Details on Getting Academic Credit
The primary relationship in an internship is between the student and the employer. Successful completion of the internship allows the student to include the internship experience on his/her resumé.
As an option, students can earn academic credit at UMD through the course, CS 3996, Internship in Computer Science (CS). One credit can be earned for every 100 hours worked, up to a maximum of three credits. In practice, students sign up for one credit to keep tuition costs down no matter how many hours they work. What matters is not the number of credits but the inclusion of CS 3996 on their transcript.
CS 3996 is a pass/fail course. The grade is based on a final report written by the student and an intern evaluation provided by the employer.
Here is the procedure for earning credit:
- After locating an internship and before beginning work, the student must complete the Internship Agreement Form (requires UMD login).
- Upon submitting the completed form, the student will receive an override number from the CS Department secretary to register for CS 3996.
- Student performs the internship while enrolled in CS 3996. Alternatively, the student can perform the internship in the summer and enroll in CS 3996 the following fall.
- By the beginning of finals week of the semester in which CS 3996 is taken, the student submits his/her final report (see details below) by emailing it to the CS Department Internship Coordinator, Dr. Tim Colburn.
- By the beginning of finals week of the semester in which CS 3996 is taken, the student's supervisor submits his/her intern evaluation (see details below) by emailing it to the CS Department Internship Coordinator.
If the report or evaluation is not submitted on time, the student will receive a grade of Incomplete.
Employer's Intern Evaluation
At the end of the internship, the employer will provide the Computer Science Department with a confidential evaluation of the student's performance. This evaluation should describe the projects on which the student participated, the student's role on these projects, and the student's work performance. Would this student be hired again? Would the student be considered for permanent employment if available?
The evaluation should also address:
- The student's understanding of the fundamental mathematical, logical, statistical, and scientific principles underlying computing and information processing
- The student's grasp of the principles of computer science and ability to apply this knowledge to a variety of problems
- The student's understanding and appreciation of the organization context in which the computing activities occur
- Finally, was the student's educational background adequate for this internship? Does the evaluator have any curricular suggestions for the Computer Science Department?
The evaluation should be regarded as confidential and sent directly by email to the CS Department Internship Coordinator. Please send plain text or PDF files; no .docx files. The evaluation can also be faxed to the Coordinator at 218-726-8240.
The final report describes the intern's experience. It must be correct in spelling, punctuation, grammar, and writing style. Papers that do not meet these standards will not be accepted.
When using technical terminology and acronyms, define them. Don't assume that everyone who reads your paper will be familiar with every computer system.
If you need some help with your writing skills, consult the UMD Writer's Workshop.
Your paper must address at least the following topics, plus any others you wish to include:
- Describe the company you worked for: its location, size, history, business focus, etc.
- Describe in moderate detail the project or projects you worked on. Documentation and code for your projects would make good appendices.
- Describe your contributions to these projects. Will your work be incorporated into the company environment? If you worked on public web pages for your project, include the URLs.
- Describe the hardware and software systems you used and whether it was difficult to get up to speed on them.
- Describe the nature and degree of your training and supervision during your internship. Did you receive extensive training? Were you closely supervised or fairly independent?
- Evaluate your internship. Was it worthwhile? How well did your school work prepare you for the internship? What impact has it had on your career plans? On your personal growth? On your understanding of the field of Computer Science? Is this a good internship for another student to take?
In addition, the following optional sections may be included:
- Provide a bibliography if warranted.
- To document your work, you may include up to 10 pages of supporting material that you produced as an appendix. This may include samples of program or HTML code that you wrote, scripts, screenshots, technical documentation, etc.
The report should be and sent directly by email as a pdf to the CS Department Internship Coordinator.
Extending an Internship
From time to time an internship that is taken for the summer, for example, is extended by the employer to continue through the fall. If the student has signed up for CS 3996 in the summer session, he or she must meet the obligation of the course by providing the final report and supervisor evalution by the end of the summer. Then, the student has two options: he or she can continue the internship either with or without re-enrolling for CS 3996.
If the student does not re-enroll, then the internship is no longer taken for academic credit but the employer/employee relationship continues as before. If the student does re-enroll, then he or she must sign up for CS 3996 in the fall in the same way as before, that is, by submitting a new form and completing the requirements just as before. Note that CS 3996 may be taken multiple times, not to exceed 3 total credits.