CSCI 6930 (1, 2, or 3 Credits)

This class allows CS graduate students to receive academic credit for internships that have an academic component to them suitable for graduate-level coursework. 

Table of Contents

Participation in the program requires an internship agreement between a student, a faculty member from the Department, and an industry partner who will employ the student in a role that supports the academic goals of the internship. The faculty member's participation will include facilitation of mid-term and final assessments of student performance as well as support for any academic-related issues that may arise during the internship period.

The class may be taken during any term following a student's initial enrollment and participation in CS graduate programs.

This 1-3 variable credit course has several restrictions. You must apply to be admitted into the class and the application process will require you to specify the academic goals of the internship along with a point-of-contact at the company who has committed to ensuring that your internship experience will help you meet those academic goals. A faculty member in the department will review your application and you will only be allowed to enroll in the course if they approve your application. At the end of your internship, you will produce a report that will document your accomplishments with respect to meeting the academic goals of the internship. The same faculty member will review your report and will use it to determine your final grade in the class. If you are actively working with a faculty member as the advisor for your degree, that same advisor will conduct the review and assign your final grade, otherwise the internship class instructor will provide the review and grade.

The application process for a given semester will have strict timelines and registration deadlines associated with it. In any given term, the deadline to add these credits is always the first Wednesday after classes begin. During summer, this class follows Term D deadlines. You will need to meet all requirements to enroll in the course. You must compete the application process and be approved before you can take the internship. You cannot participate in an internship and then register for this course after the fact.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate expertise and integrate foundational concepts in software, project, management, and/or team skills during the design, development, test, and/or delivery activities in a computing-related industry setting.
  • Prepare for professional careers after graduation.

Registering for an Internship Experience to receive Academic Credit

Students may elect to take the class for variable credit of 1, 2, or 3 credits. Students will be able to count at most 3 credits of this class towards their degree. The class can be taken multiple times for the selected amounts of credit..

Academic Credit and Contact Hours

Each credit hour will represent a minimum of 40 contact hours of documented internship activities. Therefore a 2-credit internship will represent a minimum of 80 contact hours, and a 3-credit internship will represent a minimum of 120 hours of internship activity. Students may be engaged for more than the minimum contact hours required at their option and by arrangement with their internship sponsor.

Applying Professional Internship Credits towards Degree Requirements

These credits may count towards the depth requirement for CS PhD students and as elective credit for Traditional CS Master’s Students, Traditional TCP Master’s Students, and Network Engineering Professional Master’s Students.

These credits may be used for CS Professional Master’s (PMP) Students to support capstone degree requirements as follows:

  • A PMP student may take up to 3 credits of internship AND the two-semester capstone.
  • A PMP student with a minimum of 2 years of software industry experience may take 3 credits of internship and request a waiver of the two-semester capstone. If approved, such students may take another 6 credits of approved CS classes instead of the capstone.
  • A PMP student with a minimum of 5 years of software industry experience may request a waiver of the two-semester capstone. If approved, they may take another 6 credits of approved CS classes instead of the capstone.

Note that the capstone waivers must be approved by a faculty review of an experience statement, such as a detailed resume, it is not a given that it will be granted.

Tuition and fees for this course will be the same as any other per credit hour costs of a graduate-level course; the rate depends on your specific degree program.

About Internship Credit

Taking an internship for credit course is an excellent way to tie a professional experience with a student’s academic career here at CU Boulder. Internships for credit can help students gain skills, apply knowledge gained in the classroom in real-world settings, and earn credit towards your degree while gaining professional experience. Internships have to be a position of a student or trainee who works in an organization, sometimes without pay, in order to gain work experience or satisfy requirements for a qualification. These cannot be a full time job/position.

Before pursuing an internship for credit, consider the following:

  • An Internship for Credit course is not required for most students. You can certainly take internships and not receive academic credit for them. Some internships, however, can be powerful learning experiences that should earn a student academic credit towards their degree. These courses also help students in situations where your employer requires a student to be enrolled in an Internship for Credit course while taking an internship or for international students who need this course because CPT rules require it.
  • Look for internships on Handshake and be sure to find a person at the company (typically the person who will be your supervisor) who agrees to be your industry point-of-contact. You will need the contact information of this person to apply for the Internship for Credit course.
  • All semesters will have strict timelines and registration deadlines to apply for the course before your internship starts. Find this information ahead of time so you are prepared to apply with enough time to have your application approved.

You will have to do more than just participate in the internship to receive academic credit. In your application, you will specify the academic goals of the internship and you will also specify how you will demonstrate that those goals have been achieved. Demonstrating achievement will likely involve generating a report at the end of the internship and participating in meetings and evaluations with your faculty advisor during the internship.

How to Enroll

You may not get credit for an internship retroactively. That is, the agreement for the Internship for Credit course is to be completed, signed, and approved by all parties prior to the initiation of the internship, and no later than one week prior to the end of the registration period for the term the internship will take place. During summer, this course follows Term D deadlines.

Read all of the following information carefully then fill out the agreement, sign it, get your industry supervisor and faculty member's signature and use this google form to send it to the Graduate Advisor to get enrolled.

Internship Requirements

General Policies/Eligibility

  • The student is required to complete and sign a Professional Internship Agreement. This must be approved and signed by the student, the industry supervisor, the faculty advisor directing the course, and by the department coordinator.
  • Professional Internship credits are to be enrolled for in the same time frame as all other courses for a given term.
  • Professional Internship credit will be graded upon satisfactory completion of the project requirements as defined in the Professional Internship Agreement.
  •  Internships have to be a position of a student or trainee who works in an organization, sometimes without pay, in order to gain work experience or satisfy requirements for a qualification. These cannot be a full time job/position.


  • University rules do not normally allow Internship credits to be counted as Independent Study credits, work-study, or hourly pay work performed in departments.
  • University policy states that only faculty members with an appropriate graduate faculty appointment with the Graduate School may be the instructor of record for a graduate Professional Internship course.

GPA Requirements

  • You must have at least a 3.3 GPA to apply. Continued performance at this level is a prerequisite for beginning an internship for credit experience.
  • Students participating in the internship program are expected to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.3, be in good academic standing, and maintain satisfactory progress toward degree requirements.

Time Commitment Requirements

All internship for credit courses require a MINIMUM of 40 contact hours to receive 1 credit towards degree requirements. No credit will be issued for internships that are less than 40 contact hours.

Requirements for International Students

  • International Students have different guidelines for internships as directed from the Office of International and Student Scholar Services (ISSS)
  • International Students must have their internship approved by an international student advisor before the first day of work.

Necessary Forms and Deadlines

The deadline to submit your Internship Experience Agreement via the online petition, by uploading your signed Agreement for Internship Experience form below, is the FIRST Wednesday after classes begin every semester.

  • Agreement for Internship Experience
    • This must be completed and approved prior to the start of the internship experience! If internship credit is desired, report the intent to register for credit by filling out the application. Use this google form to upload your application.
  • Impact of an Internship on Financial Aid and/or Scholarships Form
    • If completing an internship during an academic term (fall or spring) you must submit the Impact of an Internship on Financial Aid and/or Scholarships Form before leaving on an internship assignment. This is to make sure that any scholarships or financial aid will not be affected by your internship experience.
  • A student evaluation of the experience
    • A student evaluation of the experience is due by the grade submission deadline of the term they are enrolled in, unless otherwise specified by the department coordinator. Students not submitting these materials will receive a grade of Incomplete and if not completed within one year the grade will convert to an F.
  • Class registration fees
    • Class registration fees are due in the Bursar’s Office by the deadline specified by the University. If not received by this deadline, a late fee will be assessed. Failure to register and pay the required fee means that the internship experience cannot be used for credit.

Required Application Information

The following is the information needed to submit an internship application. Be sure to have all this information on hand before starting the application process.

Please note that submitting this application does not guarantee eligibility for credit for an internship experience. The academic plan must be approved prior to the student being registered for the experience and all requirements for an Internship for Credit experience must be met.

Student Information

  • Student ID (SID)
  • Student Name
  • Student CU Email Address (Campus Email)
  • Phone
  • Major
  • Department/Program
  • Degree pursuing 
  • Expected date of graduation
  • Year in the program
  • Citizenship Category
  • Term/Year applying for (Fall/Spring/Summer and year)
  • Cumulative GPA (CGPA)
  • Have you completed internship hours before?
    • If yes, during what term and for how many credits?

Employer Information

  • Company Name
  • Industry supervisor name
  • Industry supervisor email 
  • CU faculty supervisor name
  • CU Faculty supervisor email

Questions about the Internship

  • Describe academic goals of the internship.
  • Describe the nature and work of the proposed internship.
  • Method of evaluation (final paper, report, publication?)