Queen's School of Computing

Professional Internships for BCH Students

Students in a Bachelor of Computing (Honours) plan (code BCH) can register to do a Professional Internship version of their plan. An internship placement is an integral part of a Professional Internship plan. The COMP courses 390/6.0, 391/3.0, 392/3.0, and 393/3.0 ensure that students continue to be registered during the terms of their internship placement. Satisfactory completion of a written summary report following completion of the work period enables the internship student to receive credit for the courses plus transcript and diploma annotations indicating a degree plan that includes a Professional Internship. These replace the corresponding undergraduate project course requirement (CISC-498/6.0 or CISC-499/3.0 or CISC-496/3.0 or COGS-499/3.0).

Role of Career Services

The preparations for and monitoring of an internship placement are organized and coordinated by Career Services under the Queen's Undergraduate Internship Program (QUIP). School of Computing students considering the possibility of a Professional Internship should watch for Career Services announcements about QUIP.

Role of the School of Computing's Academic Internship Administrator

The School of Computing's Academic Internship Administrator monitors our internships and grades the summary reports of returning interns.  The internship program Administrators are Karen Knight (Undergraduate Program Assistant) and Wendy Powley (Faculty)

Frequently Asked Questions

Here's a list of responses to common questions posed by prospective and current BCH Professional Internship students.

  • Why should I consider the Professional Internship Program?
    • Potential employers value the real-world experience that it provides.
    • Transcripts and diplomas of students who complete the program include the additional information that the degree was completed with Professional Internship. For example, the degree category might read:
      Bachelor of Computing (Honours, Biomedical Computing with Professional Internship).
    • The completed Professional Internship fulfils a key degree requirement. Students who don't participate must complete an undergraduate project course.
    • Students enrolled in the internship courses continue to be registered at Queen's.
    • Internship course fees and expenses related to moving to a placement location are eligible for the corresponding income tax deductions.
  • How do I enter the Professional Internship Program?
    There are two important initial steps. One is to register for QUIP with Career Services. The other is to obtain Professional Internship Program approval from the School of Computing. The School requires a CGPA above 1.90 as a condition for approval. Also required is that at the time of starting the internship, not more than 90 units have been completed towards the plan the student is enrolled in.  No exceptions are made to this rule. Students should fill out and sign the required form and hand it in to the School's Undergraduate Program Assistant, Karen Knight. These preparatory activities begin during the Fall term. Career Services workshops take place in September/October. To be eligible for the first round of job offerings, register at Career Services by the beginning of November.
  • Can I begin a job without registering with QUIP and turn it into an Internship later?
    No.  Please plan ahead if you are considering doing an internship.  You will not be permitted to retroactively enroll in the Internship option.
  • Can I take a 4- or 8-month internship?
    Internships must be 12 or 16 months.
  • Can I combine two or more jobs at different locations to make up the 12-16 months?
    No. An internship must be a continuous 12-16 months at a single location.
  • Why are my courses and fees different from other Arts & Science students doing QUIP?
    The extent to which internship placements are integral to an undergraduate program varies across academic units. Computing students doing the Professional Internship are fulfilling a degree requirement and therefore register in the Professional Internship courses while completing their placements.
  • What courses do I register for and when?
    The course structure covers either a 12 or 16-month period. The following are the most common course registration patterns.
    • 12-month internship:
      • May start: COMP-391/3.0 Spring-Summer plus COMP-390/6.0 Fall-Winter
      • September start: COMP-390/6.0 Fall-Winter plus COMP-392/3.0 Spring-Summer
      • January start: COMP-393/3.0 Winter plus COMP-391/3.0 Spring-Summer plus COMP-392/3.0 Fall
    • 16-month internship:
      • May start: COMP-391/3.0 Spring-Summer plus COMP-390/6.0 Fall-Winter plus COMP-392/3.0 Spring-Summer
  • How do I register for the internship courses?
    COMP-391/3.0 (Spring-Summer) requires a Registration Form signed by the Chair of Undergraduate Studies in the School of Computing. COMP-390/6.0 (Fall-Winter) can be added on SOLUS during course pre-registration in the summer. COMP-392/3.0 (Spring-Summer) can be added on SOLUS during the Spring-Summer registration period.
  • What is the deadline for registering for the Spring-Summer courses COMP-391/3.0 and COMP-392/3.0?
    The deadline for registering in the Spring-Summer courses is May 1. A late fee applies to registrations after the first day of Spring Term (normally the first Monday in May). Students who are very late may have to appeal to the Associate Dean of Studies in order to add the course, and pay an additional fee.
  • How much do the internship courses cost? How do I pay? When are fees due?
    Fees for COMP-391/3.0, COMP-392/3.0, and COMP-393/3.0 are the same as for regular Queen's half-courses. Fees for COMP-390/6.0 are the same as for a Queen's full course. The preferred method of payment for all courses is by internet or telephone banking. Fees may be paid by cheque at any branch of the Bank of Montreal. Payment for the Spring-Summer courses (COMP-391/3.0 & COMP-392/3.0) is due prior to registration. A minimum payment for the Fall-Winter course (COMP-390/6.0) is due by 15 August. The balance of fees owing is payable in full by 30 September.
  • Why do I have to pay fees for courses that don't count toward my degree?
    In part, the fees support functions provided by Career Services - finding placement possibilities, teaching resumé preparation, coaching interview performance, and setting up interviews. The administrative fee for a conventional Queen's Undergraduate Internship is $800. The remaining amounts are considered by the Faculty of Arts and Science to be compensation in lieu of tuition fees for the project courses. Note that the internship course fees are eligible for a tuition tax deduction and will reduce the tax liability on income from your placement.
  • What happens if I am "late" in getting an internship placement?
    Students sometimes secure internship placements after the normal starting date. July starts can be accommodated by treating COMP-391/3.0 as a Summer course, with a July 1 registration deadline.
  • How do the internship courses count towards my degree requirements?
    The project course normally required in the B.Cmp.(Hons.) program (i.e., CISC-498/6.0 or CISC-499/3.0 or CISC-496/3.0 or COGS-499/3.0) is replaced by 9.0 units of COMP-39x courses (or, for a 16-month internship, 12.0 units of COMP-39x), provided that the internship report documents how the internship work has satisfied the requirements for a conventional CISC-498/6.0 or CISC-499/3.0 or CISC-496/3.0 or COGS-499/3.0 project. The Plan requirements therefore are in effect reduced to 114.0 units (SODE-P students) or 117.0 units (COMP-M, BMCO-P, CSCI-P, COMA-P, COGS-P students) plus the internship courses. You will still have to do the same number of electives; for example, if you do an internship in a SODE plan, you will need 120.0−108.0=12.0 units of electives not including any units from COMP-39x courses. This is implemented in PeopleSoft by increasing the Program requirements (not the Plan requirements) by some number of COMP-3xx units so that only the 3.0 or 6.0 units for the replaced project course are actually counted toward satisfying the normal requirements. Program requirements are the total number of credits needed to complete a B.Cmp.H. degree, including electives; Plan requirements are the specific courses needed to satisfy a Plan, such as Software Design. So Plan + electives = Program.
  • Is it possible to do both a Professional Internship and an Undergraduate Project?
    Most students do one or the other. Completing the Professional Internship satisfies the degree requirement. But, with permission of the project-course coordinator, a student can do an undergraduate project course after completing the Professional Internship. The project course would normally then count as an elective credit.
  • Is it possible to take other courses during my internship?
    Yes, you may register for other courses in addition to the internship courses. However, you may find that being fully engaged in your internship placement leaves little time for extra course work.
  • What happens after I finish my internship placement?
    You are required to submit a written report following completion of your placement. The report summarizes the work you did. The report is due within a month of completing your placement. For students who hold 16-month placements that begin in May, the report is due in September when you return as a full time student.  Reports are submitted via the QSC Internship OnQ page. 
  • What goes into the report?
    Since your report covers work over an extended period of time, effective report-writing strategies begin early in your internship placement. You should keep track of the content of the work you do throughout your internship placement. Retain records of such things as internal reports you prepare and submit during your placement, meetings you attend, committees you sit on, conferences you attend or present at, written and oral presentation you make, and so on. Be prepared to include descriptions of these in your report.  The report is approximately 10 pages.
  • How does the work I do during my internship relate to my academic program?
    In order to satisfy the degree program requirements, the internship work (or some part of it) should be comparable to the content of a project course. Here is the relevant description, adapted from the Arts and Science Calendar:
    The project course normally required in the B.Cmp.(Hons.) program is replaced by the internship courses, provided that the internship report documents how the internship work has satisfied the requirements for a conventional CISC-498/496/499 or COGS-499 project.
  • Who grades the reports, and how are they graded?
    The Academic Internship Administrator, Wendy Powley evaluates the reports. Once the report is completed satisfactorily, a passing grade is recorded. There are no numeric marks for the internship courses.
  • What happens to the internship courses on my transcript?
    COMP-390/6.0 plus either or both of COMP-391/3.0 and COMP-392/3.0 appear as NG (Not Graded) on your transcript until the final report has been successfully completed. At that time a "change of grade" is submitted to the Faculty of Arts and Science, to revise the entries to PA (Pass).
  • Are there special rules for International Students?
    Government regulations require that these students be registered in a Professional Internship program in order to be eligible for a work placement in Canada.
  • Can my internship experience count towards professional certification?
    CIPS (the Canadian Information Processing Society) has very rigorous standards concerning the application of student work experience towards ISP (Information Systems Professional) certification. In general, they treat co-op work as educational content. However, the length of our internship placements affords our students an opportunity to acquire professional experience that may qualify, when considered on an individual basis.
  • I registered for an internship last year, but did not get one. Do I have to register again?
    No, you only need to register once. Career Services retains your registration record.
  • How do I keep in touch while I'm away from Queen's?
    Computing interns remain Queen's students during their placements, and should check Queen's email regularly for messages from the University and the School of Computing. An OnQ site associated with the internship courses provides discussion forums and information about the report.  Please feel free to reach out to either Karen Knight or Wendy Powley at any point during your internship.
  • Can I do an internship if I'm not a BCH student?
    Arts and Science students registered in other Honours degree plans (such as COCA-P-BAH) may be eligible to do a conventional QUIP internship. However, eligibility for a Professional Internship in Computing requires registration in a Bachelor of Computing (Honours) plan (code BCH).

Past Internship Placements:

  • EMC
  • IBM
  • Celestica
  • Cienna
  • Helpful
  • DRDC
  • Ericsson
  • Honeywell
  • BlackBerry
  • Royal Military College
  • Leica Microsystems (Germany)
  • AMD
  • Voodoo Computing
  • McAfee
  • Niagara Region
  • Red Hat
  • Syncrude
  • E.A. Sports
  • Canadian Institute for Health Information
  • Calgary Scientific
  • Austrian Research Centers
  • Center of Excellence in Medicine and IT (Austria)


  • email the School of Computing Undergraduate Program Assistant: Karen Knight
  • email the School of Computing Academic Internship Administrator: Wendy Powley
  • email the School of Computing Undergraduate chair: Prof D.Lamb
  • email the Career Services QUIP Coordinator
  • Career Services QUIP page: QUIP
  • Calendar Description of Professional Internship: Calendar

This page maintained by Wendy Powley.  Last modified 06/18/2018 08:42.