External Opportunities

Occasionally, graduate students will be presented with an opportunity to gain experience in a professional or research setting that will positively impact their degree progress and or professional development. These external opportunities may include: 

  • Internships at corporations
  • Positions at national labs or research institutes
  • Research assistantships conducted away from Princeton


Internships and other external opportunities mainly occur during the summer. When an external opportunity aligns with degree progress and is vital to the completion of the dissertation, a student may be approved for a full-time opportunity during the academic year as well. 



All External Opportunity applications must be approved by the graduate student’s adviser or Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) before being forwarded to the Graduate School for final review and approval. Graduate students are expected to discuss opportunities with the adviser and/or DGS prior to accepting a position, and are also required to submit a copy of the offer letter at the time of application.

External Opportunity Application

Ph.D. and Master's students with opportunities that meet the following criteria must submit an External Opportunity application through TigerHub. Please note: Applications typically take two weeks to review once they are received from the department. The Graduate School will begin reviewing applications for summer on March 1, 2024.

  • Funding for the opportunity must come from an outside entity, such as a corporation, research institute, or other academic institution.
  • The external opportunity must be directly related to a graduate student’s field of study and/or tied to degree progress.
  • The external opportunity may not inhibit progress toward degree.

International graduate students requiring work authorization are also required to submit an External Opportunity application.  International students are encouraged to speak with the Davis International Center prior to submitting their External Opportunity application.

Note: Students who intend to apply for summer external opportunities, through the external opportunities system, will currently experience a delay in processing until there is clarity regarding the COVID-19 situation and summer travel. 

Work Authorization for International Students

Curricular practical training (CPT) allows enrolled graduate students within their regular program lengths to hold off-campus employment that is directly related to their field of study.  Students approved by their departments and the Graduate School to participate in CPT are enrolled in a program-specific CPT course. Work completed through approved employment is evaluated academically by the CPT faculty instructor. CPT courses must be approved by individual programs as part of their curriculum and must be commensurate with degree level. For more information on curricular practical training and a full list of CPT courses available, please see the Davis International Center.


If you have questions related to CPT or external opportunities approvals, please be in touch with Alice Seneres ([email protected]) if you are a graduate student in the natural sciences and engineering or Geoffrey Hill ([email protected]) if you are a student in the humanities and social sciences. They will work with you on your individual circumstances.  

MFin and MPA students should contact their departments for further guidance internship approval and Davis IC around CPT approvals.


Graduate students who accept external opportunities must adhere to the Graduate Student Employment Policy while participating in the external opportunity. International students also must comply with all rules on the Davis International Center’s employment page or risk violating their visa immigration status.