Become an Intern

What comes first? The education or the experience. If you’re enrolled in the Department of Computer Science, you can have both! The Computer Science Professional Internship Program (CSPIP) is a formally recognized internship program that offers significant benefits. Undergraduate students have the opportunity 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.

Calendar Entry

While participating in the Computer Science Professional Internship Program, students typically complete 16 consecutive months of supervised work experience with a sponsoring employer in addition to the requirements for a computer science program. Normally, the work placement commences after the student has completed three years of the B.Sc. Four-year degree program. The placement lasts from May 1 of one year to August 31 of the next year. Twelve-month internship placements are also allowed. However, only in exceptional circumstances (e.g. for medical reasons) will a shorter duration work period be permitted. Students should note that an internship is NOT a summer work program.

Benefits to Students: For students who go on internship placements, there are several benefits:

  1. Acquiring practical training and valuable experience in their prospective career area, adding strength to their résumé, and thus improving their job prospects upon graduation;
  2. Getting the "inside track" on full-time employment opportunities with the same company in which the student interned, through established professional contacts
  3. Earning an income to help finance the final year of their university education.

Only a limited number of internship placements will be available in a given year. Eligibility for an internship placement will be decided by the Internship Co-ordinator in the Department of Computer Science, while hiring decisions for internship students are made by the employers.

Students are required to apply before the specified deadline for admission to an internship in May of the following year. If selected for an internship placement, students must complete CMPT 401, 402, 403, and 404, in addition to the regular requirements of the B.Sc. degree. A student must successfully complete all requirements of the internship option in order to receive the Professional Internship designation on the University transcript.

*Interested students are encouraged to contact the Internship Co-ordinator in the Department of Computer Science for further details about internship opportunities.

The following criteria will be used to determine the eligibility of students applying to CSPIP:
  1. Students must be registered as a full-time undergraduate student.
  2. Applicants must be pursuing a 4-year B.Sc. degree program in Computer Science or Interactive Systems Design (ISD). Double major students involving Computer Science and another discipline are also eligible. Please note that students from the College of Engineering must be pursuing a double degree with one degree in Computer Science or Interactive Systems Design.
  3. Normally, applicants must have accumulated at least 90 credit units towards the B.Sc. degree at the time of the internship placement. However, if a student is too close to graduation, she or he might be denied permission to go out on an internship.
  4. Students must have obtained a grade point average of at least 70 percent in Computer Science courses and overall.
  5. 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.
  6. Computer Science degree programs: students must complete at least three 300-level Computer Science courses by the date they begin their internship.
  7. 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.
  8. 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).
  9. Graduate students are not eligible for the program.
If you have any confusion or concern about whether you are eligible for CSPIP, please book a consultation appointment with the Internship Coordinator.
From the student perspective, it is important that there be formal recognition of the internship experience on the university transcript. The University has deemed that Internship students shall register in their placement as a course, and for the period of the placement they are considered to be full-time students of the University of Saskatchewan, with return eligibility following the placement to their College and program. The program itself, is distinct from the regular program, in that it would require a longer period of study and the degree requirements would include successful completion of the placement.

To this end, internship students register as full-time students in appropriately designated internship courses during the internship placement:

  • CMPT 401.0 - Professional Internship Program I
  • CMPT 402.0 - Professional Internship Program II
  • CMPT 403.0 - Professional Internship Program III
  • CMPT 404.0 - Professional Internship Program IV
Each of these courses is four months in duration, to match with the requirements of the Office of the Registrar. The courses are non-credit courses, graded on a "Pass/Fail'' basis by a faculty member appointed to handle internship students.
Evaluation of student performance in the internship program will become an assigned duty of a faculty member in the Department of Computer Science. There will be three main parts to the evaluation of the student:

  1. Evaluation of student performance during the first four-month probationary period of the internship placement. This evaluation will be done based on short (2-page) written reports from the student and the employer (if the student is not placed in a local corporation). If the student is locally placed the evaluation will be done on the basis of interviews of the student and the employer. These evaluations may beconducted by phone, by electronic mail, by video conferencing, or by site visit, as deemed appropriate. A student demonstrating unsatisfactory performance in the probationary period of the internship placement may be required to discontinue from the internship program. Students demonstrating satisfactory performance are expected to continue for the full duration of the internship placement.
  2. Written or verbal confirmation by the student and employer, at the end of each subsequent four-month period that the internship is proceeding satisfactorily.
  3. A detailed report regarding the student's internship experience; to be submitted at the end of the internship term, just before the student returns back to the University.
Students who successfully complete all aspects of the internship program receive formal recognition of such on their university transcript. Students who do not successfully complete all requirements of the internship program may still receive the present B.Sc. degree in Computer Science, providing that all degree requirements of that program are met.

The internship placement is divided into four 4-month work terms that equate to the courses designated as CMPT 401, CMPT 402, CMPT 403, and CMPT 404. CSPIP students are considered to be full-time students and are required to pay student fees for the session(s) in which they are registered.

It is important to note that student loans are usually deferred during an internship placement. In addition, scholarships and bursaries can maintian their validity during a placement.

International students are welcome to apply to the Computer Science Professional Internship Program, as long as they meet the eligibility requirements. Upon acceptance into the program, all international students are required to apply for a Co-op Work Permit from the Government of Canada in order to successfully pursue a 12-16 month internship in Canada.

It is important that international students submit their applications as soon as they are admitted to the program, as it usually takes 3-5 months to obtain your Co-op Work Permit from the Government of Canada. International students must have their Co-op Work Permit before the scheduled start date with their sponsoring company (i.e. before May 1st of the same academic year enrolled in CSPIP).

For more information about the application process, please contact the Internship Coordinator or the the International Student and Study Abroad Centre (ISSAC) at the University of Saskatchewan.

Important Note: An Off-Campus Work Permit is not a sufficient permit for an internship placement. Students must obtain a Co-op Work Permit.

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 20 - February 6, 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 4 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

Important Note: students accepted into the Computer Science Professional Internship Program will be required to attend a series of mandatory workshops throughout the 2019-2020 academic year.

How to Apply

Students interested in applying to the Computer Science Professional Internship Program must submit the following completed documents to the Internship Coordinator (or drop off at the Computer Science main office) by the specificed deadline in the schedule:

  1. Computer Science Professional Internship Program Application Form
  2. Unofficial University of Saskatchewan Transcript
  3. Updated Resume
  4. Application Fee ($40.00 cash or cheque)

Applicants will be notified via email of an admission decision. Successful applicants will be required to schedule an acceptance meeting with the Internship Coordinator.

Application Form

Tutorials

A series of mandatory tutorials and deliverables are scheduled throughout the academic year to help prepare CSPIP students in applying for internship positions. More information regarding tutorials and deliverables will be available upon acceptance into the program. Any inquiries can be directed to the Internship Coordinator.

Students must attend all tutorials and complete all deliverables. Failure to do so will result in expulsion from CSPIP. 

2019-2020 workshops will take place on Wednesdays at 11:30am - 12:20pm. If you plan on applying for the internship program, make sure you do not register for a different class during this time. 

The list of tutorials will be posted at a later date. Topics will include: writing cover letters and resumes, networking, interview skills, mock interviews, and professionalism in the workplace. 

Prepare Your Application

In addition to the program tutorials, there are multiple resources on campus offered to students to help them successfully prepare an application package. A combination of one-on-one meetings, group tutorials, guest speakers, and online resources will give students the tools and knowledge they need to put their best step forward.

Upon acceptance, CSPIP students will participate in group tutorials focused on building resumes and cover letters. Students may also opt to schedule one-on-one resume reviews with the Internship Coordinator. Students will receive an inside scope on what to include in a Computer Science-focused resume and how to organize their experiences and skills to best showcase their candidacy.

Students also have access to the Student Employment & Career Centre (SECC). The SECC has developed guides to assist in preparing resume and cover letter documents. You can pick up copies of these guides from SECC on campus or view the information online:

Student Employment and Career Centre
University of Saskatchewan
G50 Lower Marquis Hall
(306) 966-5003
secc@usask.ca
Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 4:00pm.

SECC also offers ResumeTalk sessions, which are interactive sessions designed to address specific questions regarding your resume and cover letter. Visit the SECC website for more information and to register for a ResumeTalk session.
An interview tutorial is offered prior to the scheduled interview period. This workshop will cover interview etiquette and format, sample interview questions (both behavioral and technical), group exercises, and interview expectations. Every year, we invite an experienced technical manager to speak to students and provide better insight on what to expect from both internship interviews and an internship experience overall.

The Student Employment & Career Centre offers InterviewTalk sessions, Online Interview prep, Mock Interviews, and other events to help you prepare for your employment interviews.

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, Computer Science 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

We would like to acknowledge our current patrons. Following is a list of companies and organizations that have hired student interns from the Computer Science Professional Internship Program.