Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is work authorization that allows an F-1 student to gain work experience off- campus that is considered an integral part of an established curriculum or academic program. The Code of Federal Regulations defines CPT as “. . . an integral part of an established curriculum,” and further defines it as, “. . . 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.” 8 CFR §214.2 (f) (10)(i)
Eligibility for CPT
In order for an F-1 student to be eligible for CPT, the following requirements must be met:
- Have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for one academic year (i.e. two full consecutive terms). If you are a graduate student and the program requires immediate participation, this requirement is waived;
- Be in F-1 status at the time of submitting the CPT application;
- Have a job offer and offer letter;
- Be enrolled in a program or course that requires an internship.
Applying for CPT
To apply for CPT, you must make an appointment with the ISO and bring the following documents with you:
- Copy of your official offer letter on company letterhead that is signed by the prospective employer. A photocopy is acceptable. The letter should include the employer’s name, address, and dates of employment.
- A letter from the department head stating that the job offer meets the requirement for an internship course.
- Copies of your current immigration documents: passport, I-94 card, and I-20’s.
If you are eligible for CPT, International Student Services will authorize CPT by issuing a new I-20. You may engage in CPT employment only after you have received the I-20 with your CPT authorization noted. This work authorization is only valid for the specific employer, location, time period on a part-time or full-time basis as approved and recorded by the ISO. You may not continue employment beyond the date authorized unless you apply and are granted an extension of your permission.