Both Undergraduate and Graduate level international students can work with the ELPE office to try and obtain a co-op or a summer internship. Note that a student must have completed 2 semesters of classes to be eligible for assistance.  


Work 4, 6 or possibly 8 months
Apply for CPT
Gain credit and keep full-time student status


Work for only 10-12 weeks over the summer
Apply for OPT
No credit

We advise all of our engineering international students to connect with the Office of International Studies (OIS) to determine eligibility for co-op and/or internship start dates. Appointments are made online.


If you opt to Co-op, you can apply for CPT to gain your work authorization, and do not need to utilize your OPT. Review this checklist to make sure you know the steps in applying for CPT as a co-op.  

Graduate international students can work 4 months or more, while undergraduate students will follow the 6-month rotations schedule. For an undergraduate student to earn the 3 credits towards an elective, they will need to complete two 6-month rotations. 

If you prefer an Internship, then you can follow this information on OPT. 

Eligible students accepting a co-op offer must complete the necessary forms for OIS and the co-op office. Additionally, the student must inform both offices of any changes in visa status, work status or work rotations. All positions must be directly related to the student’s field of study.   

Other areas that you may have to plan for are:

  • Potentially obtaining a social security number for tax/payroll purposes
  • Potentially obtaining a driver’s license if need to get to work, or to utilize a company mode of transportation.  

ELPE staff members can assist you with your applications and answer any questions you may have.