International Students

Below you will find information on completing the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) application for off-campus internships.

This information will keep your immigration status up-to-date as you intern for companies outside of UIC.

Here are the Steps You Need to Take

  • Access the CPT application from the Office of International Services (OIS).
  • Be sure to read all of the information on the OIS website.
  • Before the Engineering Career Center (ECC) can process your CPT application, pages 2 and 3 must be completed (see below internship start/end dates by semester).
  • Have your employer complete page 3 of the CPT application. Page 3 must include a hand-signed signature from your employer.
  • Make an appointment with the ECC to have your documents reviewed and your application processed.
  • ECC will review the Offer Letter from your employer and will determine if the duties meet standards for an Engineering Internship.
  • The Office of International Services (OIS) requires the ECC to create a letter of support with each CPT application (see page 3 of the application).
    • This letter must demonstrate how your internship is aligned with an Engineering course you will be taking at UIC.
    • For your CPT appointment, bring the name of the course that is aligned with your internship and 3 ways in which your duties at your internship are aligned with the work you will be conducting in your UIC coursework.
    • If you are not registered for a course for which the internship supports, the ECC cannot process your CPT application.

Dates for Spring Semester 2018:

  • Earliest to start an internship – Monday, Jan. 15, 2018
  • Latest to end an internship – Friday, May 11, 2018
  • LAST DAY to process a CPT application with the Engineering Career Center – Friday, April 13, 2018

Dates for Summer 2018:

  • Earliest to start an internship – Monday, May 21, 2018
  • Latest to end an internship – Friday, August 10, 2018
  • LAST DAY to process a CPT application with the Engineering Career Center – Friday, July 20, 2018

Your CPT application process is complete after:

  • The ECC has reviewed your documents, completed page 4, and written your letter of support.
  • The ECC has unlocked registration permission for ENGR 289 for you.
  • You have registered for ENGR 289.
  • You have had an in-person meeting with a representative of the UIC Office of International Services (OIS). Set up an appointment in advance or use their “drop in” hours posted on the OIS website. Stay in contact with OIS to find out if your application has been approved and when your new I-20 has arrived.
  • From the time you drop off the CPT application at OIS, it can take up to 14 days to process your I-20.

Students Completing a Master’s or PhD Thesis Program

  • All students interning or conducting research off-campus must enroll in either ENGR 289 or 598 (Master’s research) or 599 (PhD research) course in their major.
  • Before meeting with the ECC, determine if you need to register for either ENGR 289, 598, or 599.
  • ENGR 289 – this course is used for students who are working in an internship in order to build their professional skills and knowledge.
  • 598 or 599 – this course is used for students are conducting research for their thesis during their internship.
  • Once a thesis student has enrolled in 598 or 599, they can no longer enroll in ENGR 289 for the remainder of their time at UIC.
  • The ECC will complete page 4 of the CPT application for ENGR 289 only.
  • Thesis advisors will complete page 4 of the CPT application for ENGR 598 and 599 courses.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many hours can I work in CPT for ENGR 289?

  • During the academic semester – 20 hours per week maximum. For example, a student who works 5 hours per week for a professor can only intern for 15 hours per week with an off-campus company. This is non-negotiable.
  • During summer break – 40 hours per week maximum. This is non-negotiable.

When may I start working in a CPT for ENGR 289?

  • Internships can begin on the first day of the new semester.
  • Internships must end on the last day of finals week (internships can end earlier per the employer.
  • Internships cannot begin or end on Saturdays or Sundays; your CPT application will be rejected and the employer will need to correct page 3.

How long does CPT last?

  • You must complete a new CPT application for each semester that you intern (Fall, Spring, and Summer).

How do I Enroll in ENGR 289 and Process the CPT Application?

  • Have your employer complete page 3 of the CPT application.
  • Make an appointment with the ECC to have your documents reviewed and your application processed.
  • ECC will review the Offer Letter from your employer and will determine if the duties meet standards for an Engineering Internship.
  • The ECC will review pages 2 and 3 of your application including start and end dates of your internship and a signature from the employer (not typed, but hand signed).

Letter of Support – created by the ECC

  • The Office of International Services (OIS) requires the ECC to create a letter of support with each CPT application (see page 3 of the application).
  • This letter must demonstrate how your internship is aligned with an Engineering course you will be taking at UIC.
  • For your CPT appointment, bring the name of the course that is aligned with your internship and 3 ways in which your duties at your internship are aligned with the work you will be conducting in your UIC coursework.
  • If you do not have a course for which the internship supports, then the ECC cannot process your CPT application.

Your CPT application process is complete after:

  • If you do not have a course for which the internship supports, then the ECC cannot process your CPT application.
  • The ECC has reviewed your documents, completed page 4, and written your letter of support.
  • The ECC has unlocked registration permission for ENGR 289 for you
  • You have registered for ENGR 289
  • You have had an in-person meeting with a representative of the UIC Office of International Services (OIS). Set up an appointment in advance or use their “drop in” hours posted on the OIS website. Stay in contact with OIS to find out if your application has been approved and when your new I-20 has arrived.

How long will it take to process my new I-20?

  • From the time you drop off the CPT application at OIS, it can take up to 14 days to process your I-20.

Is there any cost involved with ENGR 289?

  • If you are completing your internship during the academic year (Fall or Spring semester) the tuition charges for ENGR 289 are included in your tuition package.
  • If you are completing your internship during the summer session, you will be charged approximately $1,500-$2,000 for ENGR 289.
  • Please check website for the Office of the Registrar to learn more about tuition fees associated with ENGR 289.
  • If you have questions about fees related to ENGR 289, please contact the University Registrar.

How do I pass ENGR 289?

  • ENGR 289 does not meet in-person.
  • Toward the end of the semester or summer you will receive an email message with two links to evaluations that must be completed by the deadline.
  • One evaluation is for you to complete on your internship experience.
  • One evaluation is for your employer; you must forward this link to your employer. They will complete an evaluation on your performance.
  • Students who fail to complete the evaluations by the deadline will receive a failing grade in ENGR 289.

 

Do you have more detailed questions regarding CPT or OPT?

Contact the Office of International Services (OIS) at UIC: 312-996-3121 or visit the OIS website for more information.