Spark! Programs

Spark! has a host of programs available to students interested in gaining innovative and experiential learning. Learn more about our main programs below:

Innovation Fellows    X-Lab   Co-Lab     


 Innovation Fellows

Instructors: Ziba Cranmer, James Grady, and Richard Kasperowski

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.

Technology Innovation Fellowship

The Technology Innovation Fellowship 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.

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. 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.

Spark! offers all Fellowship participants 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: HUB XCC 475 A1 – 4.0 credits (Computer Science)
  • Option Two: Paid On-Campus Internship (100 hours at $15/hr)

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.

Technology and UXD Fellowship FAQ’s HERE

Learn more and Apply HERE



BU Spark! offers students an opportunity to work on technical projects provided by companies or organizations in the Greater Boston area through our experiential learning lab (X-Lab). This program is offered through the X-Lab Practicum for course credit or as a paid on-campus internship. To learn more about X-Lab supported courses, please visit the Spark! Course page

X-Lab Paid Internship

The Spark! Paid internship program track invites students to participate in a structured experiential learning process in which student teams will work to solve a problem on behalf of an external partner. Spark! partners are often 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. Participants will have expert staff support to help guide you through every step of this process.

We have a very limited number of paid internships each semester and we accept paid-intern applications on a rolling basis. 


Learn more and Apply HERE 

XLab Summer Internship

The Spark! Summer internship Program is a paid opportunity held for 10 weeks each summer for students who want to participate in a structured experiential learning process. Participants will work on assigned student teams to solve a problem on behalf of an external Spark! partner with the support of our staff and experts in residence. Our 2022 summer portfolio of partners include the NAACP, MassMutual, local media partners, BU’s Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, and more.

Applications for the summer internship are now open and we have a limited number of spots available. To learn more about the program and to apply, visit 

 The Co-Lab

Spark! co-Lab fellows are students from diverse disciplines. Technical and non-technical students form teams to implement projects, usually on behalf of external partner organizations. Spark! 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. These 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