Computer Science Internships

Practical work experience in the software industry is a valuable complement to academic course work. In the CIS 407 Career/Internship seminar, the department works with students to help prepare them for internship positions. Students may also use the services of the UO Career Center and other agencies to identify internship opportunities.

Internship Criteria

The internship must be project-based or involve computer science learning activities or skill development.

Unpaid internships must follow the Fair Labor Standards Act internship criteria.

The organization is expected to define your position as an internship and allocate time and resources to identifying mutual goals and providing supervision, feedback, and evaluation.

Interns are expected to have direct and consistent contact with their internship supervisor.

Credit for Computer Science Internships (CIS 404)

CIS and MACS majors may earn academic credit for an internship. Typically, two CIS 404 credits* are given for an extended, real-world software development or other computing-related experience under the direction of internship and faculty supervisors. The work must be at a technical level beyond Intermediate Data Structures (CIS 313) and be sponsored by a CIS faculty member. An Individualized Study Approval Form signed by the faculty sponsor and the student, including contact information for the internship supervisor must be filed with the department before the internship begins.

CIS 404 credits may be paired with CIS 407 Career/Internship Seminar credits for a total of four upper division elective credits.

To earn CIS 404 credits for an internship, students should fill out an Individualized Study Approval Form and review this with a CIS advisor or faculty member. Proposals should include a brief description of the internship, e.g., the name of the company, type of work, duration of the internship, and other relevant details. Contact information for an internship supervisor should be included.

Students should meet with a CIS faculty sponsor to review the proposal and determine internship requirements. For example, there may be an expectation that the student will send email at the end of each week of the internship, with a description of:

  1. the project(s) the student is working on;
  2. progress that has been made on each project;
  3. what has been learned (e.g., technical, software development, communication, or other skills);
  4. any other issues that the student would like to discuss.

When the internship has been approved, the student should submit the signed form to the Computer Science office. The request will be processed and an email reminder to register for CIS 404 will be sent to the student.

*Four credits may be earned when learning is on par with what the student would learn in an upper division elective class. For four credits, the CIS 404 Individualized Study form must include learning outcomes, deliverables, and assessments comparable to learning outcomes, deliverables, and assessments for other CIS upper division elective classes. Internships that meet this bar are the exception, not the norm.

The department maintains a partial list of internships and REU opportunities here.

Technology Associations

Silicon Shire
Consortium of technology companies in the Eugene-Springfield area.
Technology Association of Oregon
Consortium of technology companies in Oregon and SW Washington.
Association for Computing Machinery
ACM, national computing science professional society.