Most students are not usually sure if they will apply for a Fall semester admission, and they ask questions similar to the one below made by Aditya.
Aditya – Do you think it is a good idea to apply in Spring? I have read your articles on “Difference in Fall Or Spring” and “Graduate Admission Fall or Spring”.
But some of my seniors told me that students who come in Spring are not considered for internships as it is necessary to complete 9 months in the USA to get summer internships.
And hence, Fall students have an edge over Spring students. Is this true?
The articles Aditya was referring to were:
Summer Internship in CPT
Generally, universities allow students to apply for internship after completing 2 semesters, or in some cases, 18 credits. But there will be differences among schools, but most of them require 18 credits.
So let’s consider 2 cases where students are starting studies in the 2 different semesters:
- Attending School in Fall Semester (August/September)
- Attending School in Spring Semester (January)
Attending School – Fall Semester
Here, a student starts studies in Fall 2011 and registers for 9 credits
- Fall 2011 – 9 Credits (or 3 courses)
- Spring 2012 – 9 Credit (or 3 courses)
After the student completes 2 semesters, as per F-1 visa rules for CPT, he/she is eligible to do internship starting Summer 2012.
The student can go for internship from May 2012 to August 2012.
That’s called Summer internship. So, what your seniors had said was right, but there is more to that.
Attending School – Spring Semester
If a student starts attending university studies on January 2012:
- Spring 2012 – 9 Credits (or 3 courses)
- Fall 2012 – 9 Credit (or 3 courses)
You will become eligible to apply for internship from Spring 2013, after completing 18 credits.
Which is better – Spring or Fall Semester?
Having clearly discussed the differences between the 2 semesters, now comes the important part you might not be aware of and that could be the reason why you are hesitant to apply for Spring semester.
Considering the above information, you might ask:
I would be able to apply for internship only after 1.5 years in Summer 2011 (Spring 2010, Summer 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011)?
Well, that’s not true. You have used the word Summer internship, which is offered by companies only during the summer term, I can understand the concern.
But the fact is that you can apply for internship even for Spring and Fall semesters.
An internship is not something you can apply for only during summer. U.S. companies are hiring interns throughout the year.
You can work as an intern using CPT for 364 days. But universities have restrictions on how many days you can work as intern.
But other than that, if the university is admitting students for Spring semester, go ahead and apply for Spring semester.