F.A.Q.

Students & Families

Below we have answered some of our most commonly asked Digital Innovation Program questions covering a variety of topics such as housing, transportation, cost, finding an internship and more. If you have any further questions, then please contact program management.

General Program Questions

How competitive are the programs?

While both of our programs are competitive, our San Francisco program receives the most applications each semester. We are limited in the number of students we accept to each program, as keeping the total number of student low ensures a well-rounded and personalized experience.

Do you have a program in the summer or during J-term?

We currently do not. If you are looking for a summer internship, the Altman Internship Program provides great opportunities in Cincinnati, Chicago and San Francisco.

What day does the program start and end?

Student internships begin on the first day of class for the semester, and end on the last day of class. Move-in will take place the Wednesday of week before internships begin, and move-out will take place the Sunday following the last day of classes. Please note that move-out occurs before Finals Week, allowing graduating students to return to Oxford to participate in graduation events and ceremonies.

Is there a way to split time between two program cities?

No. You can participate in one program each semester, and you can participate in more than one program during your college career.

What about university breaks or national holidays?

We do ask all internship supervisors to honor university breaks (Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Spring Break). However, there is no guarantee that a company will be closed during anything other than national holidays. Most students work the day before Thanksgiving and through Spring Break. Please note that company visits will not be scheduled during Fall Break, the day after Thanksgiving or Spring Break.

Can I talk with a student who has previously participated or who is currently participating to get more information about the experience?

Please contact program management who may be able to put you in touch with students currently participating in the program or students that have in the past.

What is the ideal semester for participating in this program?

It can be most beneficial for students to participate in their senior year as many of our past participants have received job offers after completing the program. However, the program is promoted to juniors and seniors.

How many students receive job offers at the end of the semester?

Many students receive offers to continue working with their company in some capacity, whether it be a full-time job or freelance work (if the student is still in school). Many students also take advantage of their presence in the city to network and receive offers from other companies, such as those visited on Fridays.

I’m interested in a summer internship in one of these cities. Who should I talk to?

If you are an IMS major looking to fulfill your internship requirement, please contact Dr. James Coyle. If you are a student that has been accepted into the Digital Innovation program, please contact program management. Additionally, consider applying for the Altman Summer Program, noted above.

Are there any events this semester or this summer to before the program begins?

Yes. Students will be enrolled in a pre-requisite course together (ESP 201) in preparation for the program. Some of the class sessions will be used for orientation meetings, prep sessions with our Career Services team, and more. Students unable to enroll in the prerequisite course due to extenuating circumstances will be able to schedule make-up sessions for missed orientation meetings.

Eligibility

Are there any prerequisites for these programs?

All participants will be required to have taken ESP 201 and either IMS/MKT 418 or IMS/MKT 419. IMS 418 and 419 can be taken at any time prior to participation in the program. Students will be scheduled for ESP 201 the semester prior to their participation in a section consisting of all Digital Innovation students. CSE majors have different prerequisites, noted on our Curriculum page.

I’ve never taken an IMS course before. Can I still apply for this program?

Yes, you are still more than welcome to apply. However, there are prerequisites that require at least one IMS course (either 418 or 419). Prerequisites do not need to be taken prior to application but will need to be taken prior to participation. Upon completion of the prerequisites and the program, students will have enough IMS credits for an IMS minor.

When during my college career is it most ideal to participate in these programs?

These programs are open to juniors and seniors, and it is recommended that students participate during their last semester as a student, as many students turn their internships into full-time jobs. Please note that you will not receive senior capstone credit (IMS 440) if you not have at least 80 credit hours of coursework completed prior to your semester of participation (typically this is completed after first semester of your junior year).

What areas of study do students typically come from?

Students who have an interest in either digital marketing, design (web/mobile) or programming excel most in this program. The senior capstone project (IMS 440, cross-listed as a Marketing capstone as noted on student Degree Audit Reports) is typically more marketing-focused with elements of design and development.

I am a graduate student. Can I still participate?

Yes. Please contact program management to discuss this further.

I am an international student in the U.S. on a visa. Can I still participate?

It is possible. International students need work authorization for any off-campus work. Due to visa requirements, the following requirements are in place for international students participating in the Digital Innovation Program:

  • The student MUST obtain an internship within their major course of study at Miami (Internships cannot be in the field of a minor, only in the major(s) declared by the student.)
  • Participating in the program CANNOT delay normal academic progress (This means, participating in Digital Innovation cannot cause an international student to delay when they would normally graduate.)

Please meet with an International Student Advisor in the International Student and Scholar Services office before applying for this program. Please refer to the International Student and Scholar Services page for more information.

Application Process

When are applications due?

Applications for fall semester are due in November the year prior (i.e., applications for the Fall 2018 program are due in November 2017). Applications for spring semester are due in April the year prior (i.e. applications for Spring 2019 are due in April 2018).

Are there any prerequisites?

All students participating in the program will be required to have taken ESP 201 and either IMS 418 or IMS 419. This means if you are planning to participate in Fall 2017 or later, you will be required to take these classes before you participate. However, you do not need to have taken them before you apply. We will enroll you in a specific section of ESP 201 the semester before your participation with the entire cohort of Digital Innovation students.

Where do I apply?

Who do I contact if I have questions?

Please contact Program Manager Catherine Couretas at couretca@miamioh.edu.

How many applications do you receive each semester?

The number of applications we receive varies, but typically increases each semester. Not all students are accepted into the program.

How many students are selected?

The number of selected students is based on the number of qualified applicants. However, the largest number of students we have accepted to any one program is 20 students.

What is the application process like?

Students typically apply about a year before they wish to participate. The application requires a student to explain why he or she is interested in participating in the program, provide his or her resume and link to LinkedIn profile and upload his or her DAR. We also ask students how they have heard about the program, what their class year will be during their semester of participation, if they have a preference for a city and their preferred internship category (marketing, design or programming). Once an application is completed, a student will then sign up for an in-person interview with the program staff. Dress for this interview should be business casual. During this interview, students will be asked to talk more about their interest in the program, what types of responsibilities they would like at an internship and how they would handle various work-related situations.

When will I know if I’ve been accepted?

Students are typically notified within a few weeks of their interview. They will be asked to confirm acceptance within 1-2 weeks of receiving the offer of acceptance.

Is there a waitlist?

Based on the number and strength of applications received for any particular program each semester, a waitlist may be created. Students who are placed on the waitlist will be notified regarding their application status once responses have been received for all initial offers.

Can I apply to the program in more than one city?

You will be asked to rank each city in the order you prefer. If you have an interest in only one city, then this should be noted in your application.

Courses & Credits

How exactly is this program structured? Am I taking classes while completing an internship?

Please visit the program curriculum page for more information about the courses and expectations for the program.

Do I need to sign up for classes or is this considered a 16 hour class?

After you have confirmed your acceptance, you will be placed in the courses associated with the program. This does not happen immediately, but you do not need to register on your own.

How is each course graded?

Please visit the program curriculum page for more information about the courses and expectations for the program.

How will each of the 16 credit hours affect my GPA if at all?

IMS 340 is a credit/no credit course, which means it will not impact your GPA. IMS 390C and IMS 440 are both taken for a grade that will be factored into your GPA.

Cost & Scholarship Opportunities

Can I apply scholarships or financial aid to the cost of this program? What scholarships are available?

There will be scholarships available for our San Francisco program in the near future. Please contact program management for more information. Study Abroad scholarships do not apply to Study Away programs, but you can apply any scholarships as you would to cover tuition costs. Learn more about Miami's scholarship and financial aid options.

If you are receiving financial aid, please review your package before enrollment in the program.

How much does this program cost?

Tuition is billed the same as any other semester at Miami. However, there are some additional program fees. View an estimate of the total cost of the program.

What are the additional fees?

There will be a $175 administrative fee billed to the student’s Bursar account. Additionally, there is a program fee (San Francisco: $600, Cincinnati: $400) that is used to cover field trips, some meals during Friday class days, and some transportation costs. The program fee is not billed through the Bursar and will be due 4-6 months prior to the start of the program.

Will any other payment be due prior to the start of the semester?

Yes, the deposit for your housing will be due the semester before your participation. In San Francisco, this is typically $1500-$2000, and is due in March for the fall semester and in October for the spring semester.

Housing

Do I have to find my own housing?

No. Apartment-style housing is secured by program management (though it is optional). However, it will be each student’s responsibility to sign a lease with the landlord and pay the security deposit and rent on time. Rent is paid on a monthly basis by check. Housing typically consists of double-occupancy rooms in shared apartments. However, students wishing to live in a single-occupancy room may have the opportunity to do so for a higher cost, should single rooms be available.

Do I have to live in the university designated housing?

In San Francisco, yes, it is highly recommended. This immersive program is meant to be an experience for the entire cohort, and living together is an essential part of the experience. That being said, exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis and are very rare. Housing in San Francisco is the highest in the nation, and the housing designated by Miami University is in an extremely safe area. Students have found that other low-cost options do not include the necessary amenities or allow them to remain close to their cohort, or are in potentially unsafe neighborhoods. We have chosen this housing to ensure student safety and an overall positive experience.

Students who participate in the Cincinnati program and commute from Oxford find that spending over 10 hours each week in a car takes away from the experience, forcing them to miss out on potential networking events. While we encourage students to live in housing in Cincinnati, it is not required. We have housing options each semester or students are welcome to find their own housing in Cincinnati.

If a friend and I are both accepted to the same program, can we room together?

Absolutely! Students will be asked if they have a preferred roommate prior to signing their lease.

Where is the housing located?

Housing in Cincinnati is located in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood and downtown Cincinnati. Housing in San Francisco is located in the Alamo Square and North Beach neighborhoods.

I’m not exactly familiar with the area where I’ll be living or working. What's it like?

Housing is secured in each city and is always in a safe, centralized neighborhood chosen based on proximity to student internship sites.

How much does housing cost? Are utilities included?

Yes, utilities are included. Cable is provided, and internet is provided in San Francisco and in some Cincinnati housing. Please see the cost page for an estimate of costs by city. Please note that your housing deposit will be due the semester before your participation (in March for fall and in October for spring), and in San Francisco the deposit is approximately $1500-$2000. In Cincinnati the amount varies but typically does not exceed $500.

Is the apartment furnished?

Yes, the apartment will be furnished. This will include all necessary furniture and potentially towels, sheets, blankets, etc. Students only need to bring clothing and toiletries.

How many people are in each room? In each apartment?

Usually the rooms are double-occupancy. There may be single-occupancy rooms available, though the rent will be higher, and they are not guaranteed.

Transportation

How do students get around in San Francisco?

Students use public transportation (bus/train) as well as other transportation options such as Uber, Lyft and Getaround. Students are not permitted to bring cars to San Francisco.

Can I have my car with me?

Students typically have cars in Cincinnati as internships and company visits are not always downtown or in Over-the-Rhine. In San Francisco, there are a plethora of public transportation and on-demand taxi options that make having a car in the city simply unnecessary.

When should I buy my plane ticket?

Once you have accepted an offer to participate in the program and receive confirmation of your move-in and move-out dates from program staff, you are welcome to shop for your ticket to find the best price. Many students choose to buy a one-way ticket in the event that they would like to continue their internship through the winter or summer term. Please confirm your move-in and move-out dates and times as noted on your lease before purchasing a ticket.

Internships

Do I have to find my own internship? How does the interview process work?

Yes. We do not guarantee any student an internship, though we do everything in our power to help students find one. The semester before a student participates, we share student information with industry connections in each participating city; however, we ask that students do not wait for a phone call to begin conducting their own search. Students need to be proactive in searching for opportunities that may be the best fit for them. Workshops will be held to discuss best practices during the internship search, and program staff will be readily available to assist with the entire process (helping with email wording, interview prep, etc.).

How many companies are in the pool of startups, and do I interview with all of them?

The number of startups in the pool varies in each city, and students typically do not interview with all of them. We do our best to align student interests with the best opportunities available for them.

Where are most of the internships located?

In Cincinnati, students have had internships located downtown and in various neighborhoods such as Over-the-Rhine, Oakley, Blue Ash and Norwood. In San Francisco, it is highly recommended that students intern in the city of San Francisco, which is where housing is located. Cities like Palo Alto, Mountain View and Menlo Park can be over an hour away by train.

What type of work will I be doing as an intern?

Students typically accept internships that most closely relate to their area of study. The work is meaningful and likely project-based, helping students build skills and experiences that will assist in future employment opportunities.

How many hours on average per week do interns work?

Students are expected to work full-time Monday through Thursday each week. The definition of “full-time” may differ by company, but students generally work from 8 or 9 a.m. to 6 or 7 p.m., if not later.

Are the internships paid? Is salary negotiable?

Most internships are paid, however, a paid internship is not guaranteed. Students that are paid have received compensation of anywhere from $300 to $3000 each month depending on the job responsibilities. Typically programmers receive salaries at the higher end, marketers at the lower end, and designers somewhere in the middle.

In Cincinnati, is parking free at the companies?

This depends on the company. If parking is not free, there is always the potential to negotiate a parking stipend.

Will there be company events on the weekends?

There are often company events outside of the normal workday. You will also be required to participate in networking events or activities each week. This can range from grabbing coffee with a new contact to attending a pitch event.

Employers

Interested in one of the following?

  • Bringing on one of our students as an intern in the fall or spring
  • Hosting our cohort of students to your company for a visit
  • Partnering with our program for the senior capstone project (our cohort of students works on a project for your company for the entire fall or spring semester!)

Please read on for more details. If you have any further questions, then please contact program management.

Hiring a Miami University Intern

When can the student start the internship, and how long can they intern?

Students begin their program on the first class day of the fall and spring semesters and end on the last day of class. These days change each year; consult the Miami University academic calendar.

Can I hire more than one intern from the program during any given semester?

We do prefer that companies bring on just one of our students at a time, but we are open to two students at one internship site. In this situation, we ask that the students are placed on different teams so that they are able to fully immerse themselves in their work environment, giving them the opportunity to meet and work with a wider variety of team members.

What is expected of me for this program other than just hiring an intern?

Throughout the course of the internship, program management will check in with you regularly to ensure that all expectations are being met. We’ll also be checking in with our students to ensure they are having a great experience as well. These check-ins will be once a month via Google form, however if issues arise that require further discussion we will set up an additional time to talk with you.

What is this internship contract a student asked me to sign?

As part of the program program, we ask students to sign a contract with their internship supervisor that, at a minimum, addresses the company name, supervisor name and contact info, start/end dates, acceptable school breaks (like Spring Break), intern responsibilities, and agreed upon compensation. This information is used by us to track the individual internship information for each student, but is also used to facilitate conversation between the intern and supervisor regarding the expected contribution during the internship period.

Why do students need Fridays off? What are they learning that will help them in my organization?

One of the key aspects of the Miami University Digital Innovation Program is the company visit day. Each week, students will intern Monday through Thursday and have Friday as a “class day” during which they will visit successful businesses, startups, venture capital firms, incubators, and other impactful organizations to learn from industry professionals. Though the Friday visits may not always be in the same field in which some of our students are interning, we hope the visits give the students more insight into the hurdles, successes, and lessons learned that are unique to each company visited. It is difficult to measure how these visits might benefit their own work at their internships, but we do hope they take what they have learned with them and apply where and when possible.

What work do the students have outside of their internship? Will this impact their responsibilities in our organization?

Students are signed up for 16 credit hours during the semester in which they participate in this program. They receive credit for completing their internship, networking with industry professionals, participating in a Senior Capstone project, engaging in scheduled Friday visits to successful businesses, and completing assignments for an Entrepreneurship class. As you can see they have many expectations during the semester. Students have a required number of networking events to attend each week, so it may be possible a student asks to rearrange hours in a particular week in order to attend an event. However, the work they will need to complete for their courses should generally not interfere with their daily expectations at your organization.

Hosting our Digital Innovation Student Group for a Visit

What do you do when you visit a company during this program?

Prior to a visit, students will research the company and complete a homework assignment. We always ask our host if there is an assignment in particular that may help the students prepare for the visit. During a typical company visit, the students will receive a company overview from our host(s), a tour of the office space and have time to ask questions. In Cincinnati, our students also tackle a challenge for the company. This gives them the opportunity to get to know the company even better and do a bit of work--it also gives our hosts an opportunity to get outside perspectives on any current projects.

How much time does the group need for a visit?

Our visits range from 1.5 hours to 4 hours. Students typically visit one company in the morning and one in the afternoon. If a visit time runs through lunch we’re happy to bring in food for the whole group.

Do we need to prepare anything for the visit?

We ask that you have a space for the students to sit for introductions and a company interview. In San Francisco we typically have a group of 20 students and in Cincinnati about 12 students.

Who needs to be at the visit?

Anyone that would like to be involved! Students appreciate the access to company founders and leaders, and of course any Miami graduates working at the company.

Partnering on the Senior Capstone Project

If you are interesting in being our client for our cohort’s Senior Capstone project in either Cincinnati or San Francisco, please contact Catherine Couretas at couretca@miamioh.edu.