Internship in Computer Science/Information Systems

Course Information

Semester: Spring/Summer 2018
Time: No regular meeting time
Prerequisite: CSE/ISE major, U3 or U4 standing; permission of department
Goal: Provide a mechanism to gain professional skills, create personal contacts, and gain first hand experience in a computing-related field.

Contact Information

Course Coordinator
Dr. Robert Kelly
E-mail robkelly@cs.stonybrook.edu
Office hours By appointment only during the summer.
Office location Computer Science 218 (new building)


This course addresses participation in local, state, national, or international private enterprise, public agencies, or nonprofit institutions. Students are required to submit progress reports and a final report on their experience to the client and to the department. The course, may be repeated up to a limit of 12 credits, but only the first occurrence can count as an ISE or CSE upper division elective. If you are an international student, this means that you will most likely not be able to work a second internship that requires a CPT or OPT. Please consider the following limitations:

On campus internships do not require a CPT or OPT, so you might consider not registering for the course if you intend to take a subsequent off-campus internship.

Additional internship credits beyond the limits above and up to a limit of 12 credits can be used to satisfy upper division University elective requirements.


To enroll in the internship course you need to demonstrate that:

  1. you have or have been offered an internship related to your studies,
  2. you will work at least 180 hours during the semester, and
  3. the internship is with an organization that has an established Information Technology process from which you can learn (typically, more than 50 people employed at the organization).

Typically, this is just a matter of submitting the offer letter to the course coordinator. The course coordinator will evaluate the internship for total hours and for relevance to your course of studies, and if it meets the requirements, the coordinator will sign a "Permission to Enroll" for for the class. Once the Computer Science Department processes the form, you will be allowed to register for the course within Solar.

You should be aware that the internship course will incur tuition charges, as with any 3-credit undergraduate course. If your internship will take place during the summer semester and one of the semesters during the academic year, you may find that it is better to enroll in the academic year and not in the summer.

International Students

If you are an international student holding an F-1 Student Visa, you cannot work in the United States during your studies unless you receive special permission. CPT, Curricular Practical Training and OPT, Optional Practical Training are employment authorizations given to students during their studies. This is a great chance to get hands-on-experience working for a company in the US in a way that enhances your education.

To take advantage of this opportunity, you should:

  1. Follow the application process steps listed on the CPT/OPT Web site.
  2. You should apply for a job. You can find a job through the various on-campus Job Fairs or through on-line services such as Monster. Be sure to check with the Career Center for job opportunities. They are very helpful in all aspects of job searching. You should check that the position offered is an internship and is available for F-1 Students. It is advisable to look for a summer internship as this won’t deduct from the amount of time you might need for an OPT.
  3. When a company offers you a position, you should inform your new employer that a process of 2 to 4 weeks might be needed before you can start working.
  4. Contact the 488 course coordinator.
  5. Once you have been approved to enroll for an internship, register for the CSE488/ISE488 course on-line.
  6. If you do not hold a Social Security Card, you will need to apply for one before you can start work. You can apply for your card through the Social Security office in Patchogue.

If you are applying for CPT, your offer letter should contain:

Assignment Information

You are required to submit weekly status reports for this course. Each report should be sent to the course coordinator as a MS Word or PDF file attached to an e-mail. The name of the file should include your last name and the date of the end of the reporting period. For example, the file could be named:

The weekly report should be between a half a page and a page and should contain:

Once you have completed 180 hours of internship work, you have completed the minimum required internship hours. At that time or at any time up to the end of the semester (no later than the last day of final exams), you should submit a final report (minimum of 5 pages) describing your internship activities. The filename of the report should follow the same conventions as your weekly report, except that the semester and "-FinalReport" should replace the date, as in:

The report should contain:

An excellent final report was provided by Kelly Deng. Her internship final report provides an excellent example of an insightful final report.

Grades and Exams

This is a three credit S/U graded course. Your final grade is based primarily on your weekly status reports and your final report.

The Pass/No Credit (P/NC) option is not available for this course.