Congratulations! Now that you have a position secured, be sure to take advantage of the Career Center’s options for recognition.
|Intern/Co-op/Research PRAC Syllabus|
|Make the Most of Your Internship!|
The Intern/Co-op/Research Practicum (PRAC) Course
PRAC is a FREE, zero-credit, pass/fail course for students who are currently participating in an internship, co-op, or research position. You’ll also receive a formal performance evaluation from your site supervisor. Assignments include the submission of learning goals, a mid-semester check-in, end-of-semester reflections, and attendance at two professional development workshops of your choice.
Many students opt to enroll in the PRAC course in order to have documentation of their experience on their academic transcript. Employers and graduate admissions offices like to see practica recorded on your transcript because it indicates that your internship, co-op or research position was a significant learning experience, approved and vetted by the University.
In most cases, PRAC requires a GPA of 2.5 or above. You may ONLY enroll in PRAC for current experiences; retroactive enrollment is not permitted. The PRAC course may be combined with a for-credit internship/co-op/research course, at your department’s discretion.
Who Should Register for the PRAC Course?
- Any undergraduate OR graduate student who wants to enhance their experience with support, structure, and professional development
- Students who want to earn credit through an academic internship/research course that requires co-enrollment in PRAC
- F-1 visa students who need CPT to accept paid work off-campus (see the bottom of this page and the IES website for details)
- Students who wish to maintain full-time status at UMBC while participating in a full-time fall or spring experience that prevents them from taking a full course load (must be enrolled in the full-time co-op section of PRAC)
- Students who found their position through UMBCworks, a job fair, or another Career Center resource
HOW TO REGISTER FOR PRAC:
- Log in to UMBCworks and click “PRAC Registration & Requirements” under “Shortcuts,” to the right side of the homepage.
- Click “Add New Experience” and fill in the required fields.
- You must upload a letter or email verifying that you have been offered the position. The information should be documented on the organization’s letterhead or sent by someone from organization’s email domain and include the following:
A brief position description
A commitment to employment dates/hours that correspond to a semester at UMBC and at least 120 hours of work per semester
Your supervisor’s contact information
Compensation (if applicable)
We may ask your employer to sign the Employer Agreement. We will let you know if this is needed after you submit your registration.
Your registration will be reviewed within five business days. The position will appear as “Pending” until the review is complete.
If you have any questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also make an appointment for in-person PRAC registration by clicking on “Schedule Appointment” from the UMBCworks homepage.
For students attending USG, call 301-738-6338 or email email@example.com to schedule an appointment on the Shady Grove campus.
Enroll in Academic Credit
You may be able to earn upper-level academic credit for your experience via a course in your major’s academic department. In some departments, a for-credit experience is a graduation requirement. Ultimately, a faculty member in your department will determine if your internship is credit-worthy, but the Career Center is a great place to start. We can point you in the right direction and make sure your internship meets basic standards.
Most departments require PRAC 95, 98, or 99 as a co-requisite for academic credit and your Career Center coordinator will maintain contact with your faculty throughout the semester to provide feedback on your performance.
To begin the process of potentially enrolling in one of the internship credit courses, complete the 4-step process described above to submit your position in UMBCworks and be sure to indicate that you are interested in credit in your application. While the Career Center will help to facilitate your ability to obtain credit, the ultimate decision rests with your academic department. Students attending USG should call 301-738-6338 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
Please note, Financial Aid awards are finalized based on the last day of ADD/DROP. Any internship or independent study credit added after that date will not be considered for aid eligibility. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid at 410-455-2387 or via my.umbc.edu/go/contactfinancialaid to discuss the potential impact of your courses on financial aid.
Applied Learning for International Students
The Career Center is pleased to work with the International Education Services Office (IES) to provide internship, research and co-op opportunities for UMBC students with F-1 visas. For all UMBC students with F-1 visas, these experiences must fulfill the requirements for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) as established by the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service.
To secure CPT, you must demonstrate that your internship, co-op, or research is an established part of your academic curriculum. Therefore, you must register for either the zero-credit Career Center Intern/Co-op/Research PRAC course (see above), OR a for-credit internship, research, or independent study course. You may enroll in both; some for-credit courses require co-enrollment in PRAC.
If you are not sure which option to choose, please make a Career Center appointment for “CPT for F-1 Visa,” or email us at email@example.com. We would be glad to help.
- Specific questions about curricular or optional practical training (CPT/OPT) should be directed to the UMBC International Education Service Office: 410-455-2624 or ies.umbc.edu.
- The Career Center cannot guarantee that every off-campus work experience will qualify for CPT/OPT.
- If you obtain an internship/co-op on your own, without the assistance of the Career Center, we can still help you obtain CPT work authorization. Please review the full guidelines for CPT on the IES website.
Do not begin any off-campus experience without the appropriate I-20 authorization! To ensure that you obtain the authorization, we strongly suggest that you closely follow the steps listed on the CPT application form, which can be obtained from IES.