Students in BME have often been attracted to off-campus part-time internships during the academic year and full-time internships during the summer. BME offers students the opportunity to participate in internships and receive academic credit pending review and approval by the department. To receive academic credit, the internship must provide students with an experience that is relevant and complementary to their degree course curriculum. If the internship meets this requirement, the student may be eligible to receive academic credit at the department’s discretion. In order to register for the Fieldwork course, students must receive approval from the department by following the guidelines corresponding to your degree level.

Student Internship Report

Students registered for Fieldwork must submit a written report, elaborating on the internship experience, projects, and their relevance to degree program. Reports should be submitted to the course instructor by the corresponding deadlines.

  1. Structure your report with: page numbers, executive summary, introduction, body paragraphs talking about points (2 through 5 below), and a conclusion. 
  2. Explain your projects and responsibilities clearly. If your internship was quantitative, please explain the concepts and clarify using equations or technical appendix. Clearly explain concepts, equations, symbols, abbreviations clearly. Pretend that the audience reading your report has no knowledge of your work. 
  3. Explain a typical day of this internship. Did you have routines, meetings, reports?
  4. Explain how your work fits within the organization? How did your work contribute to the business of the organization? Who did you work with? 
  5. Discuss how this internship contributes to your career goals and coursework at Columbia. 
  6. Use your own words. Do not copy content from the company website or the Internet; this constitutes as plagiarism.

Undergraduate Students

BME undergraduate students may earn up to (3) three graded credits towards the 128-credit degree requirement. Fieldwork credits may not count toward any major core, technical, elective, and non-technical requirements. May not be taken for pass/fail credit or audited.

In order to commence, the student must adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. The student must submit a Fieldwork Request Form in order to be approved for BMEN E3999: Undergraduate Fieldwork. You will need to submit an official written offer letter from the employer stating the terms of employment through the request form.
  2. Employment may not exceed 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters. Summer employment opportunities can be more than 20 hours per week if it is not your final semester.
    • Summer enrollment in BMEN E3999 would not generate a tuition charge.
  3. Students enrolled in Fieldwork during their last term must be registered for a minimum of 3 credits of a full semester on-campus coursework.
  4. Adhere to the following schedule and deadline

International Students

The below schedule also pertains to F-1 students requesting Practical Training (CPT) during the academic terms. J-1 students may submit their application for Fieldwork if they wish to obtain academic credits after obtaining approval from the J-1 Sponsor and ISSO.  Please refer to ISSO for work eligibility: F-1 Students | J-1 Students

After reviewing ISSO’s website, 

  1. Register for BMEN E3999 Undergraduate Fieldwork for the semester your internship takes place in (required for F-1 Students).
  2. Fill out the CPT Request form (F-1 Students) or Advisor Recommendation letter (J-1 Students).
  3. Send the CPT Request form or the Adviser Recommendation letter along with your employer internship offer letter to Student Affairs Manager, Helen Cen, for her signature approval.
  4. Follow the steps on ISSO’s website for submission.

 

Semester Number of Credits Term Duration Minimum Hours of Work (Total) Deadline to Apply
Fall  1 Half or Full Term 100 November 1
Fall  1.5 Half or Full Term 150 October 15
Spring  1 Half or Full Term 100 March 15
Spring  1.5 Half or Full Term 150 March 1
Summer  1, 1.5, or 2 Half or Full Term 100-200 July 15

In order to earn a grade for the internship performed, the Department requires:

  1. The employer must submit a BME Supervisor Internship Evaluation Report, stating your responsibilities, performance, time frame, and number of hours worked.
  1. The student must submit a Student Internship Report, elaborating on the experience, projects, and relevance to degree program.

The letter and report must be received by the BME office by the following deadlines (failure to comply may result in incomplete or failure in the course):

Semester Maximum Number of Credits Deadline to Submit Letter and Report
Fall 1.5 Last day of class in December
Spring 1.5 Last day of class in May
Summer 2 Second week of August

 

MS Students

BME MS students may earn up to (3) three graded credits towards the MS degree through internship engagement. The student is responsible for the cost per credit, charged as regular tuition.

In order to commence, all students must adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. The student must submit a Fieldwork Request Form in order to be approved for BMEN E4999: Fieldwork. You will need to submit an official written offer letter from the employer stating the terms of employment through the request form.
  2. Employment may not exceed 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters. Summer employment opportunities can be more than 20 hours per week if it is not your final semester.
  3. Students enrolled in Fieldwork during their last term must be registered for a minimum of 3 credits of a full semester of on-campus coursework.
  4. Adhere to the following schedule and deadline

International Students

The below schedule also pertains to F-1 students requesting Practical Training (CPT) during the academic terms.  J-1 students may submit their application for Fieldwork if they wish to obtain academic credits after obtaining approval from the J-1 Sponsor and ISSO.  Please refer to ISSO for work eligibility: F-1 Students | J-1 Students

After reviewing ISSO’s website, 

  1. Register for BMEN E4999 Fieldwork for the semester your internship takes place in (required for F-1 Students).
  2. Fill out the CPT Request form (F-1 Students) or Adviser Recommendation letter (J-1 Students).
  3. Send the CPT Request form or the Adviser Recommendation letter along with your employer internship offer letter to Student Affairs Manager, Helen Cen, for her signature approval.
  4. Follow the steps on ISSO’s website for submission.

 

Semester Number of Credits Term Duration Minimum Hours of Work (Total) Deadline to Apply
Fall  1 Half or Full Term 100 November 1
Fall  1.5 Half or Full Term 150 October 15
Spring  1 Half or Full Term 100 March 15
Spring  1.5 Half or Full Term 150 March 1
Summer  1, 1.5, or 2 Half or Full Term 100-200 July 15

 

In order to earn a grade for the internship performed, the Department requires:

  1. The employer must submit a BME Supervisor Internship Evaluation Report, stating your responsibilities, performance, time frame, and number of hours worked.
  1. The student must submit a Student Internship Report, elaborating on the experience, projects, and relevance to degree program.

The letter and report must be received by the BME office by the following deadlines (failure to comply may result in incomplete or failure in the course):

Semester Maximum Number of Credits Deadline to Submit Letter and Report
Fall 1.5 Last day of class in December
Spring 1.5 Last day of class in May
Summer 2 Second week of August

 

Doctoral Students

BME doctoral students may register for ENGI E8000 Doctoral Fieldwork at most twice. This course will count toward the degree program and cannot be taken for pass/fail credit nor can it be audited. Fieldwork documentation and faculty advisor approval are required prior to registration. A final written report must be submitted.

The following items are required for all doctoral fieldwork/CPT applications. Please send all documents to the Student Affairs Manager, Helen Cen, for further processing.

  1. Obtain faculty advisor approval to participate in the internship.
  2. Review the ISSO website for work eligibility: F-1 Students | J-1 Students
  3. Fill out the CPT Request form (F-1 Students) or Advisor Recommendation letter (J-1 Students), and Registration Adjustment Form for ENGI 8000 Doctoral Fieldwork.
  4. Internship employment letter including the following:
    1. beginning and ending dates of employment
    2. how many hours the student will work weekly
    3. a description of duties in sufficient detail to clearly show them as appropriate to meet the requirements for the student’s degree
    4. location of the company or organization where employment will take place
  5. Letter from the supervising faculty member including the following:
    1. the specific internship opportunity
    2. the specific degree requirement or elective course (e.g. E8000y) that it satisfies
    3. the minimum requirements to complete the internship
    4. a reasonable period of time needed to complete the internship (e.g., satisfying the requirements of a 1 semester, 3 credit course would normally be done in 1 semester or less )
    5. if CPT is for dissertation research, the student’s advisor should provide a detailed letter stating the dissertation topic, what research will be carried out, and why it is necessary for the dissertation
  6. The most recent I-94

If you don't have a dissertation topic yet, then your advisor needs to write a letter explaining how this internship will be beneficial to your research or program requirements in general. The letter has to show that your faculty advisor is in full support of you taking this internship.