Computer Science Internship Program

The Department of Computer Science Professional Internship Program (CSPIP) allows undergraduate students to obtain 12 or 16 months of practical "on-the-job" experience with a sponsoring company prior to completing the final year of their undergraduate degree program. Internship opportunities of this nature have existed at the University of Saskatchewan since 1990 but became formally recognized as an academic program in 1997.

Employers can choose from a pool of students who have had at least three years of university education and developed diverse expertise. In addition, employers will receive a better return on their training investment since students can work longer, take on more responsibilities, and integrate more fully into their company.

At a glance

  Students have completed the third year of their program prior to their placement

  Placements are 12- or 16-months in length

  Placements start in May or September

  Build your talent pipeline by evaluating future graduates

  Provide valuable mentorship to young, budding talent in the industry

Program Requirements

The Department of Computer Science must approve internship positions as suitable learning situations. It is expected that an employer will:

  • Engage the student in a productive professional practice that provides challenging and instructive work experience
  • Extend appropriate remuneration for the work performed.
  • Provide accurate and complete information on job responsibilities, duties and expectations, compensation and benefits;
  • Provide supervision and mentorship for work duties
  • Encourage the student to ask questions to clarify job responsibilities
  • Complete an evaluation after 4 months of the student’s employment
  • Provide the student with relevant training and development opportunities;

The performance of students is supervised and monitored by both the employer and the Department.  The Department maintains informal telephone and email contact with the student and employer to monitor progress on an ongoing basis, and may undertake site visits on a periodic or exceptional basis.

CSPIP students are registered undergraduate students in a Computer Science (B.Sc. four-year, Honours Degree, or Honours with Software Engineering Option), Interactive Systems Design, or Bioinformatics program at the University of Saskatchewan. Double major students are also eligible.

The full eligibility criteria is as follows:

Students pursuing a degree in Computer Science:

  • Applicants must be registered as a full-time undergraduate student
  • Applicants must be pursuing a 4-year B.Sc. degree. 3-year B.Sc. students are not eligible
  • At the time of application:
    • Students must have obtained an average of at least 70% both in Computer Science courses and overall
  • Applicants must have completed the following by the end of the April after they apply:
    • At least 90 credit units, but no more than 111 towards their degree. This means that students must be returning as a full-time students after their internship. Students with more than 111 credits are considered to be too close to graduation
    • "Intermediate Software Engineering" (CMPT 370)
    • At least three 300-level Computer Science courses (including CMPT 370)

Students pursuing a degree in Interactive Systems Design (ISD):

  • Applicants must be registered as a full-time undergraduate student
  • Applicants must be pursuing a 4-year B.Sc. degree
  • At the time of application:
    • Students must have obtained an average of at least 70% both in Computer Science courses and overall
  • Applicants must have completed the following by the end of the April after they apply:
    • At least 90 credit units, but no more than 111 towards their degree. This means that students must be returning as a full-time students after their internship. Students with more than 111 credits are considered to be too close to graduation
    • "Intermediate Software Engineering" (CMPT 370). *Alternatively, ISD students are eligible if they have a minimum 75% average
    • CMPT 381
    • At least three 300-level Computer Science courses
    • At least two courses from Art & Art History list
    • At least two courses from Psychology list
    • At least two non-specified CMPT courses from the Science list. Refer to the advising sheets for a full list of these classes

Students pursuing a degree in Bioinformatics:

  • Applicants must be registered as a full-time undergraduate student
  • Applicants must be pursuing a 4-year B.Sc. degree
  • At the time of application:
    • Students must have obtained an average of at least 70% both in Computer Science courses and overall
  • Applicants must have completed the following by the end of the April after they apply:
    • At least 90 credit units, but no more than 111 towards their degree. This means that students must be returning as a full-time students after their internship. Students with more than 111 credits are considered to be too close to graduation
    • "Intermediate Software Engineering" (CMPT 370)
    • BINF 200
    • At least three 300-level courses from the "C6 Major Requirement" of the Bioinformatics program. See the advising sheets for a full list of these classes
  • BINF 300 is recommended, but not strictly required

Notes:

  • Graduate students are not eligible for the program.
  • Double major students involving Computer Science and another discipline are also eligible. Students from the College of Engineering must be pursuing a double degree with one degree in Computer Science or Interactive Systems Design.
  • Internship candidates must be Canadian citizens, landed immigrants, or visa students with appropriate work permission for off-campus employment when they begin their internship in May (or September). 
All students admitted into the program attend a series of workshops scheduled throughout the academic year. These workshops contain information and advice specific to the tech industry and help them prepare for joining the workforce. Workshop topics include: writing cover letters and resumes, networking and communication, interview skills, and professionalism in the workplace. 

Recruitment Process

Employers are asked to contact the Internship Coordinator if they are interested in participating in the Computer Science Professional Internship Program. Employers are encouraged to submit job postings to the program via CareerLink in December if possible. Once job postings are available, students who are accepted into the program are invited to submit their application packages to employers. Following the application period is a three-week window for employers to set up interviews with the students. Once interviews are completed, employers are asked to submit a ranked list of preferred candidates to hire. Waves of offers are then forwarded to the students to accept or reject offers. Students will begin employment May or September that year, as agreed upon between the student and employer.

CSPIP job postings must be submitted online through CareerLink under the Computer Science Internship Program tab. This is our exclusive job posting board; only students who have been approved to participate in our Internship Program have access to these postings. 

Following the application deadline, employers have approximately three weeks to interview students. Employers can contact students directly at this point to arrange and perform interviews. 

For employers wishing to conduct interviews on campus: The University's Student Employment and Career Centre has several interview rooms on campus that can be booked by employers. Please see their website for more information about interview rooms. 

Our program uses a rank/offer system during the closed round of recruitment. We follow the closed round with an open round of recruitment that more closely resembles typical hiring processes. 

To hire a co-op student during our closed rounds of recruitment, offers of employment must be submitted online through CareerLink. We kindly ask that offers not be made directly to students during the closed round of recruitment.

Each position posted in the closed recruitment round will have a ranking form in the system. This form lists students who have applied for your position and is used to identify whom you would like to issue an offer, in order of preference. 

The Internship Coordinator will use the completed ranking forms to issue an offer to the first ranked candidate on your behalf. If that candidate declines or is no longer available, an offer will be sent to subsequent candidates until the position is filled or your ranking list has been exhausted. It is important that you only rank candidates to whom you are prepared to employ.

Following the offer days for the closed recuitment round, employers are invited to join an open recruitment round. Students who did not secure a placement during closed recruiting will be able to apply for these positions. This is a great option for employers who did not secure an intern during the closed round, or for new job opportunities that didn't fit our closed recruiting timeline. 

This round is very similar to a regular recruiting process; employers are welcome to reach out directly to students to make job offers. We ask that you contact the Internship Coordinator to inform them if you have hired a student in this round so we can fill out the necessary paperwork with the student.

2021-2022 Recruitment Timeline

Activity Timelines
Inquiries Anytime
Students apply for admission into the program Setpember 1 - 30, 2021
Deadline for companies to submit job posting(s) January 10, 2022
Computer Science Career Fair January 11, 2022
Deadline for students to apply to job postings January 16, 2022
Interviews arranged with selected students January 17 - February 14, 2022
Companies submit their rankings to the Internship Coordinator February 15, 2022
Internship Coordinator forwards job offers to students to accept/reject February 17 - 18, 2022
February Break - no school February 21 - 25, 2022
Students start employment May or September 2022

Additional Resources

Employers may be eligible for additional funding to help support hiring a post-secondary student to fill an internship position. Employers are responsible for applying for and securing funding. Please refer to the following websites for details:

If you are looking to recruit students from other colleges and schools on our campus, the Student Employment and Career Centre (SECC) can provide assistance. Their employer services include career fairs, information sessions and networking opportunities. They also have interview rooms that can be rented for employers to perform on-campus interviews. 

For additional information on the Computer Science Professional Internship Program, please contact:

Ellen Redlick
Academic Programs and Outreach Coordinator
College of Arts & Science
Department of Computer Science 
306-966-6513
ellen.redlick@usask.ca

Testimonials

Developing and managing a successful software system requires a diverse set of skills. Working with an experienced team helped me to better understand how developers, designers, managers, marketers, and other professionals work together to see new features through the design process and into production.

- Christina Sitkowski, CSPIP student
The CSPIP has given me an opportunity to learn and apply my skills in a fun, exciting, and challenging way. Being able to bring a client's vision to life has been so rewarding, and given me the confidence to explore my passion and the drive to learn even more.

- Matthew Horning, CSPIP student
ESTI has been participating in the Computer Science internship program since 2002 and has been privileged to work with 14 enthusiastic interns in that time.  We enjoy providing CS students with a glimpse of how the IT industry operates, and we in turn appreciate what these students have been able to relay back to us about the CS program and how it is evolving. Three CS internship participants are now partners at ESTI and we trust there will be many more to come.

- Mark Dick, CEO of ESTI

Companies

A large number of industry employers have been involved with the Computer Science Professional Internship Program. Below is a brief list: