External Opportunities

Graduate study at Princeton, at both the doctoral and the master’s level, requires full-time commitment by students to their academic research and degree progress.  Occasionally, graduate students are presented with off-campus employment opportunities that are related to their field of study.  These external opportunities to conduct internships or gain experience in professional and or research settings both inform academic research and positively impact degree progress and professional development.  External opportunities may include: 

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


Participation in internships and other external opportunities are approved to occur mainly during the summer months.  When participation is vital to the completion of the dissertation and aligns with degree progress, a student may be approved to participate during the academic year as well. 

Part-time participation requires a work obligation of 10 hours or fewer per week.  Full-time participation requires a work obligation of 20 hour or more per week.  Obligations requiring between 10 and 20 hours per week will not be approved.

Graduate students who will not be present on campus while participating in an internship or external opportunity must review the criteria for in absentia status to confirm enrollment in the appropriate status prior to the participation start date.


Ph.D. and Master's students with opportunities that meet the following criteria must submit an External Opportunity application through TigerHub.

  • 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.

Graduate students are expected to discuss opportunities with the adviser and/or Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) and submit an External Opportunity application prior to accepting a position.

International graduate students are encouraged to speak with the Davis International Center prior to submitting their External Opportunity application.

Graduate students are required to submit a copy of the offer letter at the time of application. 


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. Application review by the Graduate School typically takes two weeks to complete.

Please note: The Graduate School will begin reviewing applications for summer on March 1, 2024.

Work Authorization for International Students

International graduate students requiring work authorization to participate in an internship or other external opportunity are required to submit an External Opportunity application. 

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 internships or external opportunities must adhere to the Graduate School Employment Policy and Internship Policy while participating in such activities. International students also must comply with all rules on the Davis International Center’s employment page or risk violating their visa immigration status.