Graduate Cooperative Education Program
Cooperative education is a unique opportunity for graduate students to gain valuable on-the-job experience to enhance their academic training while pursuing a degree program. Professional employment allows Co-op students not only to apply the knowledge they have acquired in class but also to gain a new perspective on their major fields of study. Therefore, a Co-op experience is intended to be an integral part of a graduate student's academic program.
Eligibility Criteria for Graduate Cooperative Education
- Have completed at least one semester of academic work at Virginia Tech
- International students may qualify after two academic semesters in F-1 status
- Have an approved plan of study.
- Be in good academic standing, with a GPA of at least 3.0 (B average).
- Have a full-time employment offer, related to your field of study, for one full academic term (fall, spring, or summer).
- NO part-time CPT will be approved.
- Have the approval of your academic advisor, including the completion of and signature on an Academic Advisor's Recommendation form.
- Carry health insurance that meets university requirements.
- F1 students must maintain insurance during CPT.
- Work full-time for at least one academic term.
- International students who accumulate 12-months (365 days) of Co-op (CPT) will forfeit the Optional Practical Training (OPT) benefit.
Procedures for Participation in a Graduate Co-op Program
- Contact prospective employers and discuss the suitability of a job offer with your academic advisor
- Complete the Co-op Application and attach the following documents to the form:
- Academic Advisor's Recommendation form;
- employment offer letter stating the terms (including dates) of employment, job duties, and supervisor's name;
- a copy of your approved plan of study; and
- copies of all previous I-20 forms, if you are an international student.
- Enroll for three credit hours of independent study (5974), project and report (5904), or research hours (5994, 7994) in your department. These hours must be listed on your plan of study before your Co-op can be approved.
- If you work beyond a 50 mile radius of Blacksburg, you may request a waiver of your comprehensive fees. Complete the Request for Waiver of Comprehensive Fees form, obtain authorization from the Graduate School Co-op office and submit the form to Student Accounts.
- The Graduate School will add Co-op to your transcript, which will designate you as a full-time student while on your Co-op assignment.
- International students will be issued a new I-20 with Curricular Practial Training (CPT) approval.
Fall or Spring Semester
Monday, one week before classes begin
Applications will be accepted until June 30. Since summer applications require approximately two weeks processing time, early submission is highly encouraged.
Note: Cooperative Education is not to be considered a form of financial aid and will not provide adequate funding to support educational costs.
For further information, please contact , Immigration Advisor and Graduate Co-op Coordinator (540/231-8486).