What is an internship?

The definition of an internship is simple: any employment situation in which one does work related to what one learns in their major at school is an "internship." This is true whether one is paid for the work or not, or whether the company is large or small. In Computer Science, nearly any technical job one gets while in school will meet the definition of an "internship."

How does one get an internship?

There are several ways to get a major-related job:

1. Use the Career Center. The CSU Career Center is the usual clearinghouse for school-related work with larger companies (since they seek employees in a variety of fields). These internships are more formalized, and generally take the form of full-time summer work, though depending on the company's proximity to CSU, it may also include part-time work during the school year. One must register with the Career Center to be eligible for these kinds of positions.

2. Find one on your own. For this, you should choose a company that hires a fair number of employees who are computer scientists. Compose a resume, and send the resume along with a letter indicating an interest in that organization and requesting an internship.

3. Get a lead from the Computer Science Department. When small to medium-sized companies in the Fort Collins/Front Range region wish to hire computer-related summer or part-time employees, they contact the CS Department and email job descriptions. They may or may not refer to them as "internships" but they are internships just the same. The CS Department forwards job announcements through its listserves to all our students' CS Department email accounts.

Are internships paid positions?

Some internships, especially in other fields, are unpaid. However, given the demand for computer-skilled individuals in the workplace, almost any internship related to computer science will be paid.

Can I get college credit for my internships?

Yes, though credit is not awarded merely for holding a job. Students who arrange with a CS Department faculty member to obtain credit for what they learn while working can obtain CS486 (Practicum) credit.

Such arrangements must be set up in advance of the work experience. Students interested in obtaining practicum credit should contact a CS faculty member with an interest in the general area in which the work is being performed, and work out an agreement as to what will be required to obtain the credit (regular reports, journal, final report, etc.).

Specific instructions on practicum arrangements can be found here.

Practicum credit will not substitute for any required computer science (Group I) class(es).

Does the CS Department have jobs?

Yes. The CS Department hires undergraduate students to fill two kinds of positions in the department:

To Apply: go to the CS Department main office and ask for an employment application. Fill it out and return it. CS Department positions are filled during the first week of each semester.

Please contact James Peterson ( if you have questions concerning any topics on this page.