Spring Break Externship Program

  • Overview
  • Program Details
  • Firm Profiles

The USC Architecture Spring Break Externship Program takes place during Spring Break 2019 (March 11-15). It will provide eligible undergraduate and graduate students with an opportunity to participate in a five-day on-the-job learning experience with an architecture, design, engineering or professional office in Southern California. The program will bring student talent to firms who will commit to cultivating a more diverse and inclusive workforce and establishing a company culture where differences are acknowledged and valued.

The primary goal of this program is to provide support to students as they continue to develop and clarify their professional goals, improve their design skills, improve their professional development skills, improve their “soft” social skills, and further develop their understanding of responsibility and professionalism. Participants of this program will also gain first-hand experience with how the design build industries are tackling diversity and inclusion as values by which to design a better built environment for all.


Students must be in good standing with a 3.0 grade point average or higher and fit in one of the categories listed below.

First Year

M.Arch +2, MBS, MHC, MLA +2

Second Year

BSAS, B.Arch, M.Arch +3, MLA +3

Third Year

BSAS, B.Arch

Program Details
  • Students must participate in a work etiquette and professionalism workshop hosted by USC Career Services
  • Participants will receive an $800 stipend upon successful completion of the program
  • Due to visa restrictions, students studying in the United States under an F1 Visa are not eligible to receive compensation 

Submission of an application does not guarantee placement.

Firm Profiles and Externship Descriptions

KAA Design Group, Inc.

KAA Design Group is an architecture and landscape design studio dedicated to advancing the California lifestyle through contemporary architecture since 1988. Our creative vision, combined with the individual talents and experience of our long-term leaders, brings a unique design perspective to our clients-one that seeks to elevate the daily rituals of their lives from the mundane to the sublime. 


Externs will be involved of all the daily aspects of running a high-end, luxury residential design firm from design development through construction. Externs will learn about KAA’s design process, design tools and the business of design.


Caruso is a privately owned, industry-renowned company that blends best-in-class real estate with five-star hospitality to create a timeless collection of town centers, residences, offices, street-front retail and more.

For nearly three decades, Caruso has been creating extraordinary destinations in some of the most desirable locations in and around Los Angeles. Over the years, we have evolved across multiple lines of business, continually breaking new ground and redefining the shopping and lifestyle experience. While each has its own rich history, every Caruso property is deeply rooted in a dedication to delighting guests, both present and future.


Externs will be exposed to architecture, project management, construction.

LCRA, Inc.

LCRA specializes in housing— designing projects of all sizes, types and densities. LCRA’s team is relatively small, very friendly and diverse.


Externs will have the opportunity to experience at least five of the following:  

  • shadow a project manager at coordination meeting with client and consultants
  • work on a project in the design stage in a limited capacity
  • shadow a principal in an introductory meeting with a potential client
  • participate in a "lunch and learn" with a product rep 
  • have a private meeting or lunch with a principal to ask questions 
  • have a private meeting or lunch with a project manager to ask questions  
  • have a private meeting or lunch with a staff architect to ask questions 

Kelly Sutherlin McLeod Architecture, Inc.

Kelly Sutherlin McLeod Architecture, Inc. is an award-winning firm with a commitment to architectural integrity and innovative design. Combining an intrinsic architectural design aesthetic for the preservation and restoration of historically significant buildings with design innovation for residential, light commercial, civic, urban planning and interior projects for public and private clientele, Kelly Sutherlin McLeod Architecture, Inc. has earned a reputation for excellence. Established in 1988, and headquartered in an historic landmark building in Long Beach, California, the company is founded on the design principles developed over the past 30 years by Kelly Sutherlin McLeod, FAIA.


Externs will work alongside staff, accompany to job sites / meetings, will be sponsored by / will accompany Kelly to Preserving the Recent Past 3 conference

Sandhill Management Inc.

Real Estate and Commercial Property Management Company


Exposure to Commercial real estate management, construction visits, site visits to existing properties in the LA region.