Spark! Programs

Spark! has a host of programs it houses and farms out to students interested in gaining experiential learning. Learn more about our programs below:

 Innovation Fellows


BU Spark! offers students two options for participating in the Innovation Fellowship Program including class credit or a paid on-campus Spark! internship. The experience and requirements for the fellowship are the same regardless of which option a student chooses to complete the fellowship.

Option One: Spark! Technology Innovation Fellowship: HUB XCC 475 A1
Instructors: Ziba Cranmer, James Grady, and Richard Kasperowski; Monday 2:30-5:15pm; 4.0 credits (Computer Science)

Option Two: Spark! Technology Innovation Fellowship – Paid On-Campus Internship
Instructors: Ziba Cranmer, James Grady, and Richard Kasperowski; Monday 2:30-5:15pm; 100 hours at $15/hr

The Spark! Fellowship program is dedicated to catalyzing Boston University student innovators passionate about solving problems through technology. If you have an idea you want to take to the next level, Spark! offers a structured process and technical support for students to work independently to advance a technology project of their own creation. The program includes instructional components that cover key topics relevant to the process of technology product development process, including user-centered design, prototyping, agile development processes, and more. Spark! Fellows have two options for participating in this program: for class credit or a paid on-campus internship both of which aim to provide the time, structure, and support needed to complete a working prototype by the end of a semester. Students will also have priority access to a collaborative co-working space and technical mentors to guide them through the product creation process. The experience is designed to foster interaction and peer feedback among the teams and help students access the full set of innovation resources available across the Innovate@BU ecosystem.

Students applying to the Fellowship must have a project concept in mind, or already in development, as well as the technical skills to execute on their vision or team members who can do so. See the XCC description HERE.

If you are interested in the Spark! Fellowship program Apply HERE For The Spark! Fellowship Program 

What are the relevant dates I need to know?

●  Deadline: Rolling admissions (Round 1: April 30th) (Round 2: May 30th)

●  Application Decision Released: Rolling

●  Program Begins: September 2nd

●  Program Ends: December 19th (tentative)

For more information about the program, please visit our Timeline & FAQ page.

User Experience Design Fellowship (UXD):

The User Experience Design (UXDesign) Fellowship is a unique program that aims to help computer science and graphic design students build their skills in user experience design. This program, offered in partnership with the RedHat’s UXD team includes an educational component comprised of a series of workshops including a UX-UI Bootcamp, UX-UI Workflows and tools, Patternfly Open Source Design Library, and UXD Prototyping Review Clinics. Students can participate in the as course credit (XCC 475 A1) or as paid interns.

UXDesign Fellows will join Innovation Fellowship teams or X-Lab project teams and will be supported by expert mentors with deep experience in interaction design. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; the deadlines for Fall Semester are April 30th and May 30th. 

UXDesign Fellowship FAQ’s HERE

Apply HERE To The UXDesign Fellowship

 The Co-Lab


Co-Lab fellows are students from diverse disciplines. Technical and non-technical students form teams to implement projects, usually on behalf of external partner organization. Co-Lab Fellowships include the Forced Migration and Human Trafficking Fellowship for CS majors and students from BU Law or the Pardee School for Global Studies. Co-Lab fellowships are currently only available through paid on-campus internships.

FMHT Fellowship:

FMHT fellows are part of the Co-Lab Fellowship Track which combines students from diverse disciplines – technical and non-technical who form a team to implement projects on behalf of external partner organizations in the domain of  Forced Migration and Human Trafficking Fellowship. This program primarily serves CS majors working collaboratively with students from BU Law or the Pardee School for Global Studies. Spark!’s partners on this fellowship program include the Pardee School’s Forced Migration and Human Trafficking Initiative and BU Law’s Immigrant Rights and Human Trafficking Clinic.

Currently Co-Lab Fellowships are only available as paid on-campus internships.

Apply HERE To Be A Co-Lab Fellow

 X-Lab


BU Spark! is offering students an opportunity to work on technical projects provided by companies or organizations in Boston. For additional information, please visit buspark@bu.edu. This program is offered through the X-Lab Practicum or as a paid on-campus internship.

We accept applications on a rolling basis and you will become part of a consulting pool as opportunities can arise throughout the school year and summer.

What are the relevant dates I need to know for the Spring Semester?

●  Deadline: Rolling admissions (Round 1: April 30th) (Round 2: May 30th)

●  Application Decision Released: Rolling

●  Program Begins: September 2nd

●  Program Ends: December 19th (tentative)

Course Credit option:

Fall Semester: CS591 – Special Topics X-Lab Practicum (Thursdays 5-6:30pm)

CS 501 T1: Spark! Software Engineering Practicum

CS 501 T2: Spark! Machine Learning Practicum

Prerequisites: 

CS 501 T1: CS 411 or equivalent, or instructor’s consent

CS 501 T2: CS 542 or equivalent, or instructor’s consent

Instructor: Dharmesh Tarapore

Spring Semester:

CS591 – Special Topics Spark! X-Lab Software Engineering Practicum (Thursdays 5-6:30pm)

CS591 – Special Topics Applied Machine Learning for Public Health (Time TBD)

CS506 – Data Science (M/W 4:30—5:45pm)

CS 501 T1: Spark! Software Engineering Practicum

CS 501 T2: Spark! Machine Learning Practicum

Prerequisites: 

CS 501 T1: CS 411 or equivalent, or instructor’s consent

CS 501 T2: CS 542 or equivalent, or instructor’s consent

Instructor: Dharmesh Tarapore

X-Lab Paid option:

Fall and Spring Semester – join a Spark! Innovation Fellows Team as a paid on-campus intern (through the X-Lab). This program track requires that you participate in a structured process that we will provide to conceptualize and implement a technology solution including interviewing users, designing wireframes, prioritizing features. The Spark! Innovation Fellow will serve as the lead and you will serve as the supporting development team.

Spring Semester – Join a Spark! team where you will work with students from another college on an interdisciplinary Innovation project to solve a problem on behalf of an external partner – usually a prominent organization working on an important humanitarian or social impact issue. This program track requires that you participate in a structured process that we will provide to conceptualize and implement a technology solution including interviewing users, designing wireframes, prioritizing features. We will guide you through every step of this process.

Summer Semester – join a team working on an external project as a paid on-campus intern

**we will have a very limited # of paid on campus internships for external partners during Fall and Spring Semesters but these can come up throughout the year. Please keep checking in with us if you are still interested in being matched to a project.

You will have to be matched to a project , matched to a Spark! Innovation Fellowship Team or accepted into the CS591 Special Topics Course (X-Lab Practicum) to be part of this opportunity. You will have an opportunity to submit your preferences in the application.

In the meantime, you can send any questions to: buspark@bu.edu or review the FAQ’s at https://tinyurl.com/SparkXLabFAQ

Apply HERE To The EXperience Lab