Internship Course for Credit (Doctoral Students)


Doctoral Students are eligible to enroll in ENGR 596 if you would like to receive technical elective credit for working in an internship. The course is graded Credit/No Credit. To get a passing grade, you will need to complete bi-weekly status reports, submit a 6-page technical report graded by a faculty member within your academic department, and complete the SkillSurvey self-assessment.  View sample Syllabus.

    Student Eligibility Requirements

    To be eligible to enroll in  ENGR 596 please review below:

    International Students

    • Time at USC
      • Maintained full-time F-1 student status for at least one academic year (fall and spring).
      • If you attended undergraduate or Master's programs at a U.S. institution, you may be eligible for CPT earlier.
      • Please OIS or their website for more information.
    • GPA
      • Fall/Spring CPT: 3.0 +
      • Summer CPT: 2.75+
    • PhD students who have applied or are planning to apply for a program extension will not be approved unless the CPT directly supports research or writing the dissertation. In this case, you MUST upload an explanation from your advisor along with your offer letter.
    • Part-time/Full-time Eligibility
      • During Fall and Spring semesters, PhD students must have passed the qualifying examination and be enrolled in dissertation units to be eligible for full-time CPT.
      • During Fall and Spring semesters, PhD students who have not passed their qualifying examination are only eligible for part time CPT (20 hours or less).
      • During Fall and Spring semesters, PhD students on CPT (whether part time or full time) cannot receive more than 25% RA/TA funding.
      • During the summer semesters, all PhD students can participate in 50% RA/TA and full time or part time CPT.

    Domestic Students

    • Time at USC - no requirement
    • GPA
      • Fall/Spring CPT: 3.0 +
      • Summer CPT: 2.75+
      • If a student has a GPA of 0.00, VGAS will process if the student is meeting satisfactory academic progress.  Meet with a VGAS advisor if you have questions.

    Application Process


    Step #1 Obtain Offer Letter (Sample Offer Letter)
    Obtain an offer letter that includes all of the following (If you are unable to obtain all of the information in one document, please combine all documents or communication from your employer in one pdf document):

    • The offer letter must feature the company’s letterhead
    • Student’s full legal name (a nickname or alias will not be accepted
    • Physical location of where the student will be working
    • Job Description of what you are doing in this job and it must align with your major
    • How many hours you will work per weekly, it must state exactly a number, or a range such as 20 hours or 30-40 hours (it can not simply state part-time or full-time)
    • Start and End dates that align with course registration dates
    • Salary Information can be either hourly or monthly salary

    Step #2 Identify Faculty:
    The student is responsible for seeking out a faculty within their academic department that agrees to grade their report. Please make sure you know which faculty has agreed to grade your report prior to submitting your application.  If the faculty member you choose denies your request in the system you will need to start all over and submit a new application.

      Step #3 Submit ICR Application in
      Students must complete their ICR application within the university deadline in myviterbi.  Full instructions on how to submit your application on

      Step #4 Register for Course
      Once you obtain d-clearance, register for ENGR 596 immediately. You will not be able to download the pdf for Trojan International without first enrolling in the course you are approved for.  Please login into and review notes left by staff to see which Section # to register for.

      Additional Step for International Students:

      Step #5 Complete the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Form: International students must submit a CPT I-20 Request Form to the Office of International Services' (OIS) Trojan International System. Students must be enrolled in the internship course before submitting the request to OIS.

        Dates & Deadlines

        Fall 2023

        Spring 2024

        Summer 2024

        Application Start Date

        July 18, 2023

        November 27, 2023

        April 10, 2024

        Application Deadline

        Oct 16

        March 5th

        June 25, 2024

        Internship duration: (If it is your final semester)

        Aug 21 – Dec 13

        Jan 8 – May 10

        May 13-Aug 6, 2024

        Internship duration: (If it is NOT your final semester)

        Aug 21 – Jan 5

        Jan 8 – May 10

        May 13-Aug 23

        Deadline to submit final report

        Check with
        Faculty Supervisor

        Check with
        Faculty Supervisor

        Check with
        Faculty Supervisor

        CPT & International Student Information

        • International students must register for an internship course during the semester if they wish to do an internship and obtain CPT.
        • Follow the internship course syllabus and contact the Viterbi Career Connections (VCC) for your questions regarding the internship course.
        • If you cannot continue the internship, please contact the Viterbi Career Connection Office as soon as possible.
        • Remove your application from any pending recruiting processes after you accept one offer.

        NOTE: As part of your agreement for CPT, you agree not to accept additional job offers after submitting a CPT application for the semester. Internship offers from new employers will not be approved. If you have received an additional internship offer after submitting for CPT, the VCC staff will do their best to assist you with negotiating and retaining both internships. We also encourage you to visit the Job & Internship Tool Kit for Evaluating & Negotiating Offers or schedule an appointment with a career advisor on Gateway for tips on negotiating a start date for next semester with the second employer. Successful completion of the course is required to be considered for future CPT authorizations. If a student receives a No Credit (NC), they will be ineligible for future CPT.

        Hours & Location

        If it's your final semester, you can work full-time if your course enrollment is no more than 4 credits (not including CPT credit). 10-20 hours per week is considered part-time and 21-40 per week is considered full-time.

        • Full-time CPT (1 class and 1 internship class)
        • Part-time CPT

        If it's NOT your final semester, you can only work part-time with full-time course enrollment

        • Full-time CPT
        • Part-time CPT (full-time class enrollment)

        **Students cannot take academic difficulty RCL with CPT simultaneously.

        All International Students must adhere to In-Person Learning Requirements

        Please review the In-Person Learning Requirements for Viterbi Students Participating in CPT. Viterbi will only approve fall or spring CPT applications for out-of-area internship opportunities after students agree to the following conditions identified in the memo.  If your internship opportunity allows you to agree to the conditions identified in the memo, then you should have no problem getting course approval.

        Still Have Questions?

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        Published on May 25th, 2022

        Last updated on May 20th, 2024