CO-OP AND CPT PROGRAMS

The Howe School offers two programs that provide students with an opportunity to augment their academic training with a real-world, working experience – the Graduate Cooperative Education program (Co-op) which is open to both domestic and international students, and Curricular Practical Training (CPT) which is open to F-1 international students. Both options require the student to have completed two semesters of full-time study before applying. Details on these programs are provided below.

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 the MS in BI&A, MSM, MSIS and MSTM programs are eligible for participation in the Graduate Co-op program, although it is important to note that 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.

Required Qualifications:

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, e.g., from Pharmaceutical Management
  • 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 subsequently inform you if you have been accepted.

Participation and Course Requirements:

If selected to participate in the program, you must:

  • Attend all work place preparation meetings conducted by the Office of Cooperative Education: Topics discussed include Introducing Meeting, Resume Writing, Interviewing Techniques, Making the most of your Co-op Assignment, and Ethics in the Work Place.
  • Be available to interview for positions identified by the Co-op Office. Note: Only positions identified by the Co-op office are eligible for an internship.

Upon acceptance of a position, the Office of Cooperative Education will enroll you in D701 and you will be charged an administrative fee of $385.00 (currently) for the semester.

Note: All Cooperative Education positions involve full-time work for the duration of one semester or two consecutive semesters. Work Terms available: spring, spring/summer, summer/fall & fall. During that time, you will be expected to participate in a mid-term visit at your work site with your manager, faculty advisor and co-op staff member.

In order to receive a pass/fail grade on your transcript for zero credit, you and your manager must complete and sign: the Learning Agreement, Snap-Shot and End of Term Assessment forms.

A student may take no more than two graduate classes while on co-op assignment. A student may choose to participate in a second co-op work term after completing an additional semester of full-time study, however student participation in co-op cannot be the reason for a program extension. Co-op graduate students may not be eligible for graduate assistantships, on campus employment or receive support from the college or the university while on a co-op work team.

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. The project is conducted under the supervision of a faculty advisor 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. The advantage of CPT is that there are no GPA/background requirements; the disadvantage is that the student must locate his/her own job.

Project Requirements

Students who elect the CPT option are required to enroll in a 1-credit course – BIA 702, MGT 702, MIS 702 or TM 702 (depending on your program) entitled Curricular Practical Training. Enrollment in this course permits a student to have an off-campus job provided that the job activity supports the student’s educational program. During the semester, the student must submit written progress reports on the work assignment, and at the end of the semester, a detailed written report plus oral presentation describing the project, and knowledge gained during the internship. The report forms the basis for the academic credit associated with the curricular practical training. The course may be repeated up to a total of three credits.

With approval of the Program Director and faculty supervisor, students may also take this course for three credits over one semester. In this case, the report written by the student must represent a substantive intellectual contribution in the student’s field of study (to accommodate this requirement the report will normally be expected to be more than 30 pages in length.) Writing such a report will be a positive learning outcome for students who choose the 3-credit option.

The purpose of the course is 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 advisor and industry mentor, and register for the CPT course. Once enrolled, you then present the signed internship offer to International Student and Scholar Services 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.

Note: You cannot start work until you receive the new I-20 and the work start date indicated on the I-20 has arrived.

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, and other students who took CPT in the same term, and associated project advisors.

Project Deliverables:

  1. Written proposal for the topic of the project within 2 weeks of starting the CPT assignment. The proposal will be reviewed by the industry mentor and the academic project advisor. Sign-off by both is required.
  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 project advisor. Sign-off by both is required.
  3. Weeks 4 and 8: A one-page progress report submitted to the academic advisor.
  4. Week 13: Final written project paper due.
  5. Week 14: Oral presentation to the faculty (see above)
  6. Grade assigned by the Program Director in consultation with the academic advisor 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.