Internships, Co-ops, and more

We encourage students to pursue the following activities as they provide an opportunity to synthesize and practice what they have learned in the classroom in the real world and help students obtain full time employment:

  • Internships (work with a company over the summer or a semester)
  • Co-ops (work with a company for two or more semesters)
    Read more about MechSE student experiences in co-ops here.
  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT- option for domestic and international students to obtain work experience and course credit)
  • This also provides students the opportunity to explore employment options before graduation.  Students should contact/register with Engineering Career Services (ECS) to pursue these opportunities.

Typically for co-ops and internships you should work with ECS and register for a course, depending on your Program of choice:

Program Domestic International2
Summer internship1 No need for enrollment ENG 310 (0 hours)
Fall or Spring internship ENG 310 (0 hours)3 ENG 310 (0 hours)


1 Students can also choose to enroll in ENG 451 (2 hours) during the Summer, which is a course offered online.

2 For more information regarding the CPT process, please refer to the ISSS website.

3 Domestic students are not required to register for ENG 310 during Fall or Spring semesters.  However, in order to maintain full-time student status with the University of Illinois for the purposes of deferring loan repayment, maintaining insurance discounts, retaining time ticket for class registration for the returning semester, and access to EWS, students are strongly encouraged to sign up for ENG 310. Students that are planning to not register in ENG 310 need to contact The Grainger College of Engineering (217-333-2280 or engineering@illinois.edu) and apply for re-entry in the following semester.

The Grainger College of Engineering (217-333-2280 or engineering@illinois.edu) needs to be informed of your plans if an internship/co-op is during the fall or spring semester and you are not registered for one of the courses above. Otherwise, it will be assumed that you have chosen to stop attending classes, and you would have to petition to reenter the University of Illinois. Note that international students do not have the option of working without enrolling in a course.

In addition, attending employment fairs on campus held in the spring and the fall semesters are good opportunities for students connect with companies to pursue these opportunities. ECS can provide the dates of these employment fairs.