F-1: CURRICULAR PRACTICAL TRAINING (CPT)
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is employment which is “an integral part of an established curriculum” and “directly related to the student’s major field of study.” Curricular Practical Training is also defined 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 school.
- Regulations require one full academic year of study before a student may engage in CPT.
- Only graduate level studies where immediate CPT is required of all students engaging in the program is allowed in the first year of study.
- CPT is authorized directly by the designated school official (DSO).
- CPT can be paid or unpaid.
- There is no set limit to the amount of time a student may engage in CPT. However, if a student engages in full time CPT for 12 months or more, the student becomes ineligible for post-completion OPT.
- Engaging in part-time CPT (20 hours or less) for more than 365 days does not affect eligibility for post-completion OPT.
- Students in English language training programs are ineligible for CPT.
- CPT requires course registration as indicated in the CPT Recommendation form for the semester in which CPT occurs (summers included). Independent Study courses are not appropriate for CPT registration.
- CPT authorization cannot be backdated. Please make sure your CPT work dates are in the future.
- You are only authorized to work on CPT for the dates listed on your new I-20 (2nd page). You cannot start your CPT employment without having the I-20 in hand. The employment must also end on the date specified on your CPT I-20 page 2.
- CPT authorization can only be given for 1 year at a time.
- If you wish to change employers or dates of employment while on CPT you must turn in a new CPT application form.
- If you are a Graduate student registering for thesis credits for CPT please make sure your thesis topic and/or title is given on the CPT application form along with an explanation from advisor why the CPT authorization is necessary for your thesis research.
PART-TIME VS. FULL-TIME CPT
Part-time CPT: Employment for 20 hours or less per week is considered part-time. Though there is no limitation upon the length of time you may participate in part-time CPT, you must be simultaneously enrolled in classes full-time in order to maintain lawful F-1 status.
Full-time CPT: Employment for more than 20 hours per week is considered full-time. Please be aware that 12 months or more of full-time CPT will invalidate your eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT). During the academic year you must be simultaneously enrolled full-time in order to maintain lawful F-1 status.
- Complete the Student Request Form
- Review and Sign Student’s Statement of Responsibility
- CPT Recommendation Form to be completed by academic advisor.
- Letter from academic advisor or department chair indicating the students planned graduation date, documentation that the work experience is required for all student in the course of major and the method that will be followed from the department for monitoring the experience to grant academic credit if any.
- Offer letter from your employer. The offer letter must contain specific starting and ending dates (not a range), the physical worksite address, name of supervisor, and his/her contact information, salary, and a brief description of the employment. NOTE: This letter is required and it must include the above information.
- Passport must be valid and unexpired. (No exceptions)
- Schedule Please print a copy of your current class schedule.
- Submit Reduced Course Load (RCL) Form if enrolled in less than: NOTE- Doctoral 9 hours; Master’s 9 hours; Undergraduate 12 hours (RCL not required for summer semester)