Co-op and CPT Programs

Stevens offers two programs for students seeking to augment their academic training with experience in the workplace — the Graduate Cooperative Education program (co-op) and, for international students, Curricular Practical Training (CPT). CPT is open only to F-1 international students. Any student who has completed two semesters of full-time study may apply to the co-op program; F-1 international students may take part in CPT.

Graduate Cooperative Education Program (Co-op)

A co-op position involves a full-time, one-semester, paid position (internship) at a sponsoring company. Despite working full time, the student’s status as a full-time student is preserved.

Graduate students in various master's programs at the School of Business — including the Business Intelligence & Analytics, Management, Information Systems and Technology Management programs are eligible for participation in the graduate co-op program, though the number of openings is limited, typically to five per program per semester. Students are nominated by the sponsoring department or program, with final approval coming from the co-op office.

Requirements

To qualify, you must be a full-time student and meet the following requirements:

  • Completed two full-time semesters of study prior to the co-op work term.
  • Completed two courses from the concentration core set.
  • Possess a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher in courses taken towards your MS degree at Stevens.
  • Passed the English Competency Examination (if required).

The first step in applying to the co-op program is to submit a short statement of purpose to your program director describing your reason for seeking a co-op assignment, together with a statement describing how the co-op assignment will help you in your career development. Be sure to include a summary of your academic credentials. The program directors select the nominees from their respective programs, based on admission criteria, and submit letters of recommendation to the co-op office, which will notify you if you have been accepted.

Participation and course requirements

If selected to participate in the program, you must:

  • Attend all workplace preparation meetings conducted by the Office of Cooperative Education. Topics discussed include résumé writing, interviewing techniques, making the most of the co-op and ethics in the workplace.
  • Be available to interview for positions identified by the Office of Cooperative Education. Only positions identified by the office are eligible for a co-op.

More information on co-ops is available at the Office of Cooperative Education.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT involves an educationally relevant, practical assignment aimed at augmenting the academic content of the student’s program. Students engage in a company project related to the focus of their academic program under the supervision of a faculty adviser and an industry mentor. The CPT is intended to provide students with practical experience which complements their academic knowledge through active learning under real-world conditions. 

Project requirements

Students who elect the CPT option are required to enroll in a 1-credit course, Curricular Practical Training, to help students:

  • Develop understanding of how to use classroom knowledge and skills in a business setting.
  • Improve management skills.
  • Improve oral and written communication skills.
  • Develop competency in the area of their discipline in a professional context.

To apply for a CPT, students first need a signed internship offer from their prospective employer. The next step is to contact your program director to confirm that you have obtained the commitment of a faculty adviser and industry mentor, and register for the CPT course. Once enrolled, you then present the signed internship offer to International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) along with the completed CPT Request Form. Once these documents are submitted and the CPT approved, ISS will create a new I-20 with CPT work authorization within 4-5 business days.

At the end of the semester, you will be required to write a project report summarizing the work conducted over the semester and present it to a group consisting of your program director, assigned faculty supervisor, other students who took CPT in the same term, and associated project advisers.

Project deliverables

  1. Written proposal for the topic of the project within two weeks of starting the CPT assignment. The proposal will be reviewed by the industry mentor and the academic adviser.
  2. Written project plan for the project work, including work items and due dates. The project plan will be reviewed by the industry mentor and the academic adviser.
  3. Weeks 4 and 8: A one-page progress report submitted to the academic adviser.
  4. Week 13: Final written project paper due.
  5. Week 14: Oral presentation to the faculty.
  6. Grade assigned by the program director in consultation with the academic advier on a per-term basis.

For more information about the CPT program and the formal application process, visit International Student and Scholar Services. Information on Internship opportunities is available through Career Services.
Note: If you completed a co-op assignment at a given company, you are not allowed to do a follow-up CPT at the same company.