Internship impressions

While not required by our core (mandatory) BCT curriculum, we are strongly encouraging all students to pursue one or two internships (or a co-op) with a field-related company at some point during their studies. Internships are typically scheduled for the entirety of a student’s final summer(s) at UMass (before Senior year) and co-ops (or study abroad semesters) are best scheduled during Junior year or even earlier. Such experiences are a great resume-builder and often lead to permanent jobs with the employing companies.

The following options can be pursued:

  • A summer “internship” job: You can simply work (typically for pay) at a relevant company. This does not provide you with credit (or a mention on your transcript), but gives you excellent work experience. As a result, there are no additional costs associated with this option. Make sure you mention this employment on your resume, though.
  • A credited internship: You can set up your (typically paid) summer (or winter) job as a formal internship if you follow the instructions in the next section. Going this route allows you to have the internship mentioned on your transcript (as BCT 398 or 498). You will also get pass/fail credit for the internship (from 1-14 credits with one credit per week of 40-hour work). Because this happens outside of the regular semester, you will, however, need to pay for the credits through our continuing education system (see below for current rates). Faculty sponsors will also set up academic requirements that you need to fulfill and the quality of the internship must be approved by them.
  • A co-op: This consists of a full-semester (plus summer, if desired) placement at a relevant company and can be extended up to a total of nine months. BCT’s curriculum requirements can typically be rearranged to accommodate such a semester co-op as long as you started as a freshman or transferred into BCT in your Sophomore year. You can find more information about co-ops on this Career Services page.

For all of these options it is best if you first pursued the job opportunity (e.g. at our BCT career fairs or by looking for them in Handshake) and then approached your advisor (who can also serve as faculty sponsor). However, feel free to contact your BCT advisor or the CNS Career & Professional Development Center to discuss all options and avenues to find job opportunities. We also have many resources listed on our Careers & Employers page.

Is your internship in/near Newton, MA? UMass provides housing and food as well as an academic and social program at our new Mount Ida campus. More information…

How to Set Up an Internship for Credit

To set this up, follow these steps:

  1. Talk to your advisor and discuss how many internship credits you should register for. This can be less than the number of weeks that you actually work (if you just want to get this listed on your transcript) or it can be for your full internship (if you can use those credits e.g. to graduate early).
  2. Find a faculty sponsor. This is usually your advisor, but you can work with any faculty member in BCT.  Ask the faculty sponsor:
    • what they want done for an academic project,
    • the course number,
    • how many credits they will sponsor them for (rule of thumb is 1 credit per 40 hours worked during the semester.) 
  3. Then submit an Undergraduate Student Internship for Academic Credit Experience in Handshake and fill in all the details. To get to the Experiences click on the Career Center tab on the top left, then click Experiences (third button in the middle of the screen), then click Submit an Experience and fill out the Experience. For the Experience type, select “Undergraduate Student Internship for Academic Credit Experiences Contract.”
  4. If the internship is onsite, upload a signed Field Experience Acknowledgement Form. When filling out the Field Experience Acknowledgement Form, click the fillable box in the third paragraph and fill in any known risks specific to your placement.  If you aren’t aware of any, then type in the following phrase: “Other Industry-specific hazards” in that box. If you have questions, consult this Career Services page.
  5. Allow five business days for the Handshake Experience to be processed.  Once processed by the Career Development Hub staff and approved by the faculty sponsor, enrollment will be requested by the Career Development Hub staff.

Summer undergraduate internship credits are currently $275/credit plus a $85 registration fee.

CNS Internships Survey

The folks in CNS, our college, are maintaining an internships survey that shows you where others have pursued their internships and how they liked it. You can find the BCT results here.

BCT Internships Blog

We encourage BCT students to report on their internships/practicums/jobs with various BCT-related companies on our Internships Blog. This is done in the hope that it will be useful for all of our students to see what their fellow students are doing and what the “real construction world” looks like. The blog can be accessed by anyone with a UMass account via the following link (i.e. you may need to log in using your NetID):