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 below. 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 (just under $200 per credit). Faculty sponsors will also set up academic requirements that you need to fulfill and the quality of the internship must be approved by them. To set this up, follow these steps:
- 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).
- Register your internship on this Career Services page and follow their process. You will need to list a faculty sponsor (typically your advisor but can be any faculty) and a work supervisor (for an evaluation later on).
- After your faculty sponsor approves this, they will set you up with an academic component that will accompany this internship.
- 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 will serve as faculty sponsor). However, feel free to contact your BCT advisor 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…
CNS Internships Survey
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):