Section 1

Career Planning

Several resources are available to assist MSPE students in their career search.


Career Development Centers

Department of Economics Career Center

Katie Kennealy, Economics Career Coordinator, is available to discuss your individual pursuits. Throughout the academic year, the Econ Career Center offers many career development workshops, company info sessions, recruitment events, and other opportunities.

The Career Center at Illinois
Graduate College Career Development


Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular practical training (CPT) may be authorized under certain circumstances to allow F-1 students temporary off-campus employment.

Eligible students in the MSPE Program may pursue a CPT only during the summer terms. As part of the CPT, students will be required to register and successfully complete an internship course (Econ 199: Internships in Economics) for zero credit hours. Students will be assessed the applicable university tuition and fees for this course.

For more information about a CPT, make a career advising appointment with Katie Kennealy.


Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training (OPT) allows F-1 students to work in the United States to build work experience in the degree earned. Up to twelve month’s work authorization commences upon completion of the MSPE degree program. General information about an OPT can be found on the International Student and Scholar Services website.

If you are considering an OPT, consult your MSPE academic advisor.

OPT STEM (24-month extension)

Since the MSPE Program is a STEM-designated program (CIP Code 45.0603), international students are allowed to apply for a 24-month extension of their post-completion OPT, provided certain employment conditions have been met. For more information on the OPT STEM, visit the International Student and Scholar Services website.


Academic Training (AT)

Academic Training (AT) allows J-1 students to accept off campus employment directly related to their field of study. AT may not exceed a cumulative total of 18 months or the period of full course study in the United States, whichever is less. J-1 program sponsors must approve AT. General information about an AT can be found on the International Student and Scholar Services website.

If you are considering an AT, consult your MSPE academic advisor.