Here we discuss the process of applying for and conducting Curricular Practical Training, also know as Experience Credit, and as an Internship.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is the primary way for International Students with F1 Visas to obtain industrial experience while
working on a degree at Syracuse University. A CPT experience is considered part of your Program of Study and requires you to register
for at least one credit. The information below will help you with that process.
Policy and Regulations:
The INS requires that Curricular Practical Training (CPT) be registered as part of your program of study. The EECS department allows a maximum of 2 credits
of CPT, which can not be counted toward the 30 Credits required for your program of study. The credits will appear on your transcript and on the
Program of Study form but you must have 30 course credits or, in some cases, 27 course credits plus 3 credits for an independent study (must have approval
of the Program Director).
It is fairly common that a company may ask a CPT intern to extend for a second semester. For that reason it is common for students to register a first CPT for
1 credit, and then, if a second semester offer is made, to register for an additional 1 credit for the second internship.
Applying for CPT:
Make a list of companies:
You need a list of possibilities. Take notes at Career Fairs, look on Orange Link. Look at the
Graduates Page on this website. There are almost
one hundred student bio paragraphs there and almost all of them mention the companies they work for. Go to those company websites and see if
they have job openings. Search papers like NY Times, Washington Post, San Franciso Chronicle, San Jose Sun-Mercury, etc.
Get an Offer:
The Syracuse University Career Fair is an excellent source of potential offers of internships.
Company websites are also a good place to search for opportunities. You will need a good resume and be prepared to quickly summarize your interests and
Apply for Curricular Practical Training:
Go to the Slutzker Center to learn about the requirements for CPT.
Then look at the CPT Regulations
and fill out the Proposal for Independent Study
which is the mechanism for you to register for CPT. Here is an example for you to follow for this Proposal.
Work hard, learn a lot, have fun:
You will probably be assigned a mentor and there will be other interns working too, so you won't have problems getting started. You will be
expected to step up to challenges, learn new things, and work effectively.
Write Final Report for your Faculty Advisor:
The report is composed of three parts:
First is your narrative description of your assignments. Don't include technical details or proprietary information. Just discuss
the things you did, technologies you used, and the things you learned. This section is normally about a dozen pages.
Second is a description of your interactions with people at the company, e.g., your manger, mentor, marketing, test, customers, other employees
and other interns. This is normally about a half dozen pages.
Finally, a brief discussion of the academic merit of your assignments. This normally takes the form of a discussion that maps your assignments
to the courses youv'e taken in your program of study.
Email your Faculty Supervisor for an exit interview appointment. Bring a hard copy of your final report with you to that meeting. There your advisor
will read through your report, asking questions about what you experienced. At the end of the session your Faculty Supervisor will have decided on a
grade for this experience. Feel free to ask about the grade at that time.
Discuss with your faculty advisor any additional requirements or procedures the advisor expects.