In-Person Learning Requirements for Viterbi Students Participating in CPT During the Spring 2024 Semester

Please make sure to read all the In-Person Learning Requirement Guidelines as well as Viterbi's most recent communication.

Graduate Student Internship Courses for Credit (CPT)

Viterbi manages several internship courses for credit providing a great opportunity for students to gain practical, hands-on work experience while earning course credit.

To ensure a rewarding internship experience and earn academic credit for your internship, internships must be:

  • At least 12 weeks during Fall and Spring, 10 weeks during Summer.
  • A minimum of 10 hours per week.

International students can also participate in internships by enrolling in an internship course for credit and applying for Curricular Practical Training (CPT). CPT is a type of work authorization for eligible F-1 international students to participate in paid off-campus internships before graduation. However, it should not prevent the student from making reasonable progress towards the degree.

The Office of International Services (OIS) provides additional CPT information on their website that all graduate students should be aware of before applying.

Eligibility Requirements

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 see a VASE advisor in OHE-106 and OIS CPT Website for more information.

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Graduate GPA

Minimum GPA requirement to apply for a CPT:
Fall/Spring CPT: 3.0 +
Summer CPT: 2.75+

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Progressive Degree Program (PDP)

Students are waived out of the Online Training requirement.

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PhD Student Considerations

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.

Students on CPT cannot receive more than 25% RA/TA equivalent funding

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Fulfilled Degree Requirements


You may be eligible to take an internship with a 3 or 4 unit course enrollment in your final semester before your I-20 end date. Internships are not an acceptable reason for a Program Extension. RCL needed.
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Internship Course Application Process

Additional Information

Hours and 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.


  • For Remote internship inquiries, please contact OIS for the latest eligibility requirements.
  • CPT authorization is intended to facilitate off-campus opportunities that resemble classroom instruction, albeit in a more practical context. A key characteristic of such an experience is a supervisory relationship, consisting of regular assignment and evaluation of deliverables. Practical Training also implies meaningful immersion in a professional environment.

    Students who request CPT for remote internship positions should keep detailed documentation establishing:

    • the existence of a supervisory relationship throughout their period of authorization, and
    • how they achieved professional immersion despite working remotely.

Ph.D. Students

  • Ph.D. students must have passed the Qualifying Examination and be enrolled in Dissertation units in order to work outside the Los Angeles area during the Fall and Spring Semesters, or to be eligible for full-time CPT.
  • Ph.D. students cannot hold a 50% assistantship during the Fall or Spring semesters and be approved for CPT.
  • Ph.D. students on CPT cannot receive more than 25% RA/TA equivalent funding

    Published on February 1st, 2018

    Last updated on January 29th, 2024