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International Students - Industrial Internships

Students are encouraged to complete a continuous six month internship to maximize their experience; however, it is acceptable to split the internship into parts as long as six months are completed at the same institution/company. The following steps are required to fully satisfy internship requirements:

1. The student will secure an internship with a company in the U.S. or abroad.

2. The internship offer must be in writing on the company’s letterhead. It must include the following components: job description, salary (if applicable), duration of internship, and direct supervisor contact information.

3. The student will present the offer to their advisor for approval. The student will have need to complete the CPT Authorization form and submit this form with the offer to their advisor for approval. The student must get the appropriate signatureson this form. 

After the proper approvals and signatures are secured, these forms must be filed with Clemson's international services office.  For the most up to date and correct information regarding CPT and OPT, please contact International Services (is@clemson.edu or 864-656-3614).

International students must also apply for a social security number if they do not already have one. Social security number cannot be obtained more than 30-days before the start of your internship. Appointments are not necessary for the social security office but students should remember that the offices (Greenville and Anderson) are open weekdays from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. and should plan to arrive well before 3 p.m.

4. After advisor approval/disapproval which must be indicated on the offer letter, the student’s advisor must forward the job offer to the Graduate Research Committee within the Department of Automotive Engineering for secondary approval/disapproval. The Graduate Research Committee will forward their decision regarding secondary approval to the staff member coordinating internships.

5. Notification of the GRC's final decision will be e-mailed to both the student and advisor.

6. The student will then register for AuE 8950.
Students who are registering for three credits for the spring/fall and three credits for summer should register for section 100.
Students who need to register for additional credits for financial aid should register for sections 100 and 101.
Students who need to register for additional credits for fellowship or assistantship eligibility should register for sections 100, 101, and 102.

7. Internship update reports are required for every semester that the student is enrolled during their internship.

Report content requirements: Two pages describing the nature of the work being performed, what skills (engineering or other) the student has utilized to perform their tasks, and what skills they should acquire in the future to improve their performance.

Report format requirements: The two-page report should be submitted as a PDF and should use the following naming convention "Internship_Report_<year>_<term>_<last name>.pdf."

Report deadlines:
The following report due dates apply to each semester:
Spring semester: Report due on or before April 30th
Fall semester: Report due on or before November 30th
Long summer Semester: Report due on or before July 30th

Submission instructions:  Upload the document into your internship course in Canvas using the report format requirements above. See instructions on submitting assignments through Canvas here.

8. Students must reapply for CPT authorization and submit reduced course-load paperwork prior to the beginning of each semester. If you included the full date range for your internship on your IS-130 form, contact international services requesting that your CPT authorization be continued for the summer semester. If you have CPT authorization and only included the spring 2015 dates on your IS-130 form, you must submit a new IS-130 form, a copy of your offer letter to international services (is@clemson.edu).

It is NOT necessary for you to come back on campus to complete the paperwork. It is also not necessary for you to let the internship coordinator know that this has been done.

9. The student will submit student and employer evaluations by the last day of class during the semester when the internship is completed. Students will use the online form to complete their evaluation of the experience https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/clemsonauestudentsurvey. The student's supervisor must evaluate his/her performance using the online form. https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/clemsonaueinterneval

Early termination (prior to completing six months) of the internship will result in a loss of credits that count towards the successful completion of the automotive engineering internship. Accumulated industrial internship credits cannot be used to supplement credits earned from a Deep Orange internship.

Additional Guidelines for Industrial Internships

  • The students are expected to keep their faculty advisor informed of their progress during the internship period and of any issues that might arise. Timing of the internship: the internship is scheduled to begin in the fourth semester (their second spring in the program) of the MS students enrolled in the automotive engineering program. For students enrolled in the automotive engineering PhD program, the internship can begin at any time after the student finishes his/her qualifying exam and is dependent on the student progress in his/her research, which is evaluated through the student PhD committee.

  • The hosting company (internship provider) should be an automotive OEM, a supplier (tier1, 2, 3, etc), a service provider to the automotive industry (IT support, simulation software, infrastructure, equipment supplier robotics, materials steel, paint), or a technical or research center/institute conducting research related to the automotive industry.

  • Students must stop their internship search after signing an offer letter. The GRC and the department expect students to honor their commitments.

  • Each internship provider and internship opportunity will be evaluated by the automotive engineering faculty; students should not attend any internship opportunity without the written approval of the automotive engineering program faculty.

  • The students are expected to provide two documents upon finishing their internship, one is provided by the student to describe his/her specific tasks and job duties performed during their work, and the second is an evaluation of the internship provider. Additionally, the internship provider will be submitting a confidential report to describe the student progress and performance during his/her internship. See appendix for sample reports, “Employer Evaluation Form”.

  • The student internship will be considered successful (graded as with A or B grade) upon reviewing the two internship reports; “Employer Evaluation of Student”, and “Student Report”, by the faculty program coordinator.

  • The internships do not carry any commitment from the student, or the sponsor, or the automotive engineering program of future employment, unless otherwise clearly indicated and a separate agreement was signed between the student and the internship provider.

  • The financial compensation and other details are based on the internship provider offer letter. Most employers will not provide for any provisional expenses (such as mortgages in the US) for students. Any specific details or student special requirements or needs are considered to be the student responsibility to negotiate and include in the internship offer letter.

  • The internships can be arranged through the automotive engineering program or independently by the student, as long as the internship provider meets and agrees to the automotive engineering and the Clemson University internship program regulations and procedures. Ultimately, it is the student's responsibility to secure an internship.

  • The internships for the international students are conducted through the Curricular Practical Training CPT program, and it is the student responsibility to ensure that he/she meets the CPT requirements and to keep a good standing in regard to their visa requirements and immigration status. Students are to communicate directly with the office of international affairs at Clemson University to review their specific situation.

  • During the internship duration, the student is still considered a Clemson University student abiding by the Clemson University rules and regulations. The student will be considered a part-time student at the automotive engineering program.