Practicum & Career Courses

As an iSchool student, you'll gain valuable work experience that contributes to your long-term success. Our courses provide you with opportunities for self-assessment, career exploration, internship experiences, job search readiness, and career management.

Our credit-earning internship course, Practicum, is available at both the undergraduate (IS 249) and graduate (IS 549) levels. While not required, Practicum is strongly recommended. After completing foundational coursework, you'll engage in 100 hours of onsite work under the supervision of an information professional. Along the way, you’ll obtain guidance from our practicum coordinator. 

Both practicum and our noncredit career courses provide valuable knowledge, skills, and connections to give you a competitive edge in the job market. There is no better way to explore your career path and prepare for the future than to get practical experience.

Practicum Spotlight: Medtronic

BSIS student Emily Grayburn completed her practicum at Medtronic, a global producer of medical devices and therapies and a healthcare technology leader. Through this experience, she acquired knowledge about human-centered design and the importance of having empathy for patients in order to build a product that better suits their needs. 

Tailor your experience

Through practicum, you will gain expertise in your area of professional interest. Our practicum coordinator will work one-on-one with you to tailor your experience. Internships can be paid or unpaid, carried out in person and virtually, and completed in one semester or spread out over two semesters. Examples of typical work include but are not limited to:

  • Data analytics projects
  • Reference/technology assistance through chat, email, or in person
  • Programming assistance—workshops, events, exhibits, etc.
  • Information literacy and instructional support for libraries
  • Preservation and archival work
  • Research related to exhibits and collections
  • Metadata and database work
  • Assisting with digital collections, updating LibGuides
  • Website support, creation of blogs and other digital content  
  • Assessment and evaluation projects, writing grants
  • UI/UX research
Jose Ramos

My advice for students who are interested in a practicum is to find companies and work that interests them and apply to those positions. Sometimes students are under the impression that they are unqualified for a role, but from my internship experience, I have learned that the most important part of being an intern is the willingness to learn and grow. That is why these internship positions exist, as they are means for us to continue learning and get meaningful real-world experience.

Jose Ramos (BSIS '22), completed his practicum at JPMorgan Chase

Explore your opportunities

Students have the opportunity to work with a variety of employers, including corporate and government settings as well as libraries, museums, and nonprofits. The iSchool can suggest a placement, or you can propose one of your own based on your career interests.

  • Airbnb
  • Amazon
  • Baseball Hall of Fame
  • Deloitte
  • Federal Reserve Board
  • Innovation, Discovery, Design, & Data Lab (IDEA Lab)
  • Library of Congress
  • National Center for Supercomputing Applications
  • Newbery Library
  • PayPal
  • PepsiCo
  • Polyvinyl Records
  • San Antonio Public Library
  • Syngenta
  • University of Illinois Press
  • U.S. Department of Transportation, National Transportation Library
Smit Malik

Designing dashboards and their wireframes requires great skill and imagination. I realized this only after working at Zwift. I had to explore a lot of functions and wireframe designing techniques to illustrate the proposed dashboards. This internship exposed me to the different ways in which people write complex SQL queries that you can’t easily find on the internet.

Smit Malik, MSIM student who interned at Zwift, Inc.