Phila. City Planning Commission Internships

Apply today for the Fall 2016 Internship Program!

Be an intern at the Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC)! Augment your studies, learn about big-city planning issues, and be part of a great team of dedicated professionals. 

The PCPC offers several internship opportunities each fall, spring and summer. Candidates MUST be eligible for work-study financial aid or receive commensurate academic credit or recognition through their institution. Graduate and upper-level undergraduate students assist the PCPC staff with a variety of work assignments including general research, data collection and analysis, field work, mapping, public meetings and outreach, and report preparation. In certain instances, unpaid internships for academic credit can be arranged.

Internship candidates must be matriculated in a college or university and should have academic coursework in city or regional planning, urban studies, geography, geospatial analysis, preservation, social sciences, public administration, architecture, urban design, landscape architecture, or other planning-related field. Most important, candidates should have a passion for the physical-development challenges and opportunities our nation’s fifth-largest city faces.

Work hours are flexible, but interns should commit to 8 to 12 hours per week during the academic year (September to May) and 20 to 35 per week during the summer (June to August).

Internship applications are accepted on a rolling basis during three commencement periods: June for the fall; October for the spring; and February for the summer. Hiring decisions are rolling during these periods, with first notifications by the 15th of the month, two months after applications are open (August 15th for the fall; December 15th for the spring, and April 15th for the summer). 

Please be aware that before an internship can begin, the PCPC and your college or university must finalize a legally binding Affiliation Agreement. This process can take several months. Please contact Farah Blackwell at the PCPC for more information about this, particularly regarding the timing of your application. Candidates should also contact their student employment/financial aid office to determine eligibility for the federal work-study program.

Positions Available

Community Planning Division Intern

The Community Planning Division is seeking part-time, work-study or academic credit interns during the fall semester. Primary tasks will relate to Philadelphia2035 comprehensive planning work ( and general community planning. Responsibilities include: general research on various topics, including demographics, transportation and best practices; create maps and graphics for plan documents; and assist in the preparation of materials for public meetings. Secondary tasks will relate to the completion of planning analysis projects throughout the city of Philadelphia. These include: assisting in the facilitation of public meetings; taking photographs and assist with other fieldwork; performing general project administration duties. Applicants should have strong research and writing skills as well as strong urban design and graphic design skills. Proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite and ArcGIS is preferred.

Implementation Team Intern

This intern will work with the Implementation Team in the office of the Deputy Executive Director of the Planning Commission on the implementation of Philadelphia 2035: The Comprehensive Plan. This position requires the use of GIS as well as report and graphic creation software, database management familiarity is appreciated. One task will be to research property dimensions for zoning ordinances. The ordinances are legal documents and need to be very accurate, therefore every dimension must be checked and mapped from the legal descriptions of property deeds. An interest in zoning is important as there will be projects that revolve around amendments and additions to Philadelphia’s Code. There will also be work in crafting RFPs and responding to grant requests to advance the recommendations of Philadelphia 2035 District Plans. This intern needs to have problem solving and strong organizational skills in order to track and develop multiple work products at a time.

Urban Design Intern

Philadelphia City Planning Commission, Urban Design Division, MCP Candidate for internship, FALL, 2016. Typically, 8-10 hours per week. Looking for candidate with strong design and graphic skills, as well as analytical and writing skills. Ability to use Adobe CS5 Suite, SketchUp and have a basic working knowledge of GIS. Must be work-study or work-study eligible, or internship must yield academic credit.

Planning and Policy Analysis Intern

Intern assistance is needed to assist staff in the development and implementation of policy and program guidance for Planning Commission activities and inter-agency partnerships. Updated guidance is regularly required in support of Philadelphia2035 plans, special studies, and new initiatives. Assignments may range across such topics as economic and community development, demographics, transportation, land use, housing, environmental resources, capital programming, public health and Healthy Communities, parks and recreation, and sustainability. Intern tasks typically include: data collection and evaluation; research on policy and development trends; site visits and field work, and GIS-based analysis. Interns are also encouraged to participate in PCPC meetings and community outreach activities. Graduate students or upper-level undergraduates preferred. Quantitative and GIS skills especially helpful. Work-Study positions could potentially continue into spring 2016.

CPI Intern

The Citizens Planning Institute (CPI) is the outreach and education entity of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission. The Director is interested in hiring an intern for 15 -20 hours per week who is interested in assisting with outreach activities and classes delivered to “citizen planners” who have earned their seats through an application process. The intern’s duties may include, but may not be limited to the following: 

  • management of applications,
  • tracking "graduates" of the CPI program,
  • developing educational materials,
  • working with CPI faculty,
  • participant spreadsheet management and website updating,
  • development of metrics,
  • development of marketing materials (depending on design skills/interest),
  • researching best practices.

Part of the intern’s work-study hours may include Wednesdays from 4:00pm to 9:30pm (CPI class night). Work may also include on-site participation and general support of an after-school planning-based program (twice a week) for 6th -8th graders in North Central Philadelphia. 

The position would suit an outgoing enthusiastic detail-oriented student interested in community planning and citizen advocacy issues. Basic MS Office proficiency required. The position is work-study eligible. If academic credit is preferred, the Director will work with the intern to ensure the scope of responsibilities meets his/her objectives and interests.

Historic Preservation Intern

The Historical Commission is seeking part-time, work-study or academic credit interns during the fall semester to work on historic preservation projects. Responsibilities include: historical research for upcoming district plans; creating maps and graphics for plan documents; historical and architectural surveys; and preparing nominations to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. Secondary tasks will relate to the completion of planning analysis projects throughout the city of Philadelphia. These include: taking photographs and assisting with other fieldwork, and performing general project administration duties. Applicants should have strong research and writing skills as well as strong urban design and graphic design skills. Candidates must be currently enrolled in a graduate level Historic Preservation program.

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