Faculty of Applied Sciences Industrial Internships for Graduate Students

In the Faculty of Applied Sciences (FAS) at Simon Fraser University (SFU), we believe that research-based graduate students need to augment their research experience and knowledge with numerous skills through placements in the industry or other research organizations. Our graduate students will learn and sharpen the necessary skills required which will increase their chances of employability after completing their degrees.

The curricula of the FAS graduate programs include up to three Industrial Internships that provide students with the opportunity to undertake internships of work in industry or other research institutes. These internships allow students to either (1) focus on the practical aspects of their research projects, which have been well identified prior to students applying for an internship, or (2) develop and define a research project from their internship experience. These internships could not form more than 50% of the total program of study.

1. Introduction

The Industrial Internship for graduate students program is self-directed. It is the student’s responsibility to initiate this process. Students should take the lead role in seeking and planning for their Industrial Internship. FAS supports students' efforts with various workshops and support staff for finding Industrial Internships and their placement. Please read the following information, which will assist you in completing this process.

These internships are optional components of the FAS research-based graduate programs, as well as the Master of Engineering and computing science dual Master of Science/Master of Software Engineering degree programs. They can be taken at any time during a student’s graduate studies (after successfully fulfilling the pre-requisites), including the last semester of each program. The approval of the Senior Supervisor and the Graduate Program Chair are required.


Computing Science (CMPT):

Students interested in registering in an Industrial Internship (CMPT 631) must complete the following pre-requisites:
a) 12 units of CMPT coursework at the 700-level or higher with a minimum CGPA of 3.0
b) Approval from the Senior Supervisor and Graduate Program Committee Chair is required prior to applying for, and accepting an internship offer.

For students in the Professional Master of Science in Computer Science Program, please consult with the Co-operative Education (Co-op) office for advice on co-op placement.

Engineering Science (ENSC):
Students interested in registering in an Industrial Internship (ENSC 704) must complete the following pre-requisites:
a) 12 units of ENSC coursework at the 800-level or higher with a minimum CGPA of 3.0
b) Approval from the Senior Supervisor and the Graduate Program Committee Chair is required prior to applying for, and accepting an internship offer.

Mechatronic Systems Engineering (MSE):
Students interested in registering in an Industrial Internship (MSE 795) must complete the following pre-requisites:
a) 12 units of MSE coursework at the 700-level or higher with a minimum CGPA of 3.0
b) Approval from the Senior Supervisor and the Graduate Program Committee Chair is required prior to applying for, and accepting an internship offer.

2. Is Industrial Internship Right for You?

Industrial research experience is valuable. However, it could delay the completion of your degree. It is important to carefully consider if the timing, placement (company/organization) and such internship is suited for you. You should always select an internship placement that best serves your education and career goals. Students must discuss and come to an agreement with their supervisors on their internship plans.

3. Finding the Right Internship

The following links are useful resources for searching internship positions. You can use the keyword “co-op” when performing the search.

4. Updating your CV, Cover Letter and Interview Skills

The following online resources are useful for updating your resume/CV and creating a cover letter.

FAS also provides a variety of workshops catering to professional development each semester. Please check your emails for announcements.

5. Obtaining Proof of Study Letter, Internship Support Letter and Work Permit (Applicable to International Students ONLY)

International students who are interested in doing an Industrial Internship must have a valid work permit to work legally in Canada. You will need to:

  1. Apply for an internship work permit online through the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. You will need an Internship Support Letter. Please contact the FAS Graduate Program Coordinator at fas_grad_coordinator@sfu.ca to request this letter before you apply.
  2. Ensure that you apply for your work permit at least 2 semesters before your intended internship semester. More information regarding the processing time can be found at https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/application/check-processing-times.html. If you intend to carry out an internship outside of Canada, please consult the embassy of the particular country.

Please note that the internship employment cannot form more than 50% of a student’s total program of study.

For more information, please visit the following web pages: https://www.sfu.ca/students/isap/resources/guides.html and https://www.sfu.ca/students/isap/contact.html.

6. Applying for an Internship Placement

Please ensure that you have a valid work permit before applying for any internship placement. The advertised internships you find will have a clear description of the job and directions on how to apply. Make sure that your Senior Supervisor is aware of your intention on applying for an internship position. You will need his/her approval before applying for any internship as well as when accepting an offer.

It is recommended to apply for a few internship positions with a variety of company/organizations. Your internship placement must take place within a semester. A typical internship is four consecutive months, e.g., Summer 2020. Please note that an internship must start at the beginning of a semester and end at the end of the semester.

7. Securing an Internship Offer and How to Negotiate

Industrial Internship is primarily focused on gaining industrial experience but remember that salary and other offer conditions such as working hours, commute/travel etc. are important factors to consider before accepting an offer.

If you are successful in obtaining an internship placement, speak with your supervisor for approval beforehand. Once they approve this, remember to secure an offer letter from the organization of your choice.

You can find resources on how to negotiate offers and pay rates by doing an online search using websites such as:

Hourly rates for Post-secondary School Students according to Public Service Commission of Canada

Application of 2019 hourly rates for post-secondary students (Effective May 1, 2019)

Academic Levels

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7

College / CEGEP
Pre-University

$15.40

$16.35

$17.31

$18.35

$19.45

$20.62

N/A

University
Undergraduate

$16.49

$17.64

$18.91

$20.19

$21.64

$23.15

$24.77

Master's

$22.04

$23.78

$25.68

$27.73

N/A

N/A

N/A

Doctorate

$25.94

$28.27

$30.81

$33.58

N/A

N/A

N/A

Please visit Public Service Commission of Canada for more information.

Employment Standards
The law in B.C sets standards for payment, compensation and working conditions in most workplaces. These standards promote open communication, fair treatment and life-work balance for employees. Please visit this website for more details: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/employment-standards-advice/employment-standards

8. Obtaining Approval from Your Supervisor

Once you have decided on your choice of internship placement, you must inform your supervisor and she/he will have to approve before you can accept the offer. You must complete the following forms and have it signed by your supervisor and submit the below documents to the FAS Graduate Program Coordinator:

NOTE: Please ensure all paperwork and a scanned copy of your valid work permit (for international students) is submitted to the FAS Graduate Program Coordinator before you start your internship.

9. Accepting an Offer

Once you have accepted an offer, the employer must provide an official job offer letter to the student that includes the following details:

  • Your job position/title
  • Work address
  • Start and end dates of work (14 -16 weeks for the 4 month internship or 28-32 weeks for the 8 month work term). Please note that an internship must start at the beginning of a semester and end at the end of a semester.
  • Hours per week (standard is 35 - 40 hours). Minimum requirement: 35 hours per week
  • Name of supervisor and their contact information
  • Salary rate (per hour or month)

You must sign and return the letter to the company prior to the start of the internship term. Please ensure that you keep a copy for yourself and submit another copy to the FAS Graduate Program Coordinator at fas_grad_coordinator@sfu.ca.

10. Registering in the Industrial Internship Course

Once you have accepted a job offer, you will also need to register in one of the following courses for the term(s) in which you will carry out the internship:

  • CMPT: Industrial Internship – CMPT631
  • ENSC: Industrial Internship – ENSC704
  • MSE: Industrial Internship – MSE795

Please note that you cannot register in these courses on your own. The FAS Graduate Program Coordinator will register you once all required forms are complete and submitted.

Important:

  • CMPT Students: DO NOT register in CMPT 626-628, Graduate Co-op Practicum I – III
  • ENSC Students: DO NOT register in ENSC 701 – 703, Graduate Co-op Practicum I – III
  • MSE Students: DO NOT register in MSE 793, Graduate Co-op Practicum I – III

11. Tuition Fees During Placement Term(s)

Students are required to pay their full time tuition even when they are doing their internship for the semester. Please visit https://www.sfu.ca/students/calendar/2019/summer/fees-and-regulations/tuition-fees/graduate.html for more details.

Please note that you are not required to pay an application fee for the industrial internship.

PhD (Doctoral), MASc, and MSc students

full-time fee

$1,871.33 (per term)

continuing fee*

$935.67 (per term)

Master of Engineering (MEng)

Per unit fee

3 x One unit fee (per term)

*After 6 completed terms of full-time fees for Masters program, and 8 completed terms of full-time fees for PhD (Doctoral) program.

12. During Your Internship

To ensure that you have a positive and successful experience, the FAS Graduate Program Coordinator will check in with you once a month to see if there are any concerns from you.

Your work supervisor will also have to complete a mid-internship check-in form as well. You will need to ask your supervisor at work to complete this form.

If there are any changes to your internship, you will need to inform the FAS Graduate Program Coordinator and your Senior Supervisor at SFU as soon as possible.

13. Completion of Internship

Once you have completed your internship, your work supervisor will need to complete an end-internship check-in form as well. You will need to ask your supervisor at work to complete this form at the end of your internship.

You will also need to create your Industrial Internship Report. This report must be submitted to your academic Senior Supervisor in a soft copy (electronic) format. You must submit this report within a month after the completion of your internship. Please note that without your report, we will not be able to provide any marks for this course.

14. Checklist of Documents

Please see the list below to ensure that you have completed or obtained the necessary documents before, during and after your internship placement.

Before Internship Placement

Documents you will need before you apply for your work permit:

Documents you will need to submit and complete after you receive your work permit:

  • Valid Student Permit**
  • Co-op/Internship Supporting Letter from Graduate Program Coordinator (To apply for Work Permit)**
  • Proof of Study Letter**

 

Please provide a copy of the following documents to the FAS Graduate Program Coordinator at fas_grad_coordinator@sfu.ca

  • Internship Work Permit**
    Valid Student Permit**
  • Company Offer Letter
  • Supervisor Industrial Internship Approval Form
  • Supervisor Industrial Internship COI Form
    Company Offer Letter

**Applies to international students only

During Your Internship

The FAS Graduate Program Coordinator will contact your supervisor at your internship placement to complete a quick progress report on your performance.

After Your Internship Placement

  • Industrial Internship Report
  • Final progress report from the company

15. Summary Flowchart

Click on the image below to download the summary flowchart.

16. Contact Information

If you have any questions, please contact:

Graduate Program Coordinator

Wen Dee Wong

email: fas_grad_coordinator@sfu.ca
phone: [778] 782-6885