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.
If the training is not required by your major degree program, ISS requires you to receive academic credit from an internship, cooperative education program, practicum, or similar course through your academic department. CPT. The credit must be earned in the same semester for which CPT is authorized. You must earn at least one CPT-related credit for each semester of authorization granted.
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.