Internships and Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Even though grad school is a full-time pursuit, Purdue still provides numerous opportunities for you to integrate industry experiences into your work, both for domestic students and international students.

To learn more about internship opportunities, visit Purdue's Office of Professional Practice.

Request Leave

If you’re Purdue-funded and you're going on an internship experience, you must enter an unpaid leave request in Success Factors at least one month prior to your internship start date to ensure that the leave request is fully approved to prevent any overpayments. The type of leave you want to select is ‘Unpd > 22 Days Personal’ and in the comment sections indicate the internship.  There is an option to attach a document so you can attach your internship offer letter, but it is not required. Success Factors can be accessed by going to and selecting the Employee Launchpad tile.  Once logged in, click on ‘Time Off’ to begin your leave request.   Please see Requesting Time Off in Success Factors for more detailed instructions.

Remember: if you’re Purdue-funded for any portion of a semester (even just a few days), the Grad School requires you to be registered, and ME requires you to be registered for full-time credit hours in that spring/fall/summer semester. So, try to make sure your internship period covers the full semester, to avoid the need to register for full-time credits.  If your internship does not cover the full semester, you need to submit an unpaid leave request for the full semester (and don’t work at Purdue during unpaid leave).  Or, if you’ve earned vacation time, submit a vacation leave request for the days you can cover with vacation, and an unpaid leave request for the remainder of the semester timeframe.

International Students: Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Domestic students do not need to do any of the following procedures, unless you want the internship experience to show up on your transcript. If that’s the case, please contact Sheri Tague, to discuss the procedure and fees involved.

International students: if you want a work experience in the United States, whether paid or unpaid, this requires authorization through the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) program.  CPT eligibility begins one year from a student’s physical arrival on campus.

To start the process, you should have completed two full academic semesters (spring/fall) before applying for an internship. You must be in good academic standing (not on any academic probation or academic warning list). 

You must first have received an offer for an internship experience. The offer letter must include:

  • Official beginning and end dates
  • Start date must align with course registration dates for that semester
  • Internship must end before the following semester begins

For Professional Master's students: Up to a maximum of two semesters of an internship experience may be approved for PMP students.

Please email the offer letter which should specify start and end dates, along with a statement as to how this experience relates to your degree program, along with this completed application form (electronic signature is acceptable) to Sheri Tague (or if you're a Professional Master's student, Xiaomin Qian), as advisor approval is necessary to start the process. On the application form, the ‘Expected semester start at Purdue’ should be completed with the semester/year you started your degree program, not when you'll start the internship. Please leave the Academic Advisor Signature line blank on the application form.

Once ME approves, you will be copied on the email submission to Tina Alsup, Student Information Specialist at the Office of Professional Practice.

Once the internship experience is approved by the Office of Professional Practice, they will direct you to register for the internship experience in the scheduling assistant with a special course number, and work with you to apply for CPT.  CPT must be applied for each semester that you will work. Do not go directly to the ISS website and apply for CPT on your own.

Once you’re approved for an internship experience, it cannot be canceled to allow you to apply for an internship experience with a different company. If you accept an offer from a company and later reject the opportunity, you will not be approved by ME for another internship experience in the future.

Please note that there are fees for Internship/Industrial Practice registration.

Please submit your request early, and allow at least 2-3 weeks for processing.

For questions about CPT, please contact Tina Alsup, Student Information Specialist, Office of Professional Practice.