Co-op for International Students

Co-op is a form of Co-curricular Practical Training (CPT) and therefore international students may participate using their CPT as long as they are eligible to do so. The International Services Office provides the guidelines for eligibility.

Although similar, in that they are forms of CPT, Co-op and Internship are not interchangeable terms. If you have an internship offer and you do not have a means (a course) to register through your own academic department, you can request a permit for our Internship course; the Co-op course is not an approved substitute for an internship course.

Please Note: International Students using CPT for Co-op must register for at least 1 credit hour per instructions from International Services Office.

Important tips to help you keep the CPT/Co-op Course Approval process as streamlined as possible:

  • Co-op course enrollment (and your CPT approval through International Services) will only be allowed if you have an official offer letter stating it is a Co-op offer, not an internship.
    • If your position was not posted directly on Handshake as a Co-op, then you will need to provide a job description showing that this was a posted Co-op position, showing learning objectives and/or job responsibilities.
    • ALL offers will be reviewed by the Coordinator of Experiential Learning to ensure it is a Co-op approved position, eligible for enrollment in the Co-op course.
  • If you have an offer from an employer, review the offer letter to ensure it has ALL the information on this sample letter that International Services requires for CPT review.
    • If it does not, ask the employer to either update the offer letter or provide a supplemental letter. The letter must be printed on company letterhead and have an original signature of the person making the offer.
    • If any of this information is missing, it will delay your course permit and CPT approval process until all the required information is provided.