Graduate Cooperative Education
+ Career Experience
Cooperative education is real, relevant career experience. At the graduate level, paired with an advanced degree, co-op gives you the unparalleled credentials that truly set you apart. You’ll graduate with an advanced degree and the career experience employers look for in their next top hires.
In all of RIT’s graduate programs, cooperative education is optional but strongly encouraged. Depending on your graduate program, you may complete graduate co-op during the summer term or by alternating semesters on campus with a semester or two on co-op.
Graduate co-ops are a unique opportunity for our international students to gain career experience at companies and organizations in the U.S.
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a program that temporarily allows international students with an F-1 visa in the United States to work up to 12 months in relation to their major of study. F-1 visa students are eligible for OPT after completing their first academic year. OPT can be completed both before or after completing your studies, but it’s important to remember that students are only allowed to work 12 months total.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a program that temporarily allows international students with an F-1 visa to gain practical experience directly related to their major through employment, paid or unpaid internships, or cooperative (co-op) education. It must be part of an established curriculum. CPT must be completed before graduating. In addition, CPT can be part-time (20 hours or less a week) or full time (20 hours or more a week). Although, if you work full-time for 12 months in CPT, you will lose your eligibility for OPT.
RIT's Outstanding Hiring Partners
We couldn’t possibly list all 3,400 of our hiring partners. It’s a list that keeps on growing.
But here’s a sample of some of the places around the world where you might find yourself working.
- EA Games
- Johnson & Johnson
- Lockheed Martin
- The Walt Disney Company