Internship guidelines - Information and Computer Science

Types of internships:

Internships can be used to achieve competencies both in areas for which there is no parallel ICS course, and for areas in which there is a parallel ICS course.

  • All ICS internships are three (3) semester credits.
  • The grading option for ICS internships is on an S/N basis only.

Internship content

The minimum internship content requirements for an ICS three-semester credit internship are listed below. All portions of requirements 1, 2, 3, and 4 must be met in order for an internship to be approved.

1) At least 120 hours of on-site experience at the internship site and/or involvement in the internship project.
a) The involvement in the internship project must be independent, self-directed work which combines practical application with theoretical components.
b) The practical and theoretical level of the work must be upper-division in nature.
c) The on-site involvement in this internship must not begin until the Academic Internship Agreement has been submitted and approved.

2) Self-directed, self-originated reading and study on major theories relevant to the competence title, appropriate for an upper-division level of learning.
a) Reading shall consist of approximately 7 - 10 items that are related to the competency and are appropriate for upper-division learning within that competency. As part of the application for the internship, the student shall present an annotated bibliography of these items.

b) The student will write a 3000-5000 word paper that demonstrates broad-based conceptual knowledge of the subject, and discusses the practical experience with respect to that knowledge. The exact nature of the paper will vary with the internship, but some common things to do in the paper are to compare and contrast the practical experience of the internship with the concepts and theory of the learning area, to discuss how well the theories apply to the practical experience, to discusses areas of the project such as its planning vs. execution, and/or to discuss the work dynamics of the team.

c) If the internship is a competency for which a parallel ICS course exists,

i) The student must have met the prerequisites for the parallel ICS course, or receive permission from the faculty liaison to undertake the internship, and
ii) the student may be asked to take a post-test in the area of the competency.
iii) Note that taking an internship does not replace taking a required course. For instance, a CIS major could not do an internship in database management instead of taking ICS 311.2

3) Meet all the requirements specified under "Evaluation" below.

Gaining internship approval

By following the steps below, you prevent unnecessary hassles and make the approval process for an internship go more smoothly.

1) Attend an internship information session. Contact the Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship at 651-793-1285 or or check the Catalyst for dates, times, and locations. These are usually held monthly. At this meeting you will receive an internship packet, which includes all the necessary paperwork for your internship. Alternatively, schedule an appointment with someone from the internship office to discuss your potential internship, and to get the internship packet.

2) Follow the steps on the Student Process Checklist for Academic Internships that you received at the internship information session or from the Internship Office. When doing so, note the following recommendations.

a) Finding an Internship: Metropolitan State resources for finding internships are explained at the internship information session. Alternatively, you may find an internship on your own. In either case, you must observe the following rules.

b) Your site supervisor may not be related to you (e.g., a parent, sibling, child, uncle, aunt, cousin, in-law, domestic partner). Check if you're not sure - this list is not exhaustive. You also may not be related to the faculty liaison.
i) An internship must consist of new learning. You may do an internship at your present work location, even for your present supervisor. But this work must be something that is new learning for you, and it must be significantly different from the work that you normally do for this organization.

c) Completing the Academic Internship Agreement with the help of the site supervisor/evaluator: If you have any question about the competence statement and/or annotated bibliography, talk to the ICS faculty liaison. This can save you iteration later should the ICS faculty liaison need to request changes in your agreement to make your internship acceptable to the department.
Your advisor may waive this requirement, permitting you to take an internship instead of a parallel required course, but it is highly unlikely that s/he will do so.

d) Multiple internships: A student may count up to two ICS internships toward a CIS or CS degree. These internships may be at the same site, and may have the same site supervisor. However, they must be completely different internships, covering different competencies, with different reading lists and separate papers. Each requires a full internship application.

e) Evaluation: List the site supervisor as the evaluator on the Academic Internship Agreement, and as the instructor on the registration form (when you register for the internship).

3) Note: Just performing work, having regular work performance, reviews, reading training manuals or company personnel manuals will not be adequate to receive college-level credit for an internship.


1) Evaluation of the on-site work component of the internship will be done by the on-site supervisor in consultation with the ICS faculty liaison.

2) Evaluation of the theoretical portion of the competence will be done by the ICS faculty liaison, via approval of the annotated bibliography as part of approving the internship, and via approving the final paper.

3) The grading option for ICS internships is on an S/N basis only.

Examples of acceptable ICS internships

1) For instance, an internship might involve creation of a database for an enterprise and creation of a web page for user access of this database. Such an internship might involve the following steps.
a) Prepare an annotated bibliography of readings related to web page design, database management systems, and their interface.
b) Read the items in the bibliography.
c) Design and implement a database for an enterprise.
d) Design and implement a web page that serves as the user interface for this database.
e) Prepare a written and/or oral presentation for company personnel and the ICS faculty liaison.
f) Write a 3000-5000 word paper integrating the theoretical and practical components of the internship.
g) Such an internship might be considered a parallel internship with ICS 311 (Database Management Systems). The ICS faculty liaison might ask you to take a post-test covering this material.

2) Perform analysis and prepare a disaster recovery plan for a small business or major application of a larger enterprise.
a) Prepare an annotated bibliography of readings related to disaster recovery planning.
b) Read the items in the bibliography.
c) Perform the analysis necessary for disaster recovery.
d) Write the disaster recovery plan, and present it to company personnel and the ICS faculty liaison.
e) Write a 3000-5000 word paper integrating the theoretical and practical components of the internship.
Important note: The Academic Internship Agreement must be submitted and approved before you begin your internship. You may not register for the internship until you have received written approval notification from the Internship Office. Students must register within the semester of the Academic Internship Agreement approval date or they may be required to reapply for the internship. Check current Class Schedule for last day to register for the semester.