Many students obtain internships while in our master's programs. These internships provide a valuable learning experience for students and can provide contacts that are extremely valuable, especially for career-oriented students, because they may ultimately lead to a full-time job.

  • Academic credit: Students who wish to receive academic credit for an internship must enroll in ECON 799, the Master's Internship course. The procedures for enrolling are described below.
  • International students: International students who want to use their CPT time for a internship must:
    • Enroll in ECON 799  and 
    • Apply for CPT as described in the Curricular Practical Training section below, in order to deal with any visa issues in a timely fashion.

Enrolling in ECON 799

Students must do the following in order to enroll in ECON 799:

  1. Find a faculty member in the Department of Economics who is willing to supervise your internship. Professors from other departments cannot supervise internships unless they have a joint appointment with the Department of Economics.
  2. Write a one- to two-page proposal for your internship and its goals. Download the internship proposal template (attached below) and fill in the required information. Your proposal must include the name of the firm sponsoring the internship (including address, phone number, a contact email, and a fax number), the start and end dates of the internship, a description of your position and duties, and a discussion of how the internship will benefit you both academically and professionally.
  3. Submit your proposal to the faculty supervisor for the internship and to the director of your master's studies program for his/her approval. Copy the M.A. program assistant on emails relating to this.
  4. Provide the M.A. program assistant for your program with a copy of your offer letter from the firm sponsoring your internship. Your offer letter must include the start and end dates for your internship, a short description of your responsibilities as an intern, the location where you will be working, and your total weekly hours.
  5. Once your proposal has been approved, the M.A. program assistant can work with you to finalize your enrollment in ECON 799.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT is only available for the summer between the first and second year of the master's programs. International students must do the following in order to use CPT time for a summer internship:

  1. Follow the steps outlined above for enrolling in ECON 799.
  2. Read and complete the steps listed at Duke Visa Services, including (a) filling out your portion of the CPT application form and (b) receipt of an offer letter with specific start and end dates, your responsibilities as an intern, the location where you will be working, and total weekly hours.
  3. The deadline for turning in all your paperwork is 4:00 p.m. EST on April 15. You will need to turn in physical copies of your paperwork to the CPT tray at the front desk in EcoTeach (Social Sciences 138). This paperwork includes your written internship proposal (with approval from the director of your program and your faculty supervisor), a copy of your proposal approval email, your CPT application form with your part filled out, and your offer letter for the internship. The M.A. program assistant will then fill out the academic department section (Section 3) of the CPT application for you to provide to Duke Visa Services. 

Please note: Failing to complete any of these steps in a timely fashion may make it impossible for the required paperwork and for visa approval to be completed in time for you to undertake the internship. It is your responsibility to make sure that this doesn't happen.