A student takes advantage of experiential learning initiatives in a workplace.

Carleton University Partners with Shopify to Introduce First-in-Canada Multi-Year Student Internships

Re-imagining experiential learning

Learning by doing drives the classroom message home. And earning while learning? Hard to beat.

Carleton University and Shopify, the leading cloud-based, multichannel commerce platform designed for small- and medium-sized businesses, are introducing a new model of learning that embeds students in an industrial environment.

This fall, 11 Carleton students are splitting their time between the university’s campus and Shopify’s downtown Ottawa headquarters. Students will learn some course concepts at Shopify by joining teams and contributing to projects, with the freedom to take as much or as little time as needed for deep understanding of concepts, in addition to taking theoretical courses and electives at Carleton.

The model is unique in that students receive the support and rigour of a university degree as well as long-term, continuous experience with at-scale software development alongside industry-leading developers. Students obtain a Bachelor of Computer Science (BCS) degree, and Shopify provides a salary in addition to covering tuition, helping to relieve graduates from their debt burden.

The partnership brings theory and practice together, with Carleton faculty evaluating the students and overseeing curriculum and exams. Students have access to all the academic and student services at Carleton while working at Shopify throughout their degrees. Under a mentor, they will apply concepts mapped to Carleton’s curriculum and develop marketable experience on Shopify industrial software projects.

It’s a long-term collaboration that is changing the way we think about experiential learning – the kind of integrated learning that arms students with a network of mentors and contacts before graduation and the satisfaction of working on a major project over the long term. Registration will open in October for students wanting to start in September 2017.

Key Points:

  • First program in Canada to have work-integrated, curriculum-aligned BCS
  • Students spend the majority of their time at Shopify where they learn curriculum concepts and can apply them in real time alongside experts in the industry
  • Students receive the same support given to all Carleton students and will learn advanced theory, as well as take exams at the university
  • Students receive a salary and Shopify covers tuition


“We appreciate Shopify’s generosity and look forward to continuing this innovative partnership in the years to come. Carleton is committed to providing our students with the kind of real-world experience that helps bring academics to life.’’ Roseann O’Reilly Runte, President, Carleton University

“We designed this program with Carleton to give students the perfect mix of hands-on experience, self-paced learning and theoretical foundations. They will have the opportunity over the next couple of years to learn and make changes to Shopify that will affect millions of people.’’ Jean-Michel Lemieux, Senior Vice President of Engineering, Shopify

“This is the best of both worlds. It’s the same strong Carleton curriculum combined with real Shopify software projects for real clients. It’s a combination that will reinforce what the students learn and very likely improve their career experiences down the road.’’ Douglas Howe, Chair of the Department of Computer Science, Carleton University

“We’re thrilled that this partnership with Carleton has enabled us to build a model of curriculum-aligned work-integrated learning that is engaging, inclusive and based on best practices. Having engaged with computer science education research and then worked in the industry as a developer, I can see just how valuable this program will be to our students’ learning, and how much it will jumpstart their careers.” Gail Carmichael, Manager of External Education Programs, Shopify

About Carleton University:

Located in the nation’s capital, Carleton University is a dynamic research and teaching institution with a tradition of leading change. Its internationally recognized faculty, staff and researchers provide more than 28,000 full- and part-time students from every province and more than 100 countries around the world with academic opportunities in more than 65 programs of study, including public affairs, journalism, film studies, engineering, high technology, and international studies. Carleton’s creative, interdisciplinary and international approach to research has led to many significant discoveries and creative works in science and technology, business, governance, public policy and the arts. As an innovative institution, Carleton is uniquely committed to developing solutions to real-world problems by pushing the boundaries of knowledge and understanding daily.

About Shopify:

Shopify is the leading cloud-based, multi-channel commerce platform designed for small and medium-sized businesses. Merchants use the software to design, set up and manage their stores across multiple sales channels, including web, mobile, social media, marketplaces, brick-and-mortar locations and pop-up shops. The platform also provides a merchant with a powerful back-office and a single view of their business. The Shopify platform was engineered for reliability and scale, making enterprise-level technology available to businesses of all sizes. Shopify currently powers over 300,000 businesses in approximately 150 countries and is trusted by big brands including Tesla Motors, Budweiser, Red Bull, the LA Lakers, the New York Stock Exchange, GoldieBlox, and many more.

Media Contact
Steven Reid
Media Relations Officer
Carleton University
613-520-2600, ext. 8718

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