Students’ development as industrial designers is further enhanced by combining academic studies with hands-on practice. Students gain first-hand experience in the field as well as contacts in industry that could prove valuable upon graduation.

The Industrial Practice Internship

An industrial practice internship is a requirement of the BID program unless you complete the co-operative option. Students can satisfy this requirement with a minimum 12 week work experience related to design, to be found on their own initiative and confirmed with the faculty member involved, followed by registration in the Internship Field Report course IDES 4400.

Note: One successfully completed industrial design co-op work term completed between third and fourth year is equivalent to IDES 4400.

There are two main criteria against which we approve a student’s internship.

Firstly, students are expected to be ‘interning’ as in working under some sort of supervision by an expert who can help develop their professional skills. In this sense a request to start a company, design a logo for someone, or many other forms of design are not sufficient. Students should be receiving training of some kind.

Secondly, the reporting phase requires students to be able to analyze and articulate clearly comparisons between their education in design and their experience working in a professional design environment. How do the two relate, how are they similar or different, how does the experience affect their understanding and choice of industrial design as a profession?

The Carleton University Co-op Program

Students at Carleton University’s School of Industrial Design have the option to enter a 5 work term co-op program which consists of 1 work term during the summer after second year and 4 consecutive work terms between third and fourth year.

This option provides students with assistance in finding paid work terms with some of the leading design-oriented manufacturers and design offices in Canada.

Please contact the School Administrator for further information on required course IDES 4400 if you complete coop.

Co-op vs. Internship

We would like to clarify that you do not need to do both co-op and internship (a question posed by some students). In order to receive co-op designation on your transcript you must however complete all co-op requirements (Please contact the School Administrator on further information regarding required course IDES 4400).

If you happen to change your mind later and wish to drop out of co-op, then as long as you have one co-op term between 3rd and 4th year, that will count as an equivalent for the internship course (IDES 4400) taken by the internship course students in 4th year (Please contact the School Administrator for further information). As an example if you did one placement after second year then you will still need to take IDES 4400 to document that internship.

Although there are costs to co-op, it does help you get started early getting some experience and they do list some jobs available exclusively through co-op, although we cannot guarantee that. There are other benefits in terms of how you are prepared in terms of job coaching, resume writing, etc…

Our internship is typically in the summer between 3rd and 4th year. Some students take a year off between 3rd and 4th year, but that should be in consultation with the school; except for co-op students, due to the limited enrolment size of our program.

Please make sure to read the co-op terms carefully and also the study pattern for industrial design at the co-op website


Studying abroad can be a very enriching experience for design students as it offers them the opportunity to immerse themselves in a different culture and begin to see the world from a new perspective. It can serve to develop and inspire students both personally and professionally and can help them gain a clearer insight into the kind of designer they want to become.

As there are only a few placements available with our partner universities each year, the selection process is a competition with a minimum 7.0 GPA requirement and recommendation from the school. To find out more about the international exchange program, partner schools, and how to apply, please visit the International Student Services Office.