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Curricular Practical Training

International Students and Cooperative Education

What is co-op?

Cooperative Education is an academic program that enables you to alternate classroom studies with career-based experiences in industry. For graduate students, the experience can be tied to your research or thesis. Co-op is a learning experience designed to integrate classroom theory with practical experience and professional development. Co-op is a paid full-time or part-time work experience designed to maximize your education and is typically a 6-7 month experience. The co-op office also works with students who have accepted summer only experiences.

We encourage all students to review all of the information included on this page. This video provides an overview of the information as well. 

FT vs PT co-op

Full-time co-op=21-40 hours per week

Part-time co-op=0-20 hours per week

If you are participating in a part-time co-op, you must be enrolled as a full-time student at the time of your co-op. If you are participating in a full-time co-op, course registration in SIS will maintain your full-time student status.

Requirements for co-op participation

Co-op is available to students who are in good standing with the University and pursuing a degree in engineering or computer science. Co-op course enrollment in SIS is required during your co-op.

Accepting an offer: The co-op program enrollment process

1) Obtain an offer letter

The offer letter must:

  • Be written on company letterhead
  • Be addressed to you, the student
  • Include a position title
  • Provide a job description
  • Specify the employment address (street, city, state, and zip code). If the co-op is remote, it must include the remote address AND the company's address. 
  • Specify that the employment is full-time. If part-time, specify the number of hours of work per week (not a range)
  • Specify the exact start and end dates (month, day, and year)

2) Complete the Co-op CPT Request Form

Once the offer letter contains all of the required information outlined in Step 1, complete the Co-op CPT Request Form. This form will be submitted to the Co-op Director, Genine Apidone, and will provide the necessary information to begin your CPT paperwork. Please note: it takes approximately 1-2 weeks to obtain completed CPT documents.

3) Attend a co-op orientation meeting. RSVP in Handshake Events. You will complete all required co-op forms during the orientation meeting. If you do not see a meeting scheduled in Handshake, please contact to schedule a meeting. For second time co-op students, you don’t have to attend an orientation meeting but you must complete all required paperwork. See “Next Steps” in the co-op website and scroll down to “Accepting a second co-op” for more info. 

4) Register for the appropriate co-op course in SIS.  You will learn more about which course to enroll in during the orientaiton meeting. 

5) Submit CPT paperwork and all required documents (see below for a list of required documents), to International Student Services via Terra Dotta. The required CPT workshop provides all of the necessary steps and links for you to submit your application. Please know it takes 5 business days for ISS counselors to process your work authorization.

Required documents:

  • CPT paperwork
  • Offer letter
  • Job description (if not already included in your offer letter)
  • Proof of co-op course registration in SIS