Graduate Programs Internship, Co-op and Work Authorization Process
The College of Business Graduate Programs Office provides two options for students to gain real world, off-campus work experience. Our experiential learning offerings currently include internship and cooperative education courses.
Policy and Process
An internship or co-op will allow you to apply the skills and knowledge you have acquired in the classroom while gaining real-world experience. Internships and co-ops are optional in most graduate programs. However, students enrolled in a full-time course of study are strongly encouraged to pursue an experiential learning opportunity.
- An internship is a for-credit course which can be used to fulfill degree requirements and is charged at the regular tuition rate.
- A co-op is a non-credit course which will appear on your transcript and can be used to fulfill the experiential learning requirement of the Experiential Accelerated MBA. The co-op has a nominal flat fee for enrollment.
- An internship should be pursued after the completion of most Foundation level courses.
- Internship hours must equal a minimum of 50 hours worked per credit for a maximum of three credits.
- Students with full admission status are eligible for internship credit.
- Those with non-degree or certificate program admission status are ineligible.
You must obtain approval from a CoB Graduate Advisor before starting the search for an Internship by submitting an Experiential Learning Initial Approval Form. The approved form will be scanned and emailed to you and copied to the CoB Internship Coordinator who will assist you in your search for an internship.
Finding Internship or Co-op Opportunities
- You may find resources online, through the UA Career Center, via email from the CoB Graduate Programs Office or the CoB Internship Coordinator.
- Take advantage of all opportunities available to expand your possibilities.
- Many corporations have official internship programs that require early application, so being aware of CoB, UA Immigration and employer requirements is essential if you are to successfully find placement.
After receiving an internship offer you must provide your CoB advisor with an official offer letter, on company letterhead, outlining the dates of employment (which must be within the dates of the semester), the salary, the number of hours to be worked, a brief description of the position and the name and phone number of the supervisor, as well as Curricular Practical Training paperwork from UA International Center Immigration if you are an international student.
The advisor will:
- complete the internship paperwork in one or two days
- provide it to you for processing at UA Immigration
- add you to the internship or co-op course
Internship or Co-op Course
At the time of approval an advisor will add you to 6700:695 Internship in Business or 6000:600 Graduate Business Co-op Education which are taught by the Director of Graduate Programs. The Internship credits will fulfill the MBA Elective. MSM students will use the internship for elective credit. Students are expected to write a paper relating their internship experience to the program of study. For MSA and MTax students the internship course will be additional credits above program requirements.
The Co-op course does not fulfill any degree requirements. Students will be added to the class by the CoB advisor.
Students are expected to contact the internship or co-op instructor after being added to the course by an advisor. The course requires completion of a paper relating the internship/co-op to your graduate courses and career goals as well as several projects to be completed with the employer and an exit survey. A grade of CR (credit/passing) or NC (non-credit/failing) will be provided.
Resigning or Leaving an Internship
Students enrolled in an internship course for credit MUST communicate with an advisor and the course instructor if for some reason they want to drop out of the internship program. Failure to do so will result in a grade of Non-Credit for the course, which is equivalent to a failing grade.
If you experience difficulty with an employer or the job does not match the description you were given upon being hired, we need to be aware of this because it could affect whether that employer is permitted to recruit UA interns in the future.
UA ARMY Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC)
New students accepted into the UA Accelerated Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program would be eligible to compete for international summer internships which may be used to fulfill program requirements in the MBA, MSM and MAE degree programs. Recent internships have been in Poland, Bulgaria, Latvia and Hungary.
To learn more about Army ROTC at The University of Akron, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to talk with a scholarship advisor.
For International Students
The CoB prefers that every international student participate in an internship as part of his or her program of study.
- Two semesters of full-time enrollment (nine credits per semester) are required prior to participation in an internship or co-operative education course. A student enrolled in the second semester of full-time study, may begin looking for an internship opportunity for the following semester.
- Students who participate in internships of less than 30 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters must enroll in a full-time (9 or more credits) schedule of classes and an internship course.
- Students may work 30-40 hours per week in fall and spring semesters and can take a one credit internship, as approved by the UA Graduate School, to meet full-time enrollment requirements.
- During summer there is no enrollment requirement for most international students so students may work up to 40 hours per week in the summer. It is recommended that students participate in the Co-operative education course for summer. The Co-op has a nominal fee, the internship is charged full tuition for the number of credits taken. So, the Co-op is a good value, but it does not fulfill any degree requirements.
- The Co-op is not usually an option for international students in fall or spring semesters.
- Internships may be completed in the last semester of enrollment if the student has program requirements remaining.
- Additional information on internships (also known as Curricular Practical Training) is available from the UA International Center or email@example.com.
- Students are limited to a total of 12 months of full-time CPT. Students approaching one year of CPT should check with the International Center Immigration staff to determine if eligibility for additional semesters.
- If all required courses are completed, the student is ineligible for an internship and must apply for Optional Practical Training through the UA international Center Immigration at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Immigration Workshops and Authorization
Prior to contacting the CoB Graduate Programs for authorization or contacting a potential employer, international students are expected to participate in the UA International Center Immigration workshop related to Curricular Practical Training (internships and co-ops) and are expected to be aware of regulations and required paperwork. It is your responsibility to know these requirements.
After authorization, students may work with the CoB Internship Coordinator to search for opportunities.
Students should also review the following, particularly if they start in spring or summer semesters:
- CPT/OPT seminar materials on this page under "Employment Information for International Students."
- OPT module in their Brightspace account
- International Center e-newsletter updates, and/or
- Forms & Documents page of our website - select "Employment Authorization."
Optional Practical Training (OPT) Is Post-Graduation Job Training
Upon completion of degree requirements, most international students are permitted one year of employment by the USCIS.
- During the last semester of enrollment, students visit UA Immigration to determine the eligibility process for OPT and to pick up the required paperwork.
- An advisor in the CoB Graduate Programs Office can fill out the advisor paperwork indicating the degree completion date and the date of graduation. This form must be presented to the UA Immigration specialists for processing.
- Internships may not be pursued during the period of Optional Practical Training because a student has completed all degree requirements.
- International students should discuss employment options with the UA International Center immigration specialist to gain a better understanding of the opportunities which they are permitted to pursue.
- Contact email@example.com for an appointment or assistance.
Student Employment for STEM Programs
Students in the MSM ISM and MSM Supply Chain programs are generally eligible for an additional 24 months of OPT because they are US government-recognized STEM programs.
Fulbright, USAID and LASPAU Students
Fulbright, LASPAU, AMIDEAST and USAID students should consult with the agency which granted their visa to determine eligibility and restrictions.