Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
CPT is a paid internship and is either for credit or is required for the degree. It can be full-time during semester vacations or up to 20 hours per week while classes are in session and is available for an unlimited amount of time. Undergraduates must have completed one academic year of full-time study before they are eligible. Graduate students may begin CPT during their first year only if it is required by the department. This type of work permission is job and location–specific so a job offer is required before authorization can be given.
Definition of CPT
CPT is temporary employment authorization directly related to an F-1 student's academic program. F-1 students registered full-time during the last two semesters may qualify for CPT. Graduate students whose degree requires immediate participation in an internship may apply at any time.
Students must be in full-time status at the time of application and during CPT. Applicants may not take a reduced course load and then apply for CPT. Full-time CPT is only allowed after you have completed all course requirements and you are at the thesis or project stage.
Students who are finished with the program and who are merely delaying graduation to make use of CPT will not be granted CPT.
Types of CPT
Required for the Degree Program
Everyone in a degree program must do an internship as part of their major.
Integral part of an established curriculum
If the internship is not part of the degree requirement, students must take it for credit. Students can either sign up for an internship credit or connect CPT to relevant class being taken in that semester. The advisors need to provide the appropriate course number.
OIS will authorize CPT for only one semester at a time unless students are in a required internship program that extends beyond the semester.
Submit the above-mentioned documents to the Office of International Services for approval.
More Information About CPT
CPT must be "an integral part of an established curriculum." CPT is defined as "alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.
- Preconditions: Student must be a degree-seeking candidate who has been in lawful status for at least one academic year in current program.
- Location: Student may engage in CPT only for the specific employer, location, and period approved and recorded by OIS in SEVIS.
- Duration: Depends on the specific period granted by the DSO.
- Hours per week: Can be approved for part-time(20 hrs or less) or full time.
- Field/level of work: Must be an integral part of an established curriculum in the student's course of study.
- Offer of employment: Must have an offer of employment from an employer offering work that qualifies as CPT.
- Effect on other work: Use of full-time CPT for one year or more eliminates eligibility for OPT.
- Approval process: Must receive written authorization from DSO who records authorization in SEVIS I-20 with notation before work begins.
- Miscellaneous: Must continue to maintain a full course of study in F-1 status during the period of employment.