May 25, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog

Experiential Learning and Internships



The University of Bridgeport offers an ex­tensive experiential education program, al­lowing students to combine classroom study with practical experience within their cho­sen field. Internships and other experiential learning experiences provide a practical ap­plication of academic studies in combination with opportunities to learn material that go beyond the classroom. Performing intern­ships, performing a job shadow or partici­pating in a mentorship opportunity offer the additional experience and development of skills, which aid in the overall career readi­ness of the student.

Types of Experiential Opportunities

Paid, Unpaid, Volunteer Internship

Credit Based Internship (usually 1-3 credits)

Cooperative Education Experience

Volunteer/Community Service

Special Programs (Job Shadow, Mentorship, Student Leadership Institute)

Student Employment/Graduate Assistant­ships/PHD Awards

Qualifying For An Internship

Students are able to perform internships throughout their academic career. Most posted opportunities will provide a list of qualifications which should be reviewed for specific GPA, major and class level require­ments. Students are encouraged to partici­pate in more than one opportunity to gain a variety of diverse professional experience.

For credit-based roles - a student should con­sult with their assigned academic advisor, to learn specific departmental criteria for per­forming an internship. In most majors, a student must be a Junior or Senior Standing with a 2.5 GPA (undergraduate) and hold a 3.0 GPA for graduate studies.

Campus Resources

Center for Career Development (https://www.bridgeport.edu/student-life/career-development)

Academic Departments (https://www.bridgeport.edu/academics/programs)

Office of Campus Activities and Civic En­gagement (https://www.bridgeport.edu/student-life/campus-activities)

Office of Student Employment (https://www.bridgeport.edu/life/student-employment)

Internship Qualifying Criteria

In order for an internship to be approved by the University, the following criteria must be met. This criteria is set to protect University of Bridgeport students, and ensure valuable and educational experiences through intern­ships and experiential opportunities.

  • A designated supervisor is identified to provide the intern with guidance.
  • Projects and tasks have been developed to give the intern legitimate work which will allow them to gain professional experience applicable to the industry.
  • Intern responsibilities relate to their particular course of study or desired interest area.
  • The intern does not displace regular employees, and works in close proximity to a full-time employee.
  • The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern and does not solely advance business operations.
  • Feedback is provided by the intern supervisor throughout the internship term, including completion of an Internship Evaluation provided by the University of Bridgeport.
  • Clearly defined goals and learning objectives are identified which closely align with the intern’s course of study or desired interest area are developed.

Unpaid Internship, Department of Labor (DOL) Guidelines

In 2018, the Department of Labor (DOL) released new guidelines for determining whether an individual or opportunity classi­fies as an unpaid intern. The new model is called the “primary beneficiary test,” which takes a more straightforward approach by asking, “who benefits from the relationship most, the employer or the intern?”

The test is based on seven criteria:

  • Any promise of compensation, express or implied, suggests the intern is an employee-and vice versa.
  • The internship provides training similar to what would be given in an educational environment.
  • The extent the internship is tied to coursework or academic credit.
  • The extent the internship accommodates academic commitments according to the academic calendar.
  • The internship’s length provides the intern with beneficial learning.
  • The intern’s work complements, not displaces, the work of paid employees while still educating the intern.
  • The intern and employer understand the intern is not entitled to an offer for a paid job at the end of the internship.

The DOL states these factors are flexible, so the final decision on whether the intern is an employee depends on the specific case. If the intern is deemed an employee, they are eligible for minimum wage and overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Curricular Practical Training (CPT): Internships For International Students

Any international student, who performs work OFF CAMPUS, must complete Curricu­lar Practical Training documentation PRIOR to beginning work. Any concerns or ques­tions should be addressed to the Internation­al Center for Students and Scholars. Guide­lines Include:

  • You may not take part in CPT while holding student employment in any department at the university. You may either choose CPT or student employment. You CANNOT have both.
  • Your CPT must be within 100 miles from The University of Bridgeport if done during the spring or fall semester. If CPT is done during the summer, there is no mile restriction. However, you will not be able to extend the employment during the fall or spring semester if your internship is more than 100 miles away from campus.
  • You may not have any holds on your account (Bursar, Health, etc.)
  • GPA minimum Requirements: Undergraduate 2.5, Graduate 3.0.
  • You must complete two semesters as a full time UB student to qualify for CPT. (Summer semesters do not count.)
  • You may not have any pending grades.
  • Your financial balance must be a maximum of $500.
  • Your internship/co-op duties must be directly related to your major.
  • If this CPT is done during the winter or summer break, you must pre-register for the Spring or Fall semester.
  • Do NOT work until you get the CPT I-20 and until the start date is in effect.

CPT Application Process

  • Visit ISS website at https://ic.bridgeport.edu/employment/cpt/ for eligibility and all necessary documents.
  • If you are eligible, please scan/email to cpt@bridgeport.edu the following documents to be reviewed by ISS:
    1. Job offer letter printed on a letterhead and signed/dated by your employer (Electronic signatures are not accept­able); It must include all required in­formation as listed below.
    2. Cooperative Education/Internship Agreement signed by your prospec­tive employer.
  • Once your documents are approved, an ISS advisor will schedule you an appointment for CPT processing and instruct you to visit your Academic Department and Career Development for signatures.
  • At the time of appointment, please bring all required and completed documents outlined on the ISS website.

Please note: If you have questions about your eligibility for CPT, please email cpt@bridge­port.edu with your full name and UB ID in­cluded using your UB email account.

In addition to the general requirements stat­ed before, Ph.D. students in Computer Sci­ence and Engineering or Technology Man­agement are allowed to start their CPT only after they write their dissertation proposal and pass its oral defense (excluding CPT summer session). Ph.D. students in Com­puter Science and Engineering or Technol­ogy Management are allowed to start their OPT only after the successful completion of the dissertation defense.