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:

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 a winter/summer term, you must register for internship academic credit(s) during that winter/summer term.

Graduate Program Requirements

  1. You must be an approved CSE graduate student in good standing to register for internship academic credit.
  2. MS students may count a maximum of one internship academic credit toward the MS degree.

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.
    • This policy is only applicable to students who started their current CSE degree in Fall '16 or later.
  3. Internship academic credits in excess of the 3 credits used toward the technical elective for students who started Fall '16 or later and all internship credits earned by students who started in Spring '16 or earlier 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 Internship Coordinator.

Internship Helpers

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

  • Internship Coordinator.  CSE Professor Jinjun Xiong manages the internship program.
  • 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 Advisor.  The CSE staff member who helps you register for academic credit by force-registering you into the appropriate internship course.

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 ServicesInternships Page
  • UB Job Fairs.  UB hosts job fairs several 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

A. 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.

CPT Authorization Form Guidelines

Complete the CSE Academic Advisor’s Recommendation Form, answering all questions using the third-person tense.   Use the guidance below to complete the form.

  • 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.

B. Complete the Internship Application Form

  1. Download the Internship Application Form:
  2. Fill out the form as completely as possible.  You must complete this form before you may register for academic credit.
  3. The "Project Definition" field:
    • Asks for a general statement about the nature of the work you will be doing (programming, database design, etc.)
    • Asks for a description of specific tasks you will be doing.
  4. The "Skill/Education Requirements" fields (a) and (b) ask for a list of abilities that you bring to the job.
  5. Sign the form yourself.
  6. If you are a MS student, you should NOT ask your assigned academic advisor to sign this form (CPT forms will be signed by the Internship Coordinator when the force registration request is approved).
  7. If you are a PhD student, you must have your Faculty Academic Advisor sign the form before you submit your force registration request.
  8. Do NOT email the forms to the Internship Coordinator.  He will approve your request through the force registration system.
  9. 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. Upload Documents and Request Force Registration

After you've completed the form:

Undergraduate 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 (he will approve your request through the force registration system).

Graduate Students

  1. Open and fill in SEAS Force Registration Portal: https://academics.eng.buffalo.edu/force-registration/request
  2. Log in (if prompted).
  3. Make sure your name, person number, and email are correct.
  4. Enter the semester for which you are submitting the request (i.e., Summer 2022).
  5. Course subject: CSE
  6. Course number: 598TUT Internship or CSE 700 Independent Study
  7. Tutorial: Choose the first instance of CSE 598: CSE 598TUT XIO ARR 12:00 AM - 12:00 AM Xiong, Jinjun
  8. Reason for request: Permission required
  9. Justification: Applying for an internship (or whichever details you wish to include).
  10. Credit Amount: [variable]
  11. Document upload:
    • Internship Application
    • CPT Academic Advisor Recommendation Form (if you are an international student)
    • Offer letter from company
  12. Submit
    • After submission, CSE Grad Coordinator or Internship Coordinator will inform you if there is an error in any of your materials.  Once approved, the Grad Coordinator will force register you for CSE 598.  Then you may proceed with your CPT application.
    • Do NOT email the forms to the Internship Coordinator (He will approve your request through the force registration system).

D. Download the Internship Evaluation Form

  1. Download the Internship Evaluation Form.  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.

E. Register for Academic Credit

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

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

Kaileigh Kosicki

Dan Liberg

Alex Kulik

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.  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

Finish Your Internship

A. Complete the Internship Evaluation Form

  1. Collect the completed Internship Evaluation Form from your Internship Supervisor.  Make sure your Internship Supervisor has filled out the form as completely as possible, and signed and dated it.
  2. Email this form to the Internship Coordinator on the last day of classes of the semester you are doing your internship.  If you fail to submit this form, you will get a grade of "I" (Incomplete) for the internship.

B. Complete the UB Engineering Student Work Experience: Strategic Partnership for Industrial Resurgence (SPIR) Report

  1. SEAS submits a semesterly report to SUNY Central in Albany that describes all of the internships that it sponsored in the previous semester.  Please help us build this cumulative report by describing your internship in the UB Engineering Student Work Experience: SPIR Report form.
  2. If you are unsure how to answer any of the questions, ask your Internship Supervisor.
  3. Submit this form on the last day of classes of the semester that you are doing your internship.