For more information, contact
David Ross
Distinguished Professor of Practice of IT Entrepreneurship
dlross@andrew.cmu.edu

Are you interested in having Carnegie Mellon University Africa (CMU-Africa) Master’s students work on an ICT problem in your industry for a full semester? Master’s Practicums are designed explicitly for this purpose.

Master’s Practicum Projects are ideal for companies that have a complex industry problem or a new challenging idea, but do not have the resources or time to devote to it.  You are also providing our students with practical experience solving real-world problems as part of the required courses in CMU-Africa Master’s in Information Technology curriculum.

The project provides companies with a student consulting team for 900-1000 cumulative hours of engineering work on your engineering problem over a 4 month period.   Practicum projects run in both our fall semester (August-December) and our spring semester (January-May). 

CMU-Africa also provides faculty advisors for guidance to the student team to ensure that prescribed processes and methodologies are being followed, and that the project is completed on time and efficiently.

Sponsors are required to provide a single dedicated and highly responsive project manager, industry or domain knowledge to the students, and are responsible for providing any access or data to complete the project requirements.

Upon completion of the project sponsors receive a perpetual non-exclusive license to the intellectual property that is produced by and owned by the student team as per CMU global policies. 

There are no costs to sponsors for Master’s Practicum projects. However, CMU-Africa does appreciate contributions that will help fund scholarships and run our educational programs.

Similar programs from CMU in the US receive significant gifts from sponsors.  Make a gift.

CMU-Africa cannot accommodate all Practicum project proposals as we are limited by our stringent academic requirements.  In addition, we are limited by the number of students available each semester and our students’ selection from the projects that they are most excited to work on.

Practicum partners

Working with CMU practicum students allowed us to leverage their understanding of Rwanda, while still getting a quality technical application built.

Rebecca Davis, Founder, MindLeaps USA

Frequently asked questions

What time commitment is expected of me as a practicum sponsor?

As a sponsor, companies are expected to provide a representative to work directly with the team on a weekly or more frequent basis.

What if my practicum takes longer than one semester?

We only accept practicum projects that can be reasonably completed within fifteen weeks. However, sometimes projects grow beyond what is initially expected, and if that happens with your project, you can negotiate with the student team to get the work completed under a separate agreement. Please note that this portion of the work is not considered part of the academic experience, and will not be supervised by a faculty member.

What kind of legal agreement can my company expect?

Once your company is selected to be a practicum sponsor, CMU will provide an Educational Project Agreement (EPA) for you to review and sign. It should be noted that the contracts are between the practicum sponsors and the students.

Do I need to provide office space for the team?

No. The bulk of your team’s work will be conducted at Carnegie Mellon University’s Kigali location, though they will be available to meet with you on-site when required for the project, such as for weekly meetings. We have video conferencing equipment to facilitate who are based outside of Kigali.

Can I require students to sign non-disclosure agreements and/or intellectual property documents prior to the start of a practicum?

This is handled in the Educational Project Agreement (EPA).

Where do I submit my Practicum Proposal?

All Practicum Proposals are to be submitted by completing the Google Form here.

Get involved!