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College of Architecture + Planning



Gensler, a premier worldwide design firm, in partnership with Tongji University in Shanghai and the University of Colorado Denver, is offering University of Colorado Denver graduate students in architecture, planning, landscape architecture and urban design a seven-month internship opportunity to study and work abroad in Shanghai, China. Gensler is currently responsible for Shanghai Tower, which, when completed, will be the second tallest building in the world.

The Gensler International Internship is established to allow American and Chinese students the opportunity to study abroad, experience diversity of culture and explore varied approaches to design, technology and management in their respective discipline. One student each year will be selected from CU Denver  to study at Tongji University and work in the Gensler/Shanghai office, and one Tongji student will study at CU Denver and work in the Gensler/Denver office. Each student will be obligated to bring his/her experiences back to the home country and share them with colleagues and community.


Internship application is open to CU Denver graduate students in Architecture, Urban and Regional Planning, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design.  Students must be entering the second year of the three-year Master’s degree or have advanced standing with an allied undergraduate degree.

  • November 30: Applications due to Christopher Nims, Director of Internship and Mentor Programs
  • December 15: Award of internship
  • Spring Semester 2014:
    • Student prepares visa and other paperwork and living arrangements
    • Student takes coursework in Chinese Culture and Basic Chinese Language
  • May 2014: Student begins work at Gensler/Shanghai (40 hours per week)
  • September 2014:
    • Student begins Fall Semester at Tongji University (taking a minimum of 14 hours of English-taught coursework)
    • Student works part-time for Gensler/Shanghai (20 hours per week)
  • January 2015: Student returns to classes at CU Denver 

Submittal Requirements

The award is competitive, based upon documented academic and design performance, leadership and professional intent. Students must demonstrate self-motivation, discipline, ethics and the ability to conduct and complete responsibilities with minimal supervision.

CU Denver students must be entering the second year of the three-year Master’s degree or have advanced standing with an allied undergraduate degree. Knowledge of a Chinese dialect is not a requirement. Chinese students must satisfy English proficiency by means of a satisfactory TOEFL score.

Students will compete for the internship based on a submittal package consisting of:

  • Letter of Intent / Purpose
  • Academic Transcripts (minimum 3.5/4.0 GPA)
  • Three letters of Recommendation
  • Portfolio of Creative Work (printed)

Submission deadline: November 30

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed personally by a selection panel comprised of faculty and Gensler representatives. Final decision will be at the discretion of Gensler. The CU Denver candidates will be interviewed in Denver. 

Financial Arrangements

Students will be compensated for the office internship by Gensler on an hourly basis consistent with local market rates.

Students will be responsible for the following financials:

  • Transportation to and from Shanghai, China
  • Personal living expenses while in China (students may make arrangements to live in Tongji University International Student Housing) 
  • Health insurance from home country
  • Tuition to CU Denver for credit hours taken at Tongji University

American students will live in Tongji University international student housing.

Assistance will be available for visa application through Gensler and respective institutions. Students are responsible for the visa application process. 

Academic Arrangements

For the fall semester at Tongji University, CU Denver students may enroll for the following transferable academic credits. Students are limited to a total of four courses. 

         Design Studio                            

 6 hours

         Independent Study or Elective 
          (Independent Study subject indicated in Internship Application)

 6 hours 

         Internship (Fall Semester)

 3 hours

         Total Potential Credit           

 15 hours

Students will discuss academic load and credit with their respective University to ensure credits are transferable to their respective degree requirements.

CU Denver students must pre-register online for their returning Spring Semester.


This program is a cooperative effort among the University of Colorado Denver, Tongji University and Gensler to promote the international study of architecture, planning, landscape architecture and urban design, and to further communication and understanding within the international community and respective design disciplines.


Christopher Nims, Director of Internship and Mentor Programs

Yuk Lee, Associate Dean for International Studies (Asia)

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