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.
- International students who accumulate 12-months (365 days) of full-time Co-op (CPT) will forfeit the Optional Practical Training (OPT) benefit.
- Work full-time for at least one academic term.
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 (International students must submit a plan of study that includes the Co-op course GRAD 5944 or GRAD 7944 or the required course for the practicum)
- A copy of all previous I-20 forms, if you are an international student.
- If you work beyond a 50 mile radius of Blacksburg, your department may request a waiver of your comprehensive fees by contacting the Bursar's office.
- The Graduate School will add the Co-op course (GRAD 5944 or GRAD 7944) to your transcript, which will designate you as a full-time student while on your Co-op assignment.
- One-credit Co-op course enrollment and associated tuition payment required
- International students will be issued a new I-20 with Curricular Practical 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 call 540-231-8486 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Talk with an immigration advisor:
Phone: +1 (540) 231-8486
Fax: +1 (540) 231-3714
International Graduate Student Services
Graduate Life Center
155 Otey St. NW
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Walk-in Advising Hours
Monday Wednesday & Friday
1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Tuesday & Thursday
9 a.m. - 12 p.m.