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The Department strongly recommends an Internship experience as part of each studentís undergraduate curriculum. Potential employers are very interested in students who have actual experience developing software in a commercial establishment. Students learn many skills in such an experience that cannot be duplicated in the classroom. In addition, students returning from internships provide the department with invaluable suggestions for improving our program. Internship opportunities may be found by postings on the departmental bulletin board near the departmental office, by postings in the Career Development and Placement office or by personal contact by the student.

The first requirement for an internship is a carefully written and detailed proposal. As the first draft of such a proposal will seldom be complete, the student should start working with a departmental faculty member considerably in advance of the start of the semester in which the internship is to occur. Please read this document for the information required for this proposal.

Note: This document follows and is subject to University regulations on Internships. Copies of the full University policy are available through the University Web site. An Undergraduate Internship Application form can be downloaded from the University web site as well.

An internship is an individualized, supervised experience in a work or volunteer setting that carries academic credit. It integrates content knowledge and theory with work and, as such, requires the student to participate meaningfully in a software development or related project.

The following rules apply:

  1. Prior approval through the process described here is required;
  2. Upper level student status (junior/senior) is normally expected;
  3. Three credit hours is the normal expectation;
  4. A minimum of 120 work hours is required;
  5. No more than six credits of internships may be used to fulfill requirements of the baccalaureate degree for majors in the computing sciences;
  6. Registration is for CMPS 481 Computer Internship and this course counts as an elective in the major;
  7. The internship cannot be related to a studentís current job nor may it be done retroactively. (This does not preclude being paid while on an internship.)

The Proposal

The student is required to submit an Internship Proposal to initiate the request for an Internship. The student should confer with both the on-site supervisor and the departmental faculty member in drafting this proposal. A departmental committee will make a recommendation on approval after reviewing it. The proposal shall be specific enough that the departmental committee can easily find the answers to the items listed below. A University Internship Application form containing the signatures of the student, on-site supervisor and sponsoring faculty member shall accompany an approved proposal when submitted for registration.

This proposal must be well written and address all of the following items:

  • The name of the on-site supervisor and her/his responsibilities;
  • How the performance of the student will be assessed by the on-site supervisor;
  • The name of the departmental faculty member sponsoring the internship;
  • How the performance of the student will be assessed by the faculty member;
  • Tentative schedule of meetings with supervising faculty member (the student and the faculty member will normally maintain weekly contact about the progress of the internship, although this contact need not be in person);
  • Specific objectives that outline what a student will gain from the internship such as software development experiences in specification or design (include new systems or languages to be learned);
  • Specific responsibilities that the student will have at the internship site related to specific objectives above;
  • A tentative schedule of hours required on site; and
  • A description of other requirements, for example, the student shall keep a log of activities at the site and write a final paper (the sponsoring faculty member and the student will outline other requirements appropriate to the internship such as samples of work done).


The on-site supervisor shall submit a written evaluation of the studentís work to the sponsoring faculty member to assist in determining a grade. The sponsoring faculty member shall determine the grade based on the work detailed in the proposal.

Normally, grading will be Pass/Fail. A departmental internship is an acceptable elective in the studentís major even if graded on a Pass/Fail basis.