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International Students

CPT Employment

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) allows F-1 students to take academic internships off campus. The requirements of CPT are:

  • The internship must be related to the student's field of study
  • The internship must be required by the department or advisor
  • The student must receive academic credit and a grade for the internship

CPT is employer-specific. Therefore, students must have been offered a position in writing before CPT can be approved. The internship can be either paid or unpaid.

The Application Process

To apply for CPT, students should first meet with the Registrar to discuss the internship and then submit the Curricular Practical Training Agreement. The Registrar will review your application for approval.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is curricular practical training? Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an employment authorization that allows F-1 students to work off campus in a work/study program such as an internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school. Must be an integral part of an established curriculum.

Who is eligible for CPT? An F-1 student who has been in lawful status for one full academic year and has not completed their course of study. Exception exists for graduate students whose program requires immediate curricular training.

When can I apply? You can apply at any time, provided you are qualified. Available only before completion of studies.

Do I need a job offer to apply? Yes. CPT can only be authorized for a specific job. This job cannot change during the CPT.

Do I need to be enrolled while doing my CPT? Yes. You MUST get academic credit for your CPT, even if your CPT is during the summer semester/quarter.

Do I need to apply to USCIS for CPT? No. The Registrar can authorize your CPT. Authorization is documented in SEVIS and a new I-20 with approval notation is issued.

How do I apply for CPT? To apply for CPT, students should first meet with the Registrar to discuss the internship and then submit the Curricular Practical Training Agreement.

How will CPT affect OPT in the future? If you have full-time CPT for a total of 12 full months (365 days), you will not be eligible for OPT.

What happens if I am authorized for CPT and then I change my mind or lose my job? You must notify your Registrar  immediately in order to cancel your CPT with USCIS.