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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.

FT vs PT co-op

Full-time co-op=35-40 hours per week

Part-time co-op=10-20 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 and email it to the co-op director,, for approval. 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)
  • Specify that the employment is full-time
  • Specify the exact start and end dates (month, day, and year)

2) Once the offer letter is approved, you can schedule an appointment with the co-op director: Send an email to or call 216-368-5024. Walk-in hours are available during the fall and spring semesters. Please check the co-op website for updates on times and days available for walk-in hours. 

3) Attend a co-op orientation meeting. RSVP in Handshake Events. You will complete all required co-op forms during the orientation 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 located in Tomlinson 143. Please know it takes 5 business days for ISS counselors to process your work authorization.

Required documents:

  • CPT Workshop approval. Click here to complete the workshop. Please know it takes ISS up to 5 business days to verify workshop completion. 
  • CPT paperwork, including the Terms and Conditions sheet plus Recommendation form
  • Offer letter
  • Proof of co-op course registration in SIS