But How Do I Make The Right Choice?

It’s that time of year – you’re starting to hear back from volunteer sites, research opportunities, graduate schools, or internship/job applications. Now that you know what your possibilities are, how do you decide which one to pursue?

Making big decisions …

By Katie Fell
Katie Fell Assistant Director, Harvard College Still Deciding, Exploring, & Self-Assessment
Read more »


Featured Resources

Firsthand Vault Guides

Job Market InsightsIn partnership withLightcast logo

Explore occupations by career categories and pathways and use real time labor market data to power your decision making.

First, choose an industry of interest, then filter for occupation. (If you'd like to see data for a specific location only, filter by state.)

Skill Building Courses

Contact & Location


Harvard University
54 Dunster Street
Cambridge, MA

MCS Hours

Monday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm