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 (12 or 16 months), take on more responsibilities, and integrate more fully into their company.

If you have any questions regarding the recruitment process or would like more information about the program, please contact our Internship Coordinator.

Employer Requirements

The Department of Computer Science must approve internship positions as a suitable learning situation. 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.

Student Qualifications

The 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 must be registered as a full-time undergraduate student.
  • Applicants must have accumulated at least 90 credit units towards the B.Sc. degree at the time of the internship placement. 
  • Students must have obtained a grade point average of at least 70 percent in Computer Science courses and overall.
  • Computer Science students must complete the "Intermediate Software Engineering" course (CMPT 370) prior to the internship placement. Alternatively, if an ISD student has not taken CMPT 370 prior to the internship placement, a minimum average of 75 percent in Computer Science courses and overall will be acceptable. 
  • Computer Science degree programs: students must complete at least three 300-level Computer Science courses by the date they begin their internship.
  • BINF degree program: students must complete BINF 200 and at least three 300-level courses from the "C6 Major Requirement" of the Bioinformatics program by the end of the academic year in which they apply.
  • ISD degree program (according to the advising sheet): students must complete 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, and CMPT 381 by the date they begin their internship.
  • 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).
  • Graduate students are not eligible for the program.

Hiring Protocol

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 Internship Coordinator in December if possible. Once job postings are available, students who are accepted in the program are invited to submit their application packages to employers. Followed by 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.

Schedule

Activity Timelines
Inquiries Anytime
Students apply for admission into the program September 27, 2019
Deadline for companies to submit job posting(s) January 8, 2020
Deadline for students to apply to job postings January 15, 2020
Interviews arranged with selected students January 16 - February 7, 2020
Companies submit their rankings to the Internship Coordinator February 10, 2020
Internship Coordinator forwards job offers to students February 12 -13, 2020
Students accept/reject offers within 24 hours of receiving offer
Internship Coordinator notifies companies of acceptances Immediately
February Break - no school February 17 - 21, 2020
Students start employment May or September 2020

Additional Funding

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. 

The NSERC Experience Awards (formerly IUSRA) provides financial support to help companies hire an undergraduate-level student to undertake a co-op placement. These awards are designed to give students practical experience in an industrial setting that complements their studies. Two-thirds of companies reported their student helped them increase research productivity or R&D capability.

The Government of Canada has established a number of programs that provide funding and other opportunities to potential employers. Its Youth Employment Strategy is designed to help young people gain the skills, work experience and abilities they need to make a successful transition into the labour market. The Career Focus program provides funding for employers and organizations to design and deliver a range of activities that enable youth make more informed career decisions and develop their skills, including work experiences from six to twelve months. Employers may also take advantage of the new Student Work-Integrated Learning Program.

The NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) provides small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with financial assistance to hire young talent.

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: