Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is employment that is an integral part of an established curriculum, including: alternate 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. CPT is available only prior to the completion of your degree program and you must have a job offer at the time of application. CPT employment may not delay completion of the academic program.
To be eligible for CPT, you must:
- have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for one academic year (i.e. two full consecutive terms) or be a graduate student in a program which requires immediate participation.
- be in lawful F-1 status.
- have a job offer.
- document that the employment is necessary to fulfill a degree requirement or that you are earning credit toward your degree for the employment (e.g. through an internship or practicum course offered by your program).
How to apply for CPT:
Please allow at least 2 weeks prior to the anticipated start date of employment to start the process.
Step 1: Meet with your academic advisor to inquire about your academic eligibility.
Step 2: Once you have successfully interviewed, request a job offer letter from the employer (on company letterhead). The letter should include:
- Your name
- The start date and end date of the internship (keep in mind that CPT can only be authorized one term at a time)
- Position title
- Employment site address (street, city, state, and zip code) where you will be working
- The number of hours to be worked per week (full-time, more than 20 hours per week, or part-time, 20 hours or less per week)
- Salary, if paid
Step 3: Have your academic adviser send an email to International Student Affairs recommending you for the internship and indicating how the internship will be evaluated academically (e.g., as part of a course, degree requirement, etc.).
Step 4: If your application is approved, International Student Affairs will issue you a new I-20 with the CPT authorization noted on page 3. The authorization will include the name and address of employment and the inclusive dates and serves, along with your passport and I-94, as authorization to work in the U.S. only in that location. You may not begin employment until you receive this authorization (i.e. CPT I-20). As a reminder, you should keep all the I-20s you are issued.
Step 5: Apply for a social security number, if you do not yet have one.
- You are authorized to be employed only for the employer, location, and dates specified on the new I-20. Please contact International Student Affairs if your employment situation is going to change.
- CPT is an academically-valued experience, authorized for a single semester. Subsequent authorizations with the same company will not be made unless there is a substantially different experience being offered. In other words, consider CPT as a course that you will not be able to repeat for credit.
- Please be aware that 12 months or more of full-time CPT will invalidate your eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT).