Approval Criteria

Earning credit for your internship requires that the internship align with your coursework in a way that gains you a similar final experience to everyone seeking an Informatics degree. Be aware that not all internships will qualify for capstone credit. 

Below, you will find some general information and three specific types of internships that are generally approved for capstone credit.

General Requirements

Required hours

Interns must work 60 hours per credit hour. For a 6 credit internship an intern must work 360 hours.

An overarching project

All internships must feature an overarching project that students are working toward for at least 50 percent of their internship. All internships must involve learning a new skill (e.g., platform) and applying that skill in context.

We generally approve three types of internships, which can be found below.

Your project will involve learning a new skill (e.g., programming language) to either build or expand upon an information system for the organization. This work can be done individually or with a team, but your application must include what role you specifically will be filling within the project. The entire project does not need to be focused on coding, but you will be expected to demonstrate that you will be spending a good amount of time working with the code. Other time spent on the project can include working on design, requirement gathering, testing, or databasing.

If your internship focuses on data analysis or analytics, it must include the following components.

  • Some form of programmatic data cleaning and/or aggregation. For example, using Python to ingest data or clean data and using SQL to query the data to find insights.
  • Some platform for visualization. Most commonly we see Tableau, Arcteryx, and PowerBI. Some students also build their own visualization platforms using (for example) PHP and a jQuery library.

Approval may rely on whether or not the your work will live on past your time at the organization with little to no maintenance.

We do not approve data analysis internships that use Excel and other such tools.

The internship will involve honing/applying HCI skills and learning new skills to assist in the creation of a new or improved product for the organization. This work can be done individually or on a team, but your application must include your specific role within the project. You should apply and gain further experience in a HCI process that may include:

  • Planning or Defining using methods such as Primary or Secondary Research, Interviews, Contextual Inquiry
  • Synthesis of your research data into insights for use in the design stage using methods such as Affinity Diagram, Card Sorting, Cognitive Mapping, etc.
  • Concept generation of your ideas using methods such as Brainstorming, Personas, Scenarios, Low Fidelity Prototypes, etc.
  • Creating detailed interactive prototypes (either physical or digital) using wire framing tools such as Adobe XD, Axure, Figma or Sketch.
  • Refinement and evaluation of products using methods such as A/B Testing, Usability Testing, Wizard of Oz, etc.

Students who are engaging in an HCI-focused internship should have already completed courses that are beyond INFO-I300 (e.g., INFO-I245/246, INFO-I370). Students should also have a supervisor who is experience in HCI methods or HCI work.

Internship location

Internships may be either on-site (preferred) or remote. In the case of a remote internship, students must spend at least one day on-site with the organization, including orientation, a final presentation, or sometime other experience.

While the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing we have relaxed the on-site requirement. This requirement will be relaxed through at least Summer 2021.

What types of internships are generally not approved?

This is not an exhaustive list, but a few common types that are not approved include:

  • Internships that are primarily support-based in nature. (e.g. IT help desk.)
  • Internships that do not feature an overarching project or deliverable.
  • Internships that primarily feature project management duties.
  • Internships that do not provide mentorship.
  • Internships that do not provide a clear means of expanding the student's skillset.
  • Internships that involve family members or those in close relationship to the student. (This includes internships where a family member is in a position of authority within the organization, regardless of whether the family member is the supervisor/mention of the intern.)