Employment and Internships
International students are welcome to apply for internships and coop opportunities. The FAU Career Center and International Student & Scholar Services work closely to provide clear and appropriate guidance for identifying/securing internships and obtaining proper authorization under existing visa regulations.
For university information on internship options, visit the FAU Career Center internship information page.
International students who are interested in engaging in internships must apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) (F-1 visa) or Academic Training (J-1 visa) authorization after they secure an internship through the FAU Career Center and before they begin the internship experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a job and an internship?
An internship includes a learning objective; it is an opportunity to gain knowledge and skills through experiential learning as a complement to the theoretical knowledge gained in an academic setting. International students can only be authorized for internships that are an integral part of their academic curriculum. A job is a position of regular employment.
How do I find an internship?
The best way to locate an internship is to work with the FAU Career Center. The Career Center has dedicated advisors and resources to help students identify internship opportunities on and off campus. Learn more about internships at FAU!
What if I find an internship on my own? How do I get approval to engage in this internship if it is not already offered through the Career Center?
Sent an email to firstname.lastname@example.org including any details you already have about the internship site (location, contact information, name of supervisor, dates of your internships, specific position title/description, etc.). An advisor from the Career Center will work with you to create an internship that meets your needs.
When can I begin my internship?
You may begin your internship as soon as you meet the minimum eligibility criteria for the Career Center and ISSS and you receive the proper authorization from both offices.
Additional requirements for international students:
F-1 students must fulfill at least one academic year at FAU (two consecutive full-time semesters) prior to being eligible for CPT, which in turn will allow participation in an internship.
Students who pursue a master’s degree with a required practical component within the program of study may engage in CPT from their first semester at FAU.
Students who are transferring from another program in the U.S. where they have been enrolled immediately prior to matriculating at FAU can also request CPT from the start of their studies at FAU
J-1 students may engage in AT any time during their program of study on a part-time basis (but this time will be deducted from the total period of AT eligibility; review the AT handout for more information).
Do I need to get authorization from ISSS in order to engage in the internship?
- Paid and unpaid on-campus internship positions may be authorized as on-campus employment if not exceeding 20 hours per week or as CPT if exceeding 20 hours per week (F-1 students). Please note that regular on-campus jobs cannot exceed 20 hours per week during fall and spring (but may exceed 20 hours per week during the summer session for students continuing enrollment from spring).
- Paid and unpaid off-campus internships must always have CPT authorization and may be authorized full-time or part-time depending on the internship criteria. ISSS advisors will guide you through this process.
- ISSS limits CPT authorizations to no more than two semesters per degree level. While there is no regulatory limit on part-time internships, students who wish to engage for a third internship must meet with an ISSS advisor prior to requesting the authorization. We must ensure that this opportunity continues to be
- J-1 students must receive AT authorization for paid and unpaid internships on or off-campus. AT may not exceed 20 hours per week while students are enrolled in their program of study AT may be authorized full-time or part-time (min. 20 hours per week) after completion of the program of study.
Do I need to register for a course? What if I don’t need it for academic credit?
Yes. To view your internship/coop course options, visit the FAU Career Center internship page (step 5).
Do I need a Social Security Number (SSN) in order to apply for or accept an internship offer?
No, you do not need the SSN in order to apply. You do not need the SSN for unpaid internships.
Yes, you do need the SSN in order to engage in a paid internship. You will be eligible to apply for the SSN after you receive the CPT or AT authorization.
Please read the Social Security application guide for more details.
Steps for Obtaining Authorization to Engage in an Internship:
STEP BY STEP PROCESS (F-1 students) for an internship/coop through CDC
1) Fill out the internship/coop application form with the Career Center. Contact an Internship specialist at email@example.com to learn more about the internship/coop program.
3) Pick up your I-20 with CPT authorization or your DS-2019 with AT authorization.
4) Provide a copy of the I-20 or DS-2019 form to the Career Center.
5) Complete internship/coop course registration with the Career Center.
6) Apply for your Social Security Number (SSN) if you do not already have one.
7) Submit appropriate documentation to your employer/internship supervisor.
8) Complete all internship/co-op program requirements by the deadline dates to ensure that you receive a Satisfactory grade for the internship/co-op course.
STEP BY STEP Process for an internship/coop opportunity through your academic department:
1) Meet with the faculty advisor for the internship program to discuss internship options and requirements.
4) Pick up your I-20 with CPT authorization or your DS-2019 with AT authorization.
5) Apply for your Social Security Number (SSN) if you do not already have one.
6) Submit appropriate documentation to your employer/internship supervisor.
7) Complete all internship/co-op program requirements by the deadline dates to ensure that you receive a Satisfactory grade for the internship/co-op course.