Academic Sustainability
Programs Office


Sustainability Internship Program

The Sustainability Internship Program was developed to provide additional support to students who are taking part in an independent study course offered through their home Faculty or Department. The ASP Office provides additional support with project planning, project management, mentorship through weekly meetings, connections to professionals in the field, guided reflection, and more.

NOTE: Sustainability Internships are non-paid experiential opportunities. Course credit is awarded by the student’s home Faculty or Department upon successful completion. See the Academic Credit tab to view applicable courses.

More information about the development of the Sustainability Internship Program can be found in the McMaster 2016/17 Sustainability Annual Report (pp. 40-45).




The objectives of the Sustainability Internship Program are as follows:

  • Support Faculties and Departments in working together to provide opportunities for undergraduate students to gain academic credit for experiential learning
  • Support collaboration between students, faculty, staff, and the broader community
  • Highlight the achievements of students who have successfully completed their Sustainability Internship


Through annual revision and enhancement, the Sustainability Internship Program has been expanded each year for the past eight years and has supported more than 35 students in experiential learning at McMaster. Starting in 2013, all ASP Annual Reports include a full section highlighting the work of students who have successfully completed their Sustainability Internship. Past reports can be found at


The Sustainability Internship Program is made possible through collaboration with Faculties and Departments from across campus with support from faculty, staff, community members, and especially the students who devote their time and energy into self-directed, community-based, and experiential learning about sustainability.

How the Program Works

An important part of many independent study courses is that the student is expected to find an academic and/or non-academic supervisor who will help guide the student’s project and support their experiential learning. The supervisors work with the student to identify discipline concepts, readings, and methods of evaluation related to the specific course for which academic credit will be given. It is expected that the student will lead the project from design to implementation, which not only ensures sustained enthusiasm throughout the program but also ensures that the program satisfies the goals and expectations of the student. Upon successful completion of the stated requirements by both supervisors, a grade is awarded to the student. In cases where full course credit is awarded, the process is completed by the student’s home Faculty or Department.

As approved by the students home Faculty or Department, a member of the ASP office can supervise/co-supervise a student’s independent study.

For further information about the Internship Program including finer details of the process, timelines, and available resources please visit the Community-Based Experiential Learning Resource Guide.

For information on obtaining academic credit, students can navigate to our page specifically devoted to Academic Credit for the Sustainability Internship Program.

Academic Credit

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students have the opportunity to receive academic credit for their participation in the Sustainability Internship Program. Students are encouraged to contact their Faculty or Department to learn about available opportunities.

NOTE: Sustainability Internships are non-paid experiential opportunities. Course credit is awarded by the student’s home Faculty or Department upon successful completion. See the Academic Credit tab to view applicable courses.

Graduate Students

Graduate students are encouraged to view the Graduate/Undergraduate Collaboration in Experiential Learning (GUCEL) Program, for related opportunities.

Obtaining Academic Credit, by Faculty or Department

Degroote School of Business

Applicable Course: COMMERCE 4EL3 – Experiential Learning in Business

Course Description: This course is defined as a structured experiential learning based project that a student undertakes under the supervision of a faculty member, with the authorization of the Associate Dean (Academic), from the DeGroote School of Business. It may be completed as a team activity or as an independent project / leadership activity. The focus is on developing managerial decision making, project management, resource management and leadership skills in preparation for a career in business.

Contact Information: Please contact the Faculty Office (DSB 104, ext. 24433) to speak with an Academic Advisor

Faculty of Engineering

Applicable Course: ENGN MGT 5B03 – Engineering and Management Projects

Course Description: Capstone course: Students work in multidisciplinary teams to solve an integrated engineering and business problem in an organization. Team, project and client management skills are developed.

Contact Information: Anna Sciascetti Administrator Engineering & Society/Engineering & Management 905 525-9140 ext. 27679

Applicable Course: ENGSOCTY 4Y03 – Society Capstone Design

Course Description: In multi-disciplinary teams, students will complete a capstone design project that incorporates holistic design, social sustainability, community resilience and aesthetic elements.

Contact Information: Cameron Churchill Director, Engineering & Society 905 525-9140 ext. 23179

Faculty of Humanities


Faculty of Science

Applicable Course(s):

Science students wishing to complete a science experiential course are encouraged to contact the Science Career & Cooperative Education office for information about course options.

Students are required to complete an application form, including a detailed learning contract, evaluation criteria, and must secure a Placement Supervisor and an Academic Supervisor. Academic Supervisors must be a faculty member in the Faculty of Science.

All applications are reviewed and approved on an individual basis.

Contact Information:

Science Career & Cooperative Education, BSB 127

Faculty of Social Sciences

Contact Information:

Ruthanne Talbot

Programming and Outreach Manager (Experiential Education, Faculty of Social Sciences)

Email address:

KTH 129

(905) 525-9140 ext. 23382

Arts & Science Program

Applicable Course(s): ARTSSCI 3X03, 4A06, 4C06

Course Descriptions: 

Contact information:

Shelley Anderson

Arts & Science Program Administrator



(905) 525-9140 ext. 24655

Rebecca Bishop

Arts & Science Program Administrator


Email address:

(905) 525-9140 ext. 23153