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Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

WHAT TYPE OF WORK EXPERIENCE QUALIFIES AS CPT ? 

F-1 students may be authorized for Curricular Practical Training if the employment experience is an integral part of an established curriculum.  Students MUST be registered for a course corresponding to the internship or practicum for each semester of CPT unless it is "required" by your program. CPT must be directly related to the program of study and be completed under the supervision of an academic advisor. Since some departments have special procedures you must follow to be eligible for CPT, please contact your department to verify their procedures.

AM I ELIGIBLE TO APPLY?

In order to apply, students must be enrolled full-time in F-1 status for one full academic year; except for graduate students whose program requires an immediate internship.  Students must maintain good academic standing before and during CPT employment. 

In order to apply, students must be enrolled full-time in F-1 status for one full academic year; except for graduate students whose program .  Students must maintain good academic standing before and during CPT employment. 

NOTE: Summer Semester does not count towards the one full academic year requirement.

HOW MUCH CPT CAN I USE?

CPT may be full- or part-time. More than 20 hours of work per week is considered to be full-time by the US of Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). CPT is limited to part-time (20 hours/week or less) during the academic year, but can be full-time during summer and semester breaks. Students who use 12 months or more of full-time curricular practical training are not eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT). Part-time CPT does not affect eligibility for OPT.

HOW DO I APPLY?

To apply for CPT, the student must bring the following documents to International Programs for authorization:

1.   Completed Curricular Practical Training Approval Notice Form
2.   A job offer letter from the prospective employer on company letter-head with:
  • Your job title and responsibilities
  • The exact begin and end dates of employment (must be future dates)
  • The number of hours you will work per week
  • The name of your supervisor and his/her contact information
3.   Proof of internship/practicum course registration for each semester CPT is requested.

After all required documents have been submitted, International Programs must sign the CPT approval notice and issue a new SEVIS I-20 showing the CPT Employment Authorization on page 3.  This must be completed BEFORE employment can begin.  Students may pick-up the I-20 with CPT endorsement three full business days after submitting the application.

WHAT DOES MY WORK AUTHORIZATION LOOK LIKE?

You will receive a new form I-20 showing CPT Employment Authorization on page 3. You should show this authorization to your employer as proof that you are authorized to work.  If your employer has questions about this authorization, they may visit the USCIS to see a list of acceptable documents to verify employment eligibility - click here for more details.

Working without authorization from International Programs is a violation of F-1 status.