Internship and Practicum Opportunities
Computer Science Internship and Practicum Proposals
Deadline for Spring 2021 Internships and Practicums: Friday, February 12, 2021
All proposals must be finalized and approved by the Practicum/Internship Coordinator before this date. All students enrolling in internship or practicum will have to have completed the following interdisciplinary course: INTRDSCP 208 — Professional Career Skills in Math and Natural Science.
Computer Science Internship Guidelines | CompSci-399 - 3 Credits
The term intern will refer to the UW Oshkosh student, internor will refer to the organization where the internship is to occur, and coordinator will refer to the UW Oshkosh computer science department faculty member who is responsible for maintaining the relationship between the intern, the internor, and the department.
1. Eligibility to Enter Intern Pool
Students eligible to participate as interns need to satisfy all of the following:
- 75 or more credits toward graduation
- 6 or more credits of UW Oshkosh computer science courses numbered 300 or higher
- Not restricted to majors
- No restriction on emphasis
- NOTE: All students enrolling in our internship course will have to have completed or be concurrently enrolled in the following interdisciplinary course: INTRDSCP 208 — Professional Career Skills in Math and Natural Science.
2. Eligibility of Interning Organization
The internor must:
- Provide guidance and training for the student
- Assign an experienced supervisor with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, or a related field with significant software development experience, to mentor and supervise the intern
- Be an organization that employs other college graduates in the work environment
- Provide a statement to the internship coordinator supplying the following information:
- Description of the project or work assignment to be performed by intern. The project must entail significant involvement in a large software development effort so that the intern puts into practice some of the skills they have learned in an upper-level computer science course.
- Description of the technologies that the intern will use in performing the above described project tasks.
- Description of training and/or orientation the intern will receive.
- Identification of the person who will be supervising the intern and the academic credentials and work experience of the supervisor. Do note that the supervisor must state that they have a CS degree or else document that they have significant software development experience. If that is not the case, the internship is unlikely to be approved.
- Description of the method and frequency of feedback that the intern will receive from the supervisor.
- Identification of the specific start and end dates for the internship, and a statement of the number of hours worked per week or the total number of hours over the internship duration
- Statement of the rate of pay for the intern.
- The letter must be written by the internship supervisor, on company letterhead, and must contain their handwritten signature.
This statement is uploaded by the student when the internship application is submitted. The department will then contact the internor to confirm the arrangements described in the statement.
At the end of the internship, the internor must provide an evaluation of the quality of work of the student. This evaluation is provided using an online form.
3. Deadline for Approval
The deadline for approval of a computer science internship for the fall or spring semester is two weeks after the start of that semester. The deadline for a summer internship is the last day of the first week of the first term of the summer semester.
4. Responsibilities of Student Intern
The student intern must:
- Submit all required reports to the internship coordinator on a schedule announced each semester by the internship coordinator
- Participate in a mandatory oral presentation. If the internship is completed in the summer, the oral presentation must be given during the following fall semester.
- Inform the coordinator promptly whenever there is any difficulty in the internship
- Remind their supervisor to provide the necessary evaluation of their work when it is complete. That evaluation must be provided using the online form.
- Complete the exit survey form.
5. Responsibilities of the Internship Coordinator
The coordinator will:
- have contact with the internor before the internship and again after the internship is completed
- read, comment on and promptly evaluate reports
- evaluate the oral presentation
- administer the exit survey
6. Responsibilities of the Interning Organization
The interning organization must:
- provide training/learning opportunities for intern
- provide supervision of the intern
- provide appropriate work opportunities
- pay the intern an appropriate wage
- provide an evaluation of the student’s work when it is complete. That evaluation must be provided using the online form.
7. Amount of credit
- Generally internships are taken for three credits in a given semester.
- Translation of hours of work and training to credit. The rule of thumb is that 40 hours of internship work per credit are comparable to the one-hour-in-class-plus-three-hours-outside-class guideline used for one credit in a regular course. Over a semester, a three-credit course turns out to be approximately 160-200 hours by this metric.
8. Required Work and Grades
- one half of the grade is based on the evaluation done by the student’s supervisor at the interning organization
- one half of the grade is based on written work done during the internship and the oral presentation
Guidelines for Written Reports will be in the syllabus for the course.
Practicum in Computer Science Guidelines | CompSci-490 - 3 Credits
The purpose of the practicum is to provide a student with the experience of working on a large project emphasizing the synthesis of material covered in previous computer science courses.
The prerequisites to the practicum are six or more credits of computer science courses numbered 300 or above, all with a grade of “C” or better; senior standing. NOTE: All students enrolling in our practicum course will have to have completed the following interdisciplinary course: INTRDSCP 208 — Professional Career Skills in Math and Natural Science.
2. Course Content
The practicum is a course where each student will work independently on a project of realistic magnitude. The project will involve several of the following:
- Problem Definition
- Define the project in detail
- Identify specific project milestones
- Software Designs
- Define major modules of the software and describe each major data structure
- Define the purpose and content of each file
- Complete the specific activities of the project
- Ensure the project is satisfactorily completed
- This includes extensive testing procedures
- Describe the validation methods
- Document the software at the detail level needed by the project supervisor. Assume that others will maintain your software after you finish it.
- Communication Emphasis
- one half of the grade is based on written work done during the practicum and an oral presentation that is required of all students
- the written work will be submitted to the practicum coordinator for evaluation upon a schedule determined by the coordinator
- All students must complete an exit survey form.
Although each project will be supervised, the student is to manage his or her project in an independent atmosphere and ensure that the above project segments are completed in the time imposed.
3. Project Selection And Directions For Writing The Practicum Proposal
The practicum supervisor is a computer science department faculty member who is willing to work with the student to supervise their practicum. The practicum supervisor can work in conjunction with other external project supervisors but the final evaluation of the project work is done by the practicum supervisor. The practicum coordinator is a computer science department faculty member who is responsible for approving the project and evaluating the reports.
It is the responsibility of the student to propose candidate projects and to find a practicum supervisor willing to supervise them. The student should draft an outline of the proposed project and project outcomes, in conjunction with their practicum supervisor , and present this draft to the practicum coordinator for a judgment on project qualification.
The practicum proposal should have the following outline:
- Prepare a description of the project. This should be a broad overview of what is to be accomplished in the practicum. You should discuss what the project does, what its motivation is, how it will be used upon completion, how it relates to other software or procedures in use, (or an appropriate related literature survey), etc. The description must be sufficiently detailed for the practicum coordinator to assess the appropriateness of the project as a practicum. A rule of thumb for such a project is that it requires at least 160-200 hours of work, excluding the report writing.
- Identify the deliverables of the project: all programs, files, documents and procedures that will be created or enhanced as part of this project. To be more specific, list the “products” that will be produced by this project that the practicum supervisor can examine to see what was accomplished under this project.
- Create a list of specific milestones, which lead toward the final project outcome and a tentative calendar for completing each. Make your dates realistic, so that they can serve as an aid to on-time completion.
- Determine how you will validate your project. Describe the testing procedure that is to be used to ensure that the project has been successfully completed. The practicum coordinator must agree that your validation procedure is adequate.
- Create a list of criteria on which to evaluate the final project outcome.
A more detailed outline of the proposal is given at the end of this page. When the proposal has been completed by the student and reviewed by the practicum supervisor, this proposal will then be submitted, through the online application process, to the practicum coordinator for approval.
4. Student Responsibilities During the Project
The student must:
- Submit all required report(s) to the practicum coordinator on a schedule announced each semester by the practicum coordinator.
- Participate in a mandatory oral presentation. If the practicum project is completed in the summer, the oral presentation must be given during the following fall semester, unless the student is registered for the actual summer session (only available to students graduating in the summer session).
- Inform the practicum coordinator promptly whenever there is any difficulty in the practicum.
- Remind their practicum supervisor to provide the necessary evaluation of their work when it is complete. That evaluation must be provided using the online form that can be previewed here.
- Complete the exit survey form.
5. Project Evaluation
The project will be evaluated and graded by the practicum supervisor based on such areas as:
- successful completion of the project as outlined in “Project Selection”
- timeliness of the project phases
- quality of the work performed
- correctness of the software
- ease of use
Upon completion of the project, the student must submit to the practicum coordinator a final report describing the project activities and discussing the outcome of the project.
The practicum coordinator will accept the grade from the practicum supervisor as representing one-half of the final grade. The remaining one-half will be defined by the practicum coordinator based on the writing assignments and oral presentation. Note: Remind your practicum supervisor to provide the necessary evaluation of your work when it is complete. That evaluation must be provided using the online form that can be previewed here. A grade reduction, or even a failing grade, will be imposed in the event that project reports are not submitted in the time-frame established by the practicum coordinator.
6. Deadline for Approval
The deadline for approval of a computer science internship for the fall or spring semester is generally two weeks after the start of that semester. The deadline for a summer practicum will be established by the practicum coordinator. You should contact the coordinator by email to find out when that is.
No work performed before the application is approved by the coordinator may count toward the internship/practicum credits. Furthermore, the start date of the internship/practicum included in the supervisor’s letter must be posterior to the day on which the application is approved by the internship/practicum coordinator.
- The practicum supervisor will evaluate the technical quality of the student’s work using the online form that can be previewed here. This evaluation will account for one-half of the grade.
- The practicum coordinator will evaluate the written report(s) and oral presentation, which will also account for one-half of the grade.
- All students must complete an exit survey administered by the practicum coordinator.
8. Outline for the Project Description/Practicum Proposal
Do not limit your descriptions to the space shown in this outline.
- Description of the Project (1 to 2 single-spaced pages)The description should be a broad overview of what is to be accomplished in the practicum. You should discuss what the project does, what its motivation is, how it will be used upon completion, how it relates to other software or procedures in use, (or an appropriate related literature survey), etc.The description must be sufficiently detailed for the Practicum Coordinator to assess the appropriateness of the project as a Practicum. A rule of thumb for such a project is that it requires 160-200 hours of work, excluding the report writing.
- List the deliverables of the project. The items should be numbered or bulleted.Example:
- C++ source code
- Oracle Forms files and hard copy of sample runs
- User manual
- Sample test output
- List specific milestones in the form of a tentative calendar of events (at least 4).Example:
- June 1 – ER diagram
- June 7 – Table design
- July 1 – Initial Oracle DB
- July 15 – DB data entered
- Aug 1 – Tests completed
- List the validation activities.Example:
- Preliminary tests on parts component
- Preliminary tests on construction component
- Test complete system with self-generated data
- Test system using current live data
- Test system using existing regression test suites
- List the criteria for grading (at least 4).Example:
- Robustness (tested via user error test suite)
- Clarity and completeness of Documentation
- Quality of the User Manual
- On-time completion of project and reports
FAQ for Practicums and Internships
- What is the difference between Practicum and Internship?
Practicum is a three-credit individual project-based course. You write a project proposal, carry out the project, and report on your progress throughout, under appropriate supervision. Typical projects include assisting faculty with research, and faculty-supervised work on large software projects. The Internship course allows you to earn three credits for work experience in a professional environment. Significant training and/or mentoring must occur.
- What are the prerequisites?
Both courses are restricted to students who have completed 75 credits. You must also have completed at least six credits of upper-level CS courses (300 or 400 level) and have completed IS 208.
- How do I enroll in Practicum or Internship?
Talk to the CS faculty member serving as the Practicum/Internship coordinator. For an internship, you need to complete the application form and get a letter describing the internship duties and responsibilities from your employer. For a practicum, you need to complete the application form and write a project proposal in collaboration with your CS faculty supervisor. Upon approval of your application, the Practicum/Internship coordinator will enroll you in the appropriate course.
Can I do a Practicum or Internship in the summer?
Both courses are offered every fall, spring, and summer semester. Students can register for an internship or practicum in the summer ONLY if they are going to graduate that summer. As a favor, the department lets students work on a practicum or internship in the summer and sign up for credit during the subsequent fall semester in order to avoid paying summer tuition. Note that you must always have your practicum or internship approved BEFORE you begin.
The deadline for approval of a Computer Science internship or practicum for the Fall or Spring semester is generally two weeks after the start of that semester. The deadline for a Summer internship is set by the internship/practicum coordinator. You should contact the coordinator by email to find out when that is.
Finally, remember that you must complete INT 208 BEFORE you do your on-site internship employment or practicum.
When is the Practicum or Internship over?
The courses are officially seventeen weeks long during the fall and spring semesters. This means you have until the end of the interim period to complete the work. Your grade will not be recorded until the end of the interim period. Failure to turn in reports and/or complete your oral presentation may result in failing grades..
What if my practicum project gets behind schedule?
At the end of the semester your practicum supervisor will evaluate your work based on how well you met the goals and milestones in the project description you wrote. That evaluation may reflect how circumstances and goals changed during the project. Such changes are taken into account at the discretion of the practicum supervisor, who is the “domain expert” in your research area. The practicum/internship coordinator will communicate with the practicum supervisor to determine exactly how the supervisor feels the changing circumstances should affect that portion of the course grade that is determined by the practicum supervisor.
Who are the Practicum/Internship coordinator and supervisor and what are their roles?
The coordinator is the faculty member who acts as the “administrator” for all the students enrolled in CS 399 and CS 490. The coordinator will be a faculty member in the Computer Science Department and is listed on TitanWeb as the “instructor” for CS 399 and CS 490. The coordinator will grade all the reports you write and the oral presentation you are required to give. The coordinator is not the domain expert in the area in which you are doing your practicum or internship. That domain expert is the supervisor and will typically be your mentor at the interning organization if you are doing an internship or a Computer Science faculty member if you are doing a practicum. The supervisor will be the one who evaluates your work from the perspective of the domain expert in the field you have chosen for your internship or practicum. The supervisor will report that evaluation to the coordinator using the online form that can be previewed here. The coordinator will then assign a grade for the course based on the combination of reports/presentation and supervisor’s evaluation.
How do I find a practicum project?
Practicum projects are intended to be small scale research projects. Look back on the 300-level courses that you have taken. Which was your favorite? How could you take what you learned in that course and do a project based on this material? Talk to the CS faculty member who taught that course for ideas. Also talk to CS faculty members about assisting them in their research projects. Finally, discuss your own project idea with CS faculty members to see if it qualifies as a practicum, and if they might be willing to supervise it.
How do I find an internship?
Check for internship opportunities at the Career Services office — check the internship information they have posted on the Career Services web site. Attend the job fairs sponsored by Career Services. Talk to the people at the university’s Business Success Center about opportunities they may have for Computer Science students.
What communication-oriented assignments are required?
Both Practicum and Internship are courses that emphasize your ability to communicate. One half of your semester grade is based on the communication skills you demonstrate in written reports and oral presentation.
How long should the reports be? How should reports be organized?
You will do one or more reports during the semester with due dates established by the practicum/internship coordinator. Because you are writing these reports in a senior-level capstone experience, these reports are coordinated to help us evaluate how successful you have been in attaining our student learning outcomes. The particular details of the reports will be communicated to you by the practicum/internship coordinator at the beginning of the semester in which you are enrolled in practicum/internship.
It is the responsibility of the student to turn the reports in on time. A grade reduction penalty, or even a failing grade, will be imposed if they are submitted late
Do I have to do an oral presentation?
All Practicum and Internship students must present a summary of their experience to the CS faculty and students in person.
What should I talk about in my oral presentation?
Your oral presentation will be scheduled for a 20-minute time slot. Your formal presentation should last 15 minutes, and you should allow 5 minutes to answer questions. Don’t make your presentation overly technical. Your audience will be composed of computer science instructors and students.
Start by providing the background leading up to your project. If it is a practicum, what motivated you to choose this topic? If it is an internship, what kind of company are you working for and what specific needs did they want addressed by your project? Then provide an overview of the design of the software you wrote for your project. If it was one large program, what was its underlying structure? If the development was object-oriented, describe the key classes and how they interacted. If the software you wrote consisted of several smaller applications, describe any unifying relationships between them. For example, did they have to coordinate their access to the same database? How were they all related to the original goals of your project? Finally indicate to your audience the greatest challenges you faced in your project and how you overcame them.
Should I sign a contract with my employer?
It is standard for employers to protect their intellectual property with non-disclosure agreements. Be aware that you still have to do an oral presentation and write a report so you must be able to disclose a reasonable amount of information about your project.
However you should not sign a contract with your employer that in any way guarantees the completion, delivery, and/or installation of a specific software system for the employer. Software contracts are problematic even for professional consultants and software firms. A large percentage of professional software projects go over budget and get behind schedule. As a Internship student you are gaining practical experience, not acting as a professional consultant. Both you and your employer should understand that this is a learning experience.
Partial List of Past Interning Companies and Organizations
Students have obtained on-the-job experience before graduation at these companies.
Accurate Controls, Ripon
Affinity Health Systems, Oshkosh
Aid Association for Lutherans, Appleton
Alliance Laundry Systems, Ripon
Alpha Products, Fond du Lac
Alta Resources, Neenah
Alternative Solutions, Inc., Sheboygan Falls
American Family Insurance, Madison
Appleton Papers, Appleton
Appleton What Ideas Can Do, Appleton
Athenet Internet Services, Appleton
Automatic Handling, Oshkosh
Automating Peripherals, Hartford
Banta Book Group, Menasha
The Bolt Company, Appelton
Carlson Tool & Manufacturing, West Bend
Center for Community Partnerships, Oshkosh
Central Petroleum, Hortonville
Central Products, Appleton
City of Waukesha, Dept. of Parks-Rec-Forest, Waukesha
Clarity Care, Oshkosh
CMS Research, Oshkosh
Construction Industry Manufacturers Assoc., Milwaukee
CUNA Mutual Group, Madison
Custom Offsets, Appleton
Dealer Socket, Oshkosh
Dept. of Transportation, Bureau of Systems & Data Processing, Madison
Elliot Software Systems, Kaukauna
Firstar Bank, Oshkosh
Greater Green Bay Labor Council, Green Bay
Guarantee Title Services, Fond du Lac
Gutenberg Press, Waukesha
Hometown Tickets, Fond Du Lac
Huzzard Technology Solutions, Appleton
Integrated Paper Services, Appleton
Inter-Quest, Corp., Beaver Dam
I Q Tech, Waupun
J. J. Keller, Neenah
Kimberly Clark, Neenah
Kohler Co, Kohler
Lapham-Hickey Steel, Oshkosh
Lasalion Games, Milwaukee
Liberty Mutual Insurance
Lunar Corp., Madison
Marshfield Clinic, Marshfield
M&I Data Services, Brown Deer
McHugh Sofware Intl., Waukesha
Menasha Corporation, Neenah
Mercury Marine, Fond du Lac
Metavante Corp, Milwaukee
Miles Kimball, Oshkosh
New Technology Solutions, Appleton
Northwestern Mutual, Milwaukee
Oracular Systems and Software, Oshkosh
Oshkosh Corporation, Oshkosh
Oshkosh Truck, Oshkosh
Quadgraphics, Lomira and Hartford Pensar Corp., Appleton
Pierce Manufacturing, Appleton
Plexus Corporation, Neenah Rockwell Automation, Milwaukee
Rogan’s Shoes, Oshkosh
Schneider National, Green Bay
School Specialty Inc., Greenville
Secura Insurance Companies, Appleton
Sentry Insurance, Stevens Point
ShopKo, Green Bay
Silver Star Brands, Oshkosh
Society Insurance, Fond Du Lac
Southwestern Publishing, Sparta
SPL WorldGroup, Oshkosh
Stellar Blue Technologies, Appleton
Stork Technimet, New Berlin
Synaptic Micro Solutions, Appleton
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Appleton
University of Wisconsin Extension, Madison
US Venture, Appleton
UW Oshkosh, College of Bus, Oshkosh
UW Oshkosh, CompSci Dept., Oshkosh
UW Oshkosh, Foreign Lang & Lit Dept., Oshkosh
UW Oshkosh, Information Technology, Oshkosh
UW Oshkosh, Media Services, Oshkosh
UW Oshkosh, Military Science, Oshkosh
UW Oshkosh, MIO Dept., Oshkosh
UW Oshkosh, Reeve Union, Oshkosh
UW Oshkosh, Reeve/Univ Dining, Oshkosh
VersiFit Technologies, Appleton
Virgin Pulse, Appleton
Wells Vehicle Electronics, Fond Du Lac
Wildcard Technologies, Stevens Point
Winnefox Library System, Oshkosh
Wisconsin Public Service, Green Bay
Wisconsin Tissue Mills, Menasha
Discover Financial Services, Riverwoods, Illinois
Global Exchange Carrier, Manassas, Virginia
IBM Corp., Rochester, Minnesota
Intel, Santa Clara, California
Lucent Technologies, Warren, New Jersey
Magnum Business Systems, Stillwater, Minnesota
Maverick Software Consulting, Lakeville, Minnesota
Northwestern U-Sodexho, Evanston, Illinois
OthNet, St. Paul, Minnesota
Thomson Reuters, Eagan, Minnesota
Travelers Insurance, St. Paul, Minnesota
Zebra Technologies, Vernon Hills, Illinois
Little America, Japan
Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Japan