Internships & CPT for Graduate Students | NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Internships & CPT for Graduate Students

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) opportunities for Civil & Urban Engineering graduate students.

Highway Sign with the word Internship

Credit-bearing internships are available to both domestic and international students.  The Civil and Urban Engineering (CUE) Department allows students to earn 0.5 credit each semester, up to a maximum of 1.5 credits, while working in an immersive structured internship.  Students should register for one of the Principles of Professional Practice courses.  These courses provide graduate students with a foundation for success in the professional disciplines offered by the department. Three courses are available, with each course focused on either professional ethics, management, or leadership, as follows:

  • CE-GY 9105 Principles of Professional Practice I: Ethics (0.5 credit)
  • CE-GY 9205 Principles of Professional Practice II: Management (0.5 credit)
  • CE-GY 9305 Principles of Professional Practice III: Leadership (0.5 credit)

Each course combines (1) required reading, (2) an online educational module, and (3) an immersive internship in a relevant practice area.

CPT Information for International Students

If you are an international student, you are required to register for CPT if you accept off-campus employment as part of the curriculum of your degree program. CPT employment MUST be directly related to your major area of study. The following procedure for CPT is to be followed only by international students maintaining F-1 status:

  1. Submit an offer letter to the CUE graduate advisor.  The letter must include (1) detailed job description, (2) pay rate, (3) hours per week, and (4) start and end date (preferably coinciding with first and last day of classes for the semester)
  2. The department will process your application and if approved you will be provided with a permission number.
  3. Use the permission number to register for the course.
  4. Submit an online request for CPT to NYU Office of Global Services (OGS) and attach a copy of your I-94. You may not work until you receive the work permit from the OGS.

Information for Employers

The internship should provide an opportunity for intellectual growth and a career-building experience. Internships are managed by industrial employers and must be approved in advance by the Internship Course Advisor. Internships taking place over the summer may be done on a full-time or part-time basis but must be a minimum of at least 8 weeks. Fall or spring term internships are typically part-time and are expected to take place over a period of at least 12 weeks.

At the completion of each internship, a student must complete a Verification of Internship Experience Report, and have it signed by his or her supervisor. The internship supervisor shall return the report directly to the Internship Course Advisor.  A significant portion (30%) of the student's grade is based on the employer's evaluation.

The offer letter must include:

  • Rate of pay
  • Hours per week 
  • Start and end date ( preferably coinciding with first and last day of classes for the semester)
  • Detailed job description

Learn more about the employer criteria for participation in the CPT program.

Required Report

Students are expected to submit monthly reports to the Internship Course Advisor.  At the conclusion of each internship, a student shall submit a final report. Monthly and Final report address the following eight topics:

  • Main objectives of the internship;
  • Those elements of the student’s academic program to which the internship is related, and how they are related;
  • The tasks that were required of the student and the principles or skills learned during the internship, both theoretical and practical;
  • Obstacles or challenges encountered, and how they were overcome;
  • Technology and platforms used;
  • How the internship improved the student’s understanding of professional ethics;
  • How the student’s management skills were enhanced as a result of the internship experience; and
  • How the student’s leadership skills were enhanced as a result of the internship experience?

Monthly reports are 1-2 pages. Final reports are typically 5-10 pages long. The reports represent 30% of the student's grade.

Online Module

Online modules consist of videos, reading material, and assessment exercises supporting the internship learning objectives in professional ethics, management, or leadership. Comprehension of the assigned reading material is assessed using online quizzes and tests.

Required Readings

Principles of Professional Practice I: Ethics:

  • ASCE, NSPE and other relevant Codes of Ethics

  • King, W.J., and J.G. Skakoon. (2010) The Unwritten Laws of Engineering, Revised Edition. ASME, ISBN-13: 978-0791801628, 69 pp.

Principles of Professional Practice II: Management:

  • Walesh, Stuart G. (2003) Managing and Leading: 52 lessons learned for engineers. ASCE Publications, 272 pp.

Principles of Professional Practice III: Leadership:

  • Culp, G., & Smith, A. (2005). The lead dog has the best view: Leading your project team to success. ASCE Publications, ISBN: 9780784407578, 164 pp.

  • Margulis, A. R. (2002). Be in charge: a leadership manual: how to stay on top. Elsevier, Academic Press, ISBN: 9780124713512, 118 pp.

Note: Books published by ASCE Press may be downloaded by registered students freely from NYU library


The following information applies to all domestic and international graduate students

Who is required to register for an internship?


  • Domestic students who want to take an internship and want academic credit are required to register for an internship course. If you do not need credit, you do not have to register.
  • International students who want to take an internship must obtain Curricular Practical Training (CPT) authorization from OGS which includes registering for an internship course.
What are the eligibility requirements for students to obtain an internship?
  • Must have completed 18 credits of graduate study.
  • Minimum have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
How many internships can I take for credit?
  • You can do a maximum of 3 internships, with each consisting of 0.5 credits during the entire duration of your program.
Are there any additional requirements?
  • Internships must comply with Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • Students must be hired as employees of the participating organization and be paid directly using a W-2 IRS form. Employers cannot pay students as independent contractors using IRS form 1099.
  • Employers must be willing to complete the verification of internship experience form and assign you a grade.  
How will I receive a grade for the internship?

The final grade will be evaluated by the CUE Internship Course Advisor based on (1) your paper, (2) the employer (direct supervisor) evaluation, and (3) your performance on the online modules. 

Can I apply for CPT if my internship is unpaid?

Yes. However, bear in mind that you will still be required to pay for your credits.

As a domestic student, how can I apply for CPT?
  • Obtain an offer letter
  • Seek permission of CUE Graduate Advisor, who will provide you with a permission number
  • Use permission number to register for the one of the Principles of Professional Practice courses
  • You do not need permission from OGS
Do I need to register for CPT if I am doing an internship On-Campus?

No. However, if the on-campus internship is part of a course that you wish to take credits for one of the Principles of Professional Practice courses

I got my offer letter late after the add/drop period. Is it too late to apply for CPT?

Maybe not. Contact the department advisor for more details.

I am having difficulties with my internship employer. What should I do?

Contact the department graduate advisor for more details.