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Petroleum Engineering

Internships, Co-Op Agreements & Undergraduate Research

An internship is a full time work experience, closely aligned with the student’s major and arranged with an employer who believes it is desirable to aid in the training and education of the student. It is of a short duration, typically three to four months or one semester. The employer agrees to provide the intern with a progressive educational experience, through direct personal contact hours or through a training program, and to aid the intern in developing a summary report of his/her experience.

Student interns are expected to complete a minimum of 120 hours of supervised work in order to earn one (1) credit of PETE 4970. Additional credits may be earned based on additional hours worked.

Internship courses are graded as S/U only. Final grades will not be given until the student has submitted their final report for the semester and the instructor has verified with the student's employer:

  1. student intern's performance,
  2. accuracy of student intern's final report, and
  3. any issues or concerns encounterned during the student's internship.

Students wishing to apply for course credit (as electives) for an internship or a semester of research must submit a proposal to an instructor of their choice.

If the instructor is willing to supervise your project and your proposal meets the criteria established by the Registrar, the instructor will ask you to complete a request form, attach your proposal, and submit it for signature. The instructor or the student may then forward the request to the department's administrative office for review and final approval of the department head.

Teacher of the Year Nominations

Nominees should be instructors who:
  • Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of subject matter and the ability to share it effectively with students;
  • Instill in students a desire to learn and achieve;
  • Understand the individual needs of students, encourage their talents and foster their self-esteem;
  • Demonstrate outstanding leadership; and/or
  • Foster cooperative relationships with their colleagues and the community.
Nominations can be submitted at any time during either the Fall or Spring semesters of a single academic year.

To nominate an instructor, please send an email to, with the subject line "Teacher of the Year". Be sure to include a brief narrative to support your nomination.

International Students:

  • Canadian and Mexican citizens interested in internships and jobs in the U.S. can check here for more information regarding the TN Visa (NAFTA Professionals). State Department - NAFTA


Employing Canadian Students & Graduates in the US

**This is general information, summarized from information provided by the US State Department, and does not constitute legal advice.**


Hiring Canadian students who are attending college in the U.S. is not as difficult as many employers perceive.  In general, foreign students may work in a paid internship or temporary employment provided certain conditions are met.  However, with few exceptions, they cannot work until after completing their first academic year.


Students may work on CPT if the work is in a training program that is an “integral part of an established curriculum," a determination which is made by the school.
  • Job offer related to the major field of study is required
  • Student works with the school’s Designated School Official (DSO) to obtain or complete the necessary documentation
  • The DSO issues Form I-120 with annotation of CPT approval
  • Annotated I-20, student’s passport and I-94 show authorization to work
  • May work up to 20 hours/week during school and full-time during school breaks
  • Students may only use CPT prior to graduation
  • *Students who use 12 months of full-time CPT are ineligible for optional practical training after graduation (see below).*


Students who wish to work in an internship/job other than one which would qualify for CPT can generally apply for optional practical training (OPT). 
  • Student works with DSO who issues Form I-20 with OPT recommendation.
  • Student uses the updated I-20 to apply for an employment authorization document (EAD) from USCIS.
    • Generally takes 2-3 months to obtain EAD.
    • Approved EAD shows authorization to work and is required for employment
  • OPT used during school is deducted from allowed post-completion OPT time:
    • Full-time OPT deducted at equal rate
    • Part-time OPT deducted at half-time rate




Foreign graduates of a U.S. university or college are eligible for 12 months of post-completion OPT, regardless of field of study.
  • Student works with DSO who issues Form I-20 with OPT recommendation
  • Student uses the updated I-20 to apply for an EAD from USCIS
    • Must apply within 30 days of DSO having issued the I-20
    • Generally takes 2-3 months to obtain EAD
    • Approved EAD shows authorization to work and is required for employment
  • Post-completion OPT may be limited by student’s use of CPT or OPT during school. See prior section on employment while in school for details.

STEM Extensions:  Graduates in a STEM (science, technology, engineering or math) field may apply to extend OPT an additional 24 months

  • Employer must participate in the E-Verify program
  • Employer must create training plan and sign Form I-983
  • Employer must report to DSO if employee is terminated or leaves employment prior to expiration of STEM EAD
  • Graduate submits Form I-983 to DSO who reviews it for completion
  • DSO issues I-20 with STEM recommendation
  • Graduate uses updated I-20 to apply to USCIS for STEM extension EAD
    • Must apply within 60 days of DSO having issued the I-20
  • Graduate may work while STEM extension application is pending provided application was timely filed

TN Visa

Canadians may be eligible for a TN if they have an offer to work in a TN eligible position and meet the requirements
  • List of TN eligible positions and requirements is found at 8 CFR § 214.6(c)
  • TN can be processed at U.S. border/pre-flight inspection with documentation showing proof of job offer and individual's eligibility for the position.
  • Individual must be coming to the U.S. for a temporary stay
  • The TN can be obtained for up to 3 years

H-1B Visa

Employers may also apply for an H-1B for a Canadian professional, regardless of whether s/he graduated from a U.S. university or college. 
  • The H-1B is highly regulated and details are beyond the scope of this handout. 
  • Employers may wish to seek counsel in applying for an H-1B for an employee or potential employee.   


Contact Us

Petroleum Engineering

EN 4015

Dept. 3295

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-4258


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1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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