Internships & Co-ops

lInternships (summer or semester) and co-ops are vital experiences that you can begin acquiring as early as the summer of your first year on campus.  Internships and co-ops provide you with a competitive advantage when seeking full-time careers in industry and can enable you to gain up to a full year of professional work.  Participating in an internship or co-op allows you the opportunity to gain practical experience and to explore engineering-related fields in-depth.

Benefits of participating in an internship or co-op:

  • Gain practical experience in an engineering or engineering-related field
  • Earn money as part of your internship/co-op (typical salary range = $12-25 per hour)
  • Develop and fine tune your communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and organizational skills, as well as your sense of initiative
  • Build and apply technical knowledge and skills
  • Identify and refine your career goals

Click here for sample internships and co-ops on I-Link (use the arrows on the top right of the new window to toggle between pages)

Also, check out Vault‘s Internships & Co-ops section to learn about the Best Internships in Tech and Engineering.

ENG 310 Internship/Co-op Policy and Registration Instructions

ENG 310 Registration Request Form
Printable Copy of ENG 310 Course Policy
Attention: Falsifying information on registration forms can result in termination of an F-1 Visa.

All students (domestic and international) must seek approval from the College of Engineering to register for ENG 310 each term by filling out the following form: ENG 310 Registration Request and emailing it to engineering@illinois.edu (with Subject: ENG 310 Registration Request). Students who are approved to register for ENG 310 must adhere to the course policies below.  No exceptions will be given.

  • All Students:
    • Students must be approved to enroll in ENG 310, both full and part-time sections, prior to the start of the semester. Only late-add requests for Internships/Co-Ops for Research Park will be allowed.  No Exceptions.
    • Virtual/Remote Internships are not permitted, you must have a supervisor on-site for your internship.
    • You are not permitted to enroll in ENG 310 back-to-back during the Fall and Spring terms.
    • Internship dates must fall within the dates of the given semester as outlined
      • Fall term – August 16 through December 31
      • Spring term – January 1 through May 15
      • Summer term – May 16 through August 15
    • Students must register for ENG 310 in the appropriate section – full-time (10 weeks at more than 20 hours per week) or part-time section (20 hours or less per week).
    • The required assignment for ENG 310, found on Compass2G, must be completed by the 10th day to avoid being charged all on-campus fees; the assignment must be completed by reading day to avoid an Unsatisfactory grade in the course. No exceptions will be made.
    • Students must check their Illinois email account on a regular basis for any course
  • International students:
    • CPT must be directly related to their major field of study and an integral or important part of their program of study. CPT must be either full-time for the entire semester (minimum of 10 weeks) or part-time to be approved for ENG Part-time internships do not have a required duration.
    • Students who complete a part-time CPT during the fall and spring term need to be located within the Champaign-Urbana area and be registered as a full-time student (on top of registration in ENG 310).
    • No full-time CPT will be approved for ENG 310 in the student’s last semester.
    • Failure to register for the required CPT course by the deadline to add a course for the semester may result in the student’s F-1 visa being terminated.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is for international undergraduate students:  

  • who are on an F-1 visa,
  • have completed one year of academic coursework, and
  • for whom temporary off-campus employment (Internships or Co-Ops for the purpose of this course) during the course of their university enrollment is directly related to their major field of study and an integral or important part of their program of
  • Full-time CPT is more than 20 hours per week and part-time is 20 hours or less per For more information on CPT rules and regulations, visit www.isss.illinois.edu/students/employment/f1cpt.html.

In order to pursue CPT, international students are required to complete the CPT application and have it approved at each level – department, college* (*by emailing the ENG 310 Registration Request to engineering@illinois.edu), and ISSS.   International students cannot formally accept an internship without having their CPT approved by each level. In addition, international students are required to register for the appropriate CPT course. Per federal policy, failure to register for the course by the stated deadline may result in the student’s F-1 visa being terminated.

In addition, the following policies are enforced with CPT.

  • CPT cannot be backdated and cannot start until all approvals at each level are granted and course registration is
  • Students can only complete an Internship/Co-Op on CPT for the dates listed on their new I-20 and cannot start their Internship/Co-Op without having the I-20 in hand. The Internship/Co-Op must also end on the date specified on the CPT I-20.
  • Students cannot change employers without completing a new CPT application

CPT authorization can only be given for one year at a time. Students who complete more than 12 months or more of full-time CPT will not be eligible for OPT.  Consult with ISSS for your specific situation: http://www.isss.illinois.edu/students/employment/f1cpt.html

Tuition, Fees, and Health Insurance

Review the flow chart to determine your tuition/fee payment for the ENG 310 course only based on the term, section, and location in which you enroll for ENG 310.

*Note: students completing a part-time internship during Fall/Spring terms must be registered as a full-time student.

  • If you have questions about tuition and fees, contact the Office of the Registrar: http://registrar.illinois.edu/
  • If you have questions regarding health insurance, or would like to continue your student health insurance coverage while you are completing your internship, contact the Office of Student Health Insurance: http://si.illinois.edu/

Step-by-Step CPT/ENG 310 Registration Checklist for International & Domestic Students

Below is a step-by-step checklist for registering for ENG 310.  Students must complete the steps in the indicated order.

Summer, Fall, and Spring Terms:

  1. Departmental Approval
    • International Students:
      • Consult with your academic advisor to determine how plan of study may be affected by an off-campus Fall/Spring internship or Co-op
      • Obtain approval from your department by submitting your CPT request via iSTART
    • Domestic students:
      • Consult with your academic advisor to determine how plan of study may be affected by an off-campus Fall/Spring internship or Co-op
  2. College Approval
    • All Students:
    • Domestic Students:
      • Register for ENG 310 in the appropriate section (full-time, part-time)
    • International Students:
      • Upload approved ENG 310 Registration Request form into iSTART application
      • Register for ENG 310 in the appropriate section, part-time or full-time once CPT has been granted
    • Note: Only Research Park at Illinois Internships/Co-Ops will be approved for late-registration.
  3. Required Assignment
    • Complete required assignment found on Compass2G by the 10th day of classes
      • All on-campus fees are assessed for students who miss the deadline
    • Assignments will be accepted through reading day.  Assignments received post reading day will receive and unsatisfactory grade.  No exceptions will be made.

International Students can apply for CPT if: 

  1. On an F-1 Visa
  2. Completed one year of academic coursework
  3. Internship/Co-Op is directly related to major field of study and an integral or important part of program of study

Effective Summer 2017 for ENG 510: The Office of Engineering Graduate, Professional and Online programs will effectively be in charge of the ENG 510 course starting with summer 2017 term.  Therefore, any international students who would like to sign up for ENG 510 for summer 2017 term and forward will need to work through our office.  Review the policy and instructions for how to register for ENG 510 through the Office of Engineering Graduate, Professional, and Online programs: ENG 510-Curricular Practical Training Policy-Final