An internship is a service-learning educational experience. A student intern provides a service to the host organization. In providing this service, you learn about your major field of academic interest. Student internships:

  • Enhance and supplement formal academic instruction.
  • Earn academic credit.
  • Promote the student's personal development and professional preparation.

An internship worthy of academic credit may be:

  •  "Project" oriented – you have a defined project to complete in a specified length of time.
  •  "Participant-observer" oriented - you learn through some combination of participation and observation of at least a portion of the organization's work. 

Whatever the orientation, you will be exposed to the overall operations of the organization and in some depth, to one aspect of the organization's operation.

The organization has final selection and approval of the intern or interns whom they wish to accept into the program.


The internship is designed to give you actual experience working in a computer oriented organization and an awareness of the organization's position in the community. More specifically, the objectives of the internship experience are to understand:

The Organization

  • The organization's philosophy and goals in relation to the services it provides to the community.
  • The administrative structure of the organization, both as it is formally organized and as it actually appears.
  • The organization's role in providing computer services or products.
  • Why the organization exists, who it serves, etc.
  • The effect of limited resources and other restrictions on the organizations functioning.

The Organization's Personnel

  • The role of different types of organization personnel in performing the functions of the organization.
  • The skills required by organization personnel to perform organizational tasks.
  • The values, skills, roles and philosophy of staff members and how they may affect their perception of their performance.

Organization & Department Responsibilities

We realize the internship program must adapt to the organization's primary functions. Additionally, an effective internship program will be created when the Computer Science Department and the participating organization work together to develop a meaningful educational experience. 

The relationship between the organization and the Department denotes one of mutual responsibility to ensure that all participants work toward common goals.

Department Responsibilities

Primary responsibility for the educational experience rests with USD's Computer Science Department. The Department will:

  1. Provide the organization with the necessary information regarding the prospective intern.
  2. Provide necessary consultation and support for carrying out the educational program.
  3. Screen intern applicants to determine successful completion of academic prerequisites deemed essential for entry into the program.
  4. Consult with the intern during the internship.
  5. Actively seek feedback from the participating organization concerning the program's merits and limitations with an emphasis on future program improvement.

Role of the Faculty Supervisor

The faculty supervisor is responsible for liaison activity between the Computer Science Department, the intern and the organization.

Participating Organization Responsibilities

  1. Principle responsibilities of the organization to the student include:
  2. Preparation of organization's staff pending arrival of the student.
  3. Conference with the student to plan activities during the internship.
  4. Presentation of an overview of the organization's purposes, policies, administration, program, and facilities.
  5. Informing the student of regulations with which they must comply.
  6. Presentation of the student to organization staff as a co-worker and in a manner to insure their status.
  7. Orientation of the student to the community, including political, economic, and social characteristics.
  8. Assignment of work, beginning with observation and minor responsibilities, adding more as the student's abilities permit.
  9. Presentation of criticisms in a constructive and objective manner.
  10. Regularly scheduled conferences with the student.
  11. Evaluation of the student's internship work and experiences, forwarding this report to:

Computer Science Department
Arts & Sciences 202
University of South Dakota
414 E. Clark St.
Vermillion, SD 57069-2390

Whenever possible, the organization will be responsible for providing the student intern with a stipend for the internship.

Intern Responsibilities

The initial responsibility rests with you to complete and submit an application letter for internship to the Computer Science Department. Please email Nancy Reemts ( with your request.

  • Become familiar with the regulations and philosophies of the organization.
  • Plan thoroughly for all assignments.
  • Follow dress codes if any for the organization.
  • Notify supervisor well in advance in case of absence.
  • Be tactful, courteous, and respectful to all personnel involved.
  • Use discretion at all times in the internship.
  • Consult with the supervisor when confronted with problems.

Curriculum Prerequisites

To be eligible for an internship you must have an overall grade point average of 2.7 or above. The grade point in computer science courses must be 3.0 or above. In addition, at least 16 hours of Computer Science core courses must be completed prior to the internship. This must include: CSC 150 (Computer Science I), CSC 250 (Computer Science II), CSC 324 (Machine Organization), and CSC 350 (Data Structures and Algorithms).

The Internship

  • The length of a six credit hour internship is 360 hours, normally working in nine 40 hour weeks or blocks. In case the internship is carried longer than nine weeks, it is your responsibility to break it into 40 hour blocks for the purpose of weekly reports.
  • A maximum of six hours of internship may be applied toward the computer science elective hours.
  • Interns are encouraged to seek out their own internships with an organization involved in computer related work. This builds credibility with the organization in the desired agency. However, all internships for academic credit must be approved by the faculty of the Computer Science Department.


Weekly Reports

  • Weekly reports will be submitted after each 40 hour block has been completed. The weekly report is an ongoing record of work during the week including a description of duties and experiences in performing them. Thoughts about the internship should be reflected in terms of the objectives discussed in the Objectives section. Weekly reports should be in the form of a thoughtful, reflective diary.
  • The weekly report is an invaluable input for the intern's supervisor in evaluating the internship.

Final Report

To receive credit for the internship, you must complete a final paper and provide an oral presentation. The paper must include the following:
Review and evaluation of the type of work performed by you and persons in similar positions, including:

  • Type of work
  • Number of people performing the work
  • Workload
  • Cost
  • Major successes
  • Major problems
  • Alternate ways to do the work

Analysis of the host organization, including:

  • Organization
  • Manpower
  • Workload
  • Cost
  • Major successes
  • Major problems
  • Alternate ways to do the work

Final reports should indicate how the intern was received by the organization and whether future placement of an intern with the organization is recommended.

Final reports should NOT mention individuals by name or reflect attacks on personalities.

Final Grade

You will be graded on a pass-fail, rather than a letter grade basis. Satisfactory completion of the internship will be recognized with a grade of "S". (Credit, but no grade).