Internships (ENG 310, CPT)

Internships are a great way for students to apply what they are learning in class to a professional environment.

  • International undergraduate students who are graduating and doing an internship after their graduation will apply for OPT via iStart, and do not register for ENG 310.
  • International students (F-1 Visa) doing an internship prior to their graduation must register for ENG 310 and apply for CPT.
  • Non-International students may register for ENG 310.

Students on F-1 visa are required to apply for CPT (Curricular Practical Training) and must register for ENG 310 to be eligible for an internship in the US.    

Advantages for non-international students to register for ENG 310 as part of their internship experience:

  • Full time status: For full-time internships, registering in ENG 310 FT allows students to remain full-time students at the University of Illinois. This may be helpful in a variety of situations. Interrupting studies might trigger the obligation to start repaying loans, student outside health insurance, etc.
  • Internship compliance:  Registration in ENG 310 has received pre-approval from departments, attesting that the internship aligns with students' degree and satisfies the standard of a college of engineering internship. It will show on the academic transcript and may provide an opportunity to talk about the official internship experience.

ENG 310 (FT) is not as costly as any other 0-hour class. The tuition is $200 and the Campus General fee (less than $300).  The special tuition does not apply if registered for any other class.

Students who interrupt their studies for one semester only (not registered in ENG 310 FT):

  • Must fill out a Letter of Intent to Re-Enter, to resume studies the next semester (a small formality).
  • Do NOT lose their pre-registration time ticket.

Students who interrupt their studies for more than one semester:

  • Must fill out a Petition to Re-Enter, to resume studies the next semester.
  • Lose their pre-registration time ticket.


Required Steps Must be Done at Least 4 Weeks Before the Start of the Internship Semester

International students MUST allow additional time for visa compliance purposes.

Communicate with the company. Provide company with the Internship Template Letter. It is NOT mandatory that companies use our template, but it will greatly facilitate the verification process, and expedite the approval of the internship and the receiving of the Internship Compliance Approval. 

Before proceeding to Step 3, students must check that their internship is compliant and meets ALL of the following requirements:
  • Students have a Company Offer Letter for an internship.
  • The internship is relevant to students' engineering degree and aligns with the skills learned in classes.
  • Timing of internship:
    • Students must have completed at least one year of academic work at the University of Illinois prior to the internship.
    • Full time internships are not allowed during the graduating semester.
    • Part time internships during the graduating semester are only allowed for students registered in classes fulfilling their degree requirements (See Note 1 below ).
  • Part time/Full time - Academic coursework:
    • During full time internships (more than 20 hours per week), students are not encouraged to take any other academic work than ENG 310 (See Note 2 below).
    • During part time internships (between 8 and 20 hours per week), students must register for a minimum of 12 hours of classes during Fall or Spring (See Note 1 below).
    • During Fall/Spring City Scholars internships (20 hours per week), students must register for a minimum of 12 hours of classes (See Note 1 below ).
  • Location of Internship:
    • Part time internships can be at Research Park for any semester, as a City Scholar (with a participating company  that the student has been matched to) for fall/spring semesters, or remote for any semester (see information below for remote internship approval). 
    • Virtual or remote internships will continue to be allowed for students with full time internships during fall/spring semesters and for both full time or part time internships during the summer.  For students pursuing remote internships, the offer letter should describe company plans for providing regular check-ins and mentoring throughout the internship experience.  Internship Compliance Applications may be denied if this is not clear.  For City Scholars continuing as interns on campus, or other situations, discuss with City Scholars Director Brenna Conway.
  • Duration of Internship:
    • Full time Internships must be at least 8 weeks for Summer and at least 10 weeks for Fall/Spring.
    • Full time Internships are not possible for the entire academic year (no consecutive Fall+Spring or Spring+Fall is possible). 
    • Part time Internships must be at least 6 weeks for Summer and at least 8 weeks for Fall/Spring.
    • The internship cannot start before the last day of the prior academic semester and cannot end on or after the first day of instruction of the following academic semester (See Note 3 below).


  1. During a student's graduating semester, they may ask for an underload if fewer than 12 hours are necessary to complete their degree requirements. During Summers, students  do NOT need to be enrolled full time-minimum 6 hours if doing a part time internship.
  2. There are three main reasons for not taking a class during a full time internship: working full time might not be conducive to full dedication to a class and its rigor (class grade might suffer). If the class becomes too much of a time commitment in any way, this may impact the quality of the work delivered at the internship company. The special reduced tuition for ENG 310 FT (0 hours) will be forfeited if any class is added to one's schedule. Students may register for one online class, but it is at their own risk.
  3. Non International students do NOT need to register for ENG 310 in the summer if they are working: so any full time internship that starts in Spring must end by the first day of fall classes (i.e. not by the first day of summer).

Download and Complete Internship Compliance Form

Students request approval via the online application that goes to their academic department (CS+X students submit to the CS department; PREP students submit to the department related to their internship).  Students will upload both the completed Internship Compliance Form and the Company Offer Letter to their department for approval (see links below).  Students must check that the Company Offer Letter contains all required information for the verification process (see Compliance Checklist). If not, departments will not be able to verify compliance.

Students should click on the links below for their department to login and upload their Internship Compliance Form and Company Offer Letter.

Students will receive communication from your department within 5 business days with either:

  • Approval; An Internship Compliance Approval Form sent as an attachment via email, or
  • Resubmit Needed; An email stating that information is missing, and that you must resubmit a request with completed information, or
  • Denial; An email stating that no Internship Compliance Approval can be provided (with explanation as to why).

Students need to register for the appropriate section of ENG 310:

  • ENG 310 CS is for City Scholars only (these are part time internships with participating companies). Students take 12 hours minimum of classes.  NOTE "CS" means "City Scholars" NOT "computer science."
  • ENG 310 PT is for Part Time internships (not for City Scholars). Students must register for 12 hours minimum for fall or spring internships.
  • ENG 310 FT is for Full Time internships. Students do NOT register for any other class (it is strongly discouraged).
  • Grainger Engineering students may register for ENG 310 (no override is necessary).
  • CS+X, LAS-PHYS and PREP students need an override and will email to with Subject "ENG 310 Override":
    • Provide their UIN
    • Their desired Section of ENG 310 (include CRN)
    • The approved Internship Compliance Form from the department

The cost for ENG 310 FT is only a tuition of $200 plus Campus general fees-note that taking any other class will cancel this special cost. The Grainger College of Engineering sends a list after the 10th day of classes to the Registrar, for this special billing, and billing will be adjusted. Non-International students might benefit from being registered in ENG 310 while doing a full time internship (as opposed to stepping out for one semester - not registering for ENG 310 FT), for Health insurance purpose, non interruption of studies for financial reasons (repayment of loans), etc. Information on billing for Zero Hour internships is available on the Registrar's website.

The Grainger College of Engineering will regularly check and drop ENG 310 for all non-compliant students. 

It the student’s responsibility to check the rules before they register in ENG 310.

  • Non-compliant international students will risk termination of their F-1 Visa.
  • All international students must obtain an Internship Compliance Approval, register for ENG 310, and obtain a CPT Approval, while doing any internship.
  • The College will regularly check and drop non-compliant students:
    • 4 business days before the start of the semester.
    • After the start of the semester with no possibility of cancelling registration (student will be assessed the normal fees for withdrawing from the semester if ENG 310 Section FT is their only class).
    • After the 10th day of classes with no possibility of refunds, and immediate termination of F-1 Visa status for non-compliant international students.

These are special steps and checklist for international students (for F-1 visa holders only) - HIGHLY IMPORTANT:

  • Students with questions about CPT should discuss with ISSS Staff.
  • Student holds an F-1 visa (absolutely no CPT or OPT can be approved for any other type of Visa).
  • It is the student's responsibility when contemplating employment at Research Park to ensure that either 1) they apply for CPT (an internship), or 2) they make absolutely sure that they will be paid through the Office of Corporate Relations (NOT an internship).
  • Student is “internship compliant” (has obtained their Internship Compliance Approval from their department). Termination of F-1 Visa will happen for students who are not compliant (non-compliant students will be dropped from ENG 310).
  • Student is registered in (the correct section of) ENG 310 while doing their internship. Termination of F-1 Visa will happen for students who are not enrolled.

  • Student makes a request for CPT/OPT via iStart: iStart approval process.

    • Student selects their departmental unit for CPT (e.g. select "Engineering AERO – CPT only (undergraduate)", "Engineering ABE – CPT only (undergraduate)", ...., "Engineering PHYS – CPT only (undergraduate)"). CS+X students select "Engineering CS – CPT only (undergraduate) - LAS-PHYS students select "Engineering PHYS – CPT only (undergraduate)"

    • Student selects their college for OPT (i.e. select "Engineering Undergraduate (ALL except CPT)")

  • Student must have an approved CPT I-20 in hand before starting to work

  • CHECKLIST FOR OPT ONLY - the complete OPT Compliance checklist consists of:
    • Student has completed all the requirements of their engineering degree prior to their OPT internship.
    • The OPT Internship that student is requesting approval for is for one year or less.
    • Student has no more than 364 days of prior approved CPT full time.
    • Student was concurrently registered in ENG 310 for all prior approved CPT internships.

To obtain a satisfactory (S) grade in ENG 310, all students must be sure that their internship is compliant (STEP 3) and complete two required homework assignments:

  • Reflection 1 (by mid-semester at the very latest- completion of Reflection 1 is recommended as soon as Class Starts).  Students will provide a short reflection, a paragraph or two, on what they expect to gain from their internship.
  • Reflection 2 (by Reading Day-Absolutely no Extension possible).  Students will provide a short reflection, a paragraph or two, on what they learned from their internship.

Any missing homework assignment will result in an unsatisfactory (U) grade, and no possibility of making it up. Students with internships spanning over Spring+Summer or Summer+Fall will be required to complete the required Reflections for both ENG 310 classes they register for.

Homework is available at Canvas for the ENG 310 course.

Students first make sure they comply with all the requirements of an internship/ENG 310 and then execute all required steps as outlined above.

Adding ENG 310 after the 10th day of classes in Spring or Fall is only possible for Part Time Internships. Students will:

  1. Request to add (the correct section CS or PT of) ENG 310 via the Add-Drop Portal in fall/spring.
  2. Attach their “Internship Compliance Approval” to the ADD ENG 310 form, in lieu of the required signature on the ADD ENG 310 form.
  3. Meet a College Advisor in The Grainger Academic Advising Center (4th Floor Grainger Library, East Wing) for approval (City Scholars will email a request to by attaching their “Internship Compliance Approval”).

Adding ENG 310 after the campus add deadline in Summer. Students will:

  1. Make sure to have their Internship Compliance Form approved (signed by departmental advisor).
  2. Fill out a Late Add Form.
  3. Meet a College Advisor in The Grainger Academic Advising Center (4th Floor Grainger Library, East Wing) for approval (students who are not on campus at the Research Park will email a request to and attach their late add form and approved Internship Compliance Form).