Internships

CSE Tech Talks, such as this visit by Facebook, are great opportunities to meet potential internship sponsors in person.  Pictured are: Facebook Software Engineer Tom Occhino (CEN BS '07) and CSE Undergraduate Co-Director Carl Alphonce

We encourage students to gain hands-on, real-world experience by taking internships at companies related to their majors.

Approved students who are in good standing with the department may earn academic credit for internships. To receive academic credit for an internship, follow the procedure described below.

On this page:

Internship Helpers

First, let's introduce you to the people who will help guide you through the phases of your internship:

  • Internship Coordinator.  CSE Professor Jinjun Xiong (A. Erdem Sariyuce as backup). 
  • Internship Supervisor.  The professional employer you'll work for during the internship.
  • Faculty Academic Advisor (graduate students only).  The CSE faculty member who helps you formulate your academic and professional development plan.
  • Staff Academic Coordinator.  The CSE staff member who helps you register for academic credit by force-registering you into the appropriate internship course.

Requirements

General Requirements

  1. Your internship must be CSE-related.  The Internship Coordinator will determine relevancy when you complete the paperwork to register for internship academic credit.
  2. Internship academic credits must be earned in the term/semester in which you worked at the company.  In particular:
    • You cannot receive internship academic credit for internships you have already completed.
    • When you complete an internship during any academic term, you must register for internship academic credit(s) during that term.
    • Note that the internship academic credits will be billed as part of the course registration fee.
  3. Each credit of academic work requires a minimum of 3 hours of internship work per week for 14 weeks.

Example:

3.0 academic credits
x 3 hours of work per week == 9.0 hours of work per week
x 14 weeks per semester == 126 hours of work per semester

Graduate Program Requirements

  1. Good Standing.  You must be an approved CSE graduate student in good standing to register for internship academic credit.
  2. Credit(s) Toward Degree:
    • PhD students.  PhD students may count a maximum of one internship credit toward their PhD degrees.
    • Masters students.  Course-track MS students (starting in Fall '23 and later) may count a maximum of three internship academic credits toward their MS degrees; otherwise, MS students may only count a maximum of one internship academic credit toward their MS degrees.

Undergraduate Program Requirements

  1. You must be an approved CS or CEN major in good standing to register for internship academic credit.
  2. You may use a maximum of 3 internship academic credits toward required 400-level CSE course credits.  However, you may earn these 3 internship academic credits at separate internship experiences.  For example, you may earn 1 internship academic credit in one term and 2 internship academic credits in another term.
  3. Internship academic credits in excess of the 3 credits may be used as 'free electives' as permitted by the degree program.
  4. To register for internship academic credit, you must have previously completed CSE 250: Data Structures or receive special permission from the Undergraduate Staff Academic Coordinator.

Locate Your Internship Opportunity

You are responsible for locating and applying for your internship opportunity. This means that you will need to contact potential internship locations; submit your resume, cover letter and any other documentation that is required; arrange the interviews; etc. Here is a list of guidelines to help you through the process.

These resources can help you find a good internship:

  • UB Career Design CenterJobs & Internships
  • UB Career Design CenterEvents.  UB hosts job fairs and events multiple times per year.
  • Companies that you would like to work for.  Write to a company that interests you and ask if there are any summer positions available. Be sure to include your resume.
  • Other students.  Talk to students who have completed internships to find out how they located their internships; they might be able to provide you with names of companies that use summer interns and/or contacts within the company.

Begin Your Internship

Attention: please pay close attention to the instructions below. Forms and information not conforming to the required information will cause significant delays (including rejection) for the approval process.

A. Undergraduate Domestic Students—Complete the Internship Application Form

Download and complete the CSE Internship/Co-Op Application Form.

B. International Students—Complete International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) Forms

This Requirement is for International Students Only

Skip this section if you're not an international student.

To be eligible for the internship, international students (students with F-1 visas) must apply to the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) Office for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT) authorizations.  The ISSS Office is the authoritative source for answers to CPT and OPT questions.  You may also pick up the forms at the ISSS Office in 210 Talbert Hall, North Campus. CPT request processing takes approximately 5-7 business days.  OPT request processing takes approximately 4-6 weeks.

It is your responsibility to allocate appropriate amount of time for paperwork processing when deciding the internship starting date.  You cannot start your internship without an approved CPT or OPT.

CPT Authorization Form Guidelines

Complete the CSE Academic Advisor’s Recommendation Form, answering all questions using the third-person tense.  For example, refer to yourself as "the student", "the intern", "he", "she", "they", etc.  Please don't use the first-person perspective, such as "I", "me", etc.

Use the guidance below to complete the form.

  • Stating and ending dates: Please determine the starting and ending dates for your internship by following the school and ISSS rules.  For example, the ending date should not be beyond the enrolled semester ending date (please refer to the UB Academic Calendar), and the starting date should not be before all the approvals can be secured (e.g., CPT requires 5-7 business days from ISSS, OPT for 4 - 6 weeks from ISSS, and force registration approval for 1 week by the internship coordinator/staff academic coordinator).  Please plan accordingly.  Wrongly-determined dates will significantly delay your approval process.
  • In the question about skills, you should identify specific skills that you expect to gain.  For example, specific programming languages, specific technologies, specific programming environments, etc...
  • In the question about work experience being integral, you should identify specific classes with course numbers, and all concepts learned in these classes that you expect to apply in practice. ISSS recommends the following template:

This internship is integral to the computer science and engineering curriculum as it will require that the student apply the following concepts (LIST CONCEPTS) learned in the following courses (LIST COURSES).  This off-campus experience will provide the student with the most comprehensive experiential learning opportunity

  • In the question about the evaluation, put the following text:

At the end of the semester, the internship mentor will be asked to submit a completed internship evaluation form (https://engineering.buffalo.edu/content/dam/engineering/computer-science-engineering/site-wide/internships/EvaluationForm.pdf) to the Internship Coordinator.  The Internship Coordinator will assign an S/U grade based on this form and he may reach out to the internship mentor for additional information.

  • Please use the current Internship Coordinator’s info to pre-fill all the required fields for the academic advisor section (excepting signing and dating) before your submission for approval.

C. All Students: Prepare Information Needed for Approval in the Next Step

  1. Get the official offer letter on a company letterhead and make sure the official offer letter includes at least the following information: (1) job duty, (2) starting and ending dates, (3) the time commitment, and (4) to who you will be working with and reporting.
  2. In your own words, please write a paragraph (P1) to state your agreement with the following information from your offer letter by repeating them explicitly, especially when some of those information are missing in your offer letter: (1) job duty, (2) starting and ending dates, (3) the time commitment, and (4) to who you will be working with and reporting.
  3. In your own words, a paragraph (P2) of your understanding (~300 words maximum) of the tasks you will be doing, and what computer science & engineering related skills and education experience you will bring for the internship.
  4. In your own words, a paragraph (P3) of your justification (~200 words maximum) of your requested number of internship credits for the internship (see above for the requirements) versus your internship time commitment.
  5. Do NOT email the offer letter and your paragraphs above to the Internship Coordinator, who will approve your request through the force registration system.

D. Upload Documents and Request Force Registration

After you've prepared all the needed documentation and information from above:

Force Registration Deadline

Your internship force registration deadline is the second Friday of the semester.  This applies to both domestic and international undergraduate/graduate students.

  1. Upload the application file and your internship offer letter from your sponsoring company as PDF files to the SEAS Force Registration Request Form with your CSE 496 force registration request.  Your offer letter must include start and end dates, salary, tasks, and work location/company address.  Do NOT email the form to the Internship Coordinator (who will approve your request through the force registration system).
  2. Open and fill in SEAS Force Registration Portal: https://academics.eng.buffalo.edu/force-registration/request
  3. Log in (if prompted).
  4. Make sure your name, person number, and email are correct.
  5. Enter the semester for which you are submitting the request (i.e., Summer 2022).
  6. Course subject: CSE
  7. Course number: CSE 496 for undergraduate students, and CSE 598TUT or CSE 700 Independent study for graduate students. For those who choose CSE 598 TUT, please choose the first instance of “CSE 598: CSE 598TUT XIO ARR 12:00 am - 12:00 am Xiong, Jinjun (note this information will depend on who is serving as the current internship coordinator)
  8. Reason for request: Permission required
  9. Justification: Please copy-n-paste the three paragraphs (P1, P2, and P3) that you have prepared from above to this place as your justification.
  10. Credit Amount: [variable]
  11. Document upload:
    • CPT Academic Advisor Recommendation Form (if you are an international student)
    • Offer letter from company
  12. Submit
    • After submission, the Staff Academic Coordinator will inform you if there is an error in any of your materials.  Once approved, the Staff Academic Coordinator will force-register you.  Domestic students may proceed with their internships after the force registration is complete.  International students need to wait for their CPT approvals from ISSS before starting their internships.

E. Download the Internship Evaluation Form

  1. Download the Internship Evaluation Form.
  2. Fill it in, completing all the fields.
  3. Give the form to your Internship Supervisor on or before the first day of your internship so that he/she understands your internship evaluation criteria.

F. Register for Academic Credit

The Internship Coordinator will send the signed form to the Staff Academic Coordinator so he or she can force-register you into the appropriate course.

  Undergraduate Students Graduate Students
Staff Academic Coordinator(s) Shelly Neumaier

Dan Liberg

Kaileigh Kosicki

Course Number CSE 496 CSE 598
Credit Hours 1 - 5 1 - 3
Maximum Hours of Work per Week

Fall term: 20

Winter term: 40

Spring term: 20

Summer term: 40

Fall term: 20

Winter term: 40

Spring term: 20

Summer term: 40

Grade P/F (Pass/Fail) S/U (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory)

Table 1. Internship program registration details.

Both courses require force registration to ensure that all the necessary forms are filled out and to assist in tracking internship progress.

Finish Your Internship

A. Complete the Internship Evaluation Form

  1. Verify that your Internship Supervisor has completed your Internship Evaluation Form as completely as possible, and signed and dated it.
  2. Submit your CSE internship evaluation form to CSE on the last day of classes of the semester when you are doing your internship.  If you fail to submit this form, you will get a grade of "I" (Incomplete) for the internship.  Choose one of these two submission methods:
    • If your Internship Supervisor wants to submit your completed CSE internship evaluation form directly to the Internship Coordinator, he/she may email it to cse-internships@buffalo.edu.
    • Otherwise, if your Internship Supervisor wants you to submit your completed CSE internship evaluation form, upload it via this external link or the file upload widget, below.