Internships & CPT

I want to do an internship while I am studying at LMU…What should I know about interning in the U.S. and abroad?

International students are encouraged to consider whether they would like to do an internship in the U.S., their home country, or another international location. The connections and experience obtained during an internship can be highly valuable in finding long-term employment following graduation. It may therefore be beneficial to consider an internship in the country you will most likely live following graduation.

Opportunities within the US (Curricular Practical Training - CPT)

International students are strongly encouraged to find internship experiences while enrolled at LMU. These experiences are extremely valuable to the enhancement of a students’ career and professional development, whether internationally or domestically as they expose students to the real world environment of the career paths they pursue academically. To be eligible for an internship, international students need to have been enrolled as a full-time student at LMU for 9 months (first-year international students and exchange students are not eligible for internships). International students who find U.S.– based internship opportunities off-campus MUST apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and academic internship credit. Students need to coordinate with both the Career and Professional Development office and with the Office of International Student & Scholars (OISS). Internships may be paid or unpaid.

It is required that students consult with OISS when applying for internships authorization. OISS provides excellent information on both CPT eligibility and the application process. For information regarding eligibility and authorization, contact the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) at 310.338.2937 or oiss@lmu.edu. OISS is located in Malone Student Center, Suite 201. The office is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m, and until 7 p.m. on Wednesdays.

OISS will require the following prior to authorizing Curricular Practical Training (CPT):

  1. Proof of enrollment in an internship course
  2. Letter from the employer on letterhead with a site supervisor signature, which addresses:
    • student’s name
    • start and end dates of internship
    • full-time or part-time
    • how work is directly related to student's major course of study
    • employer name and address

OISS requires all of the information listed in order to authorize the CPT through SEVIS. CPT must be done on a term by term basis. The dates of employment must coincide with the semester registered for the internship credit. The work authorized under CPT must directly relate to the student’s field of study. Students can only work a total of up to 20 hours/week for all work (on and off campus) during the academic year (when classes are in session).  This means if they are working an on-campus job at 12 hours/week and an internship job at 8 hours/week, they are fine.  But if the total number of hours worked goes over 20 hours/week, they are ineligible and would be considered illegal.

International students are encouraged to consider whether they would like to do an internship in the U.S., their home country, or another international location. The connections and experience obtained during an internship can be highly valuable in finding long-term employment following graduation. It may therefore be beneficial to consider an internship in the country you will most likely live following graduation.

Visit our Internship Tips page for additional assistance

Opportunities outside the US

International students who find internship opportunities outside of the United States (interim or summer) would not need to follow CPT requirements (i.e. would not need to register for academic internship credit). Keep in mind you may need work authorization in the country in which you would be working. Internships during the interim and academic terms are eligible for academic internship credit without incurring additional tuition fees, all the while gaining valuable work experience.

Questions?

To explore your options or discuss CPT prospects, drop-in with one of our international peer advisors during office hours or schedule a coaching appointment with international students career coach Kyle Greenberg via Handshake.

For information regarding CPT eligibility and authorization, contact the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) at 310.338.2937 or oiss@lmu.edu. OISS is located in Malone Student Center, Suite 201. The office is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m, and until 7 p.m. on Wednesdays.