Most international students are eligible to receive work authorization during their programs of study.  This process is much less complicated and time consuming than you might think.  International students must first obtain authorization for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) from the University.  Engineering Career Services guides international engineering students through this process, specifically by offering a 0-credit co-op class, which serves as the academic component of CPT. 

Before the student can begin an internship with your company, there are just a couple of steps you must take:

1. Provide the student with an offer letter on your company letterhead that states the following:
  • The student’s name and that he/she is being hired
  • Job title, including the word co-op or intern, and a 2-3 sentence job description that makes apparent how the position relates to the student’s major and/or curriculum
  • Name of student’s supervisor
  • Exact start and end dates of the work assignment (dates must fall within the university's corresponding academic calendar).   A student can start later and end earlier, so long as all work takes place between the dates stated in the offer letter (and stamped on the I-20).
  • Number of hours per week the student will work (limited to 20 hours/week during fall and spring semesters)
  • Salary/wage.  Unpaid work must comply with the US Department of Labor's standards.

2. You will also be asked to sign off on the student's Experience request on Handshake (please check your spam for emails from Handshake).  Ideally, the student should have the offer letter and completed Learning Plan at least one week before their start date, so they can complete the work authorization request with the University.

If you have questions about hiring international students for co-ops, internships or full time positions, you can contact our office.  For more information on CPT, OPT, STEM extension and other employment options for international students on F-1, J-1, or other visas, see International Student & Scholar Services’ Employer Resources.