MSIS Practicum Guidelines


  1. To offer students an opportunity to extend their academic experience to a practical work experience.  The practicum allows students to gain some experience in an area they wish to explore and to apply their knowledge and skills in a work situation.
  2. To show in concrete terms the work options available to students through an apprenticeship term that can provide job-related training.
  3. To illustrate the Program’s commitment to translating information system development and management ideas into action and to contribute to the development of local businesses and industry. 
  4. To broaden the scope of the Program and to enrich the program by contact and exchange with area businesses, industries, and community groups/agencies.


  1. Students must have completed a minimum of eighteen credit hours.
  2. Students must be in good academic standing.


  1. A practicum is designed to provide a student with an opportunity to experience the nature of workplace for which they are being educated.  Thus, students who are already working in the field are not normally eligible for a practicum.  An exception might be made when the student is working, but not in a job related to the field and the practicum is not in the same organization in which they are employed.
  2. Normally a practicum is three (3) credits.  With the approval of the Practicum Instructor a more extensive practicum can be six (6) credits.  In all cases, practicum credits are not counted toward the Foundations, Cognitive, or Systems requirements, i.e. they are electives.
  3. Students should plan to work between 100-250 hours per term (7-20 hours/week) for a practicum.  When a student is taking other courses, the practicum should be limited to less than 20 hours per week.  When a student is registered for only the practicum, the number of hours per week may approach 40 hours or full time work. (International students should consult with the Office of International Student Services as full time practica impact options open to the student for post graduation work experiences.)  Individual schedules will be arranged between the student and the Site Supervisor, and it is the student’s responsibility to notify the practicum advisor of the schedule arrangements. 
  4. International students must obtain approval for Conditional Practical Training after registering for a practicum.
  5. While minor exceptions can be made by the Practicum Instructor, students should alert their supervisor that generally all work on the practicum should be completed during the academic term.  More specifically, work may not begin until the beginning of the term and should be completed before grades are due.
  6. The practicum must complement the student’s education in information science. A good practicum should exercise the student’s educational learning and/or to introduce the student to new areas of the information profession which complement the student’s academic background or area of interest.
  7. Grading will be based on practicum performance as rated by the Site Supervisor and the quality of the final report as rated by the Practicum Instructor. The normal grading for the practicum is Pass/Fail.


  1. During the normal period for course registration and the drop add period before the beginning of the term, the student is to submit three documents (and international students should also submit a completed CPT form.):
    • Practicum Application which provides information about the student, the location of the practicum, and the courses they have completed
    • Practicum Proposal which describes what the students expects to be learning during the practicum. This may be accompanied by a letter from the practicum host extending the offer.
    • Practicum Site Agreement which identifies the site supervisor and indicates their agreement with practicum policies.
  2. The Practicum Instructor will inform the Internship Coordinator of his/her approval of the practicum application and will place a copy in the student’s folder.
  3. The student will receive a permission code from the Internship Coordinator. This code will be used by the student to register for INFSCI 2980 PRACTICUM.
  4. Students must communicate with their Practicum Instructor at least once a month or as necessary to discuss their practicum. Students must keep a written log of the practicum experience to be examined by and discussed with the Practicum Instructor. The Practicum Instructor may require that these communications occur during a scheduled practicum review session.
  5. A report, normally about 10 pages in length, relating the practicum to the student’s academic goals, is required for the completion of the practicum. This report should also include the student’s specific duties at the site and a critique of the strengths and weaknesses of the practicum as it relates to the student’s academic and personal development. This report must be sent to the Practicum Instructor before the final week of the term, and must be signed by the Site Supervisor.

GIST Practicum Program Agreement

The Graduate Information Science and Technology Program agrees to:

  1. Assign a faculty member to facilitate communication regarding student educational progress. The faculty member agrees to be available for consultation with the site supervisor as needed.
  2. Provide services of administrative assistance to facilitate effective communication lines between the Program and the site on all matters.
  3. Provide the site with a student profile if required, listing the student’s educational background, field of interest, and qualifications for working in the particular site.
  4. Provide information about the University’s academic calendar. This should be used to set beginning and ending dates of the practicum as well as period when the student might reasonably be expected to be excused from work for holidays.
  5. Insure that student placements shall not be considered final until the plan has been fully reviewed by the Program. Modification and changes, such as early termination, shall be submitted in writing.
  6. Keep the site informed of any changes in university policy or curriculum that affect the site-program relationship.
  7. Insure that Practicum Instructor will offer guidance to the Site Supervisor (if needed) as to requirements/content of final evaluation report of the student’s progress.
  8. Provide that this agreement shall continue until review or termination is requested in writing by the Program, the site, or the student.
  9. Refrain from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, disability or status as a disabled veteran or a veteran of the Vietnam era.

A practicum may be supervised by:

Professor Roger Flynn