Many students obtain internships while in our master's programs. These internships provide a relevant 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. Internship procedures vary for domestic and international students. Please read carefully the information below.

Domestic students: 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 in Part A below.

International students: International students who have secured an internship offer must use Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT) for the internship. If you wish to use OPT, please consult with Duke Visa Services on the application procedure.

Most of our Master’s students use CPT for their internships. The CPT application procedure is outlined below and includes both Part A and Part B:

Part A. Enroll in ECON 799. (Submit application to the for Econ 799 by April 15.)

Part B. Apply for CPT as described in the Curricular Practical Training section below. (Submit application to Duke Visa Services 3-4 weeks before Drop-Add deadline for Summer Term I.)

Deadlines (all students)

The application deadlines listed below are set to ensure completion by the drop-add deadline for Summer Term I. If you submit your applications for Econ 799 or CPT after the stated deadline, we cannot guarantee completion of the process in time, and you may have to decline the internship job offer.

Internship Offer Letters (all students)

All internship applications will require an offer letter from the employer. The offer letter must include:

  • specific start and end dates,
  • your responsibilities as an intern,
  • the location where you will be working, and
  • total weekly hours.


Part A: How to Enroll in ECON 799

Deadline for domestic students: Two weeks before Summer Term I drop-add deadline.

Deadline for international students: Submit application (Step 4 below) for Econ 799 by April 15.

All 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. Use the internship proposal template (linked below) and to write a one- to two-page proposal for your internship and its goals.
    1. 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.
    2. The last page of the template has information for your DGS to complete, including his or her signature.
  3. Submit your proposal and your internship offer letter to the faculty supervisor for the internship and to your Master’s Program Director (DGS) for his/her approval.
    1. Save these two email approvals as a pdf or screenshot.
  4. Submit your completed application in one pdf file to The completed application includes proposal, offer letter, and DGS and instructor approval emails (can be screenshots).
  5. Once your proposal has been approved, EcoTeach staff will work with you to finalize your enrollment in ECON 799.


Part B: How to Apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Deadline: You and your DGS must complete the application for CPT three weeks before the drop-add deadline for Summer Term I.

International students must also enroll in 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 for a summer internship:

  1. Follow the steps outlined above for enrolling in ECON 799.
  2. Read and complete the CPT application steps listed at Duke Visa Services. Please make sure to:
    1. Fill out your portion of the CPT application form.
    2. Include the full name of your DGS in the Academic Department portion of the online application (MAE= Kent Kimbrough, MAPE= Timur Kuran, MSEC= Charles Becker).
    3. Enter the email address of

You will need to turn in:

  • A copy of your proposal
  • Your official internship offer letter (see details described above)
  • Proof of enrollment in Econ 799 (this can be a screenshot of your registration for the Summer Term I course in DukeHub).


  1. Once you complete the online CPT application with Visa Services, a recommendation email will be automatically sent to the Masters Program Assistant (Addie Stagg) to complete the departmental form.
  2. After the the Masters Program Assistant has submitted the form, stay in touch with Duke Visa Services about your application.

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 everything is completed on time.