Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a type of off-campus work permission for F1 international students who study in the US and want to gain experience in their fields of study. CPT is not available after a student completes a degree program. Students are eligible to apply for an unlimited amount of CPT. However, if 12 months or more of full-time CPT is used, a student loses all of the Optional Practical training after graduation. Accrual of part-time CPT does not affect eligibility for OPT.
To obtain CPT, a student must:
CPT may be authorized when an internship is a requirement of a degree program (i.e. all students in the program must complete an internship to obtain the degree). Authorization can be for full-time or part-time employment, depending on the academic department's requirement.
CPT may be authorized for students who enroll in a course that requires employment to earn a grade, or a course where students write a paper or design their own research project based on the employment. Enrollment in the course is usually after the employment but can be concurrent (the course can NOT be prior to the employment). Employment may take place in Fall, Spring or Summer. Authorization will be granted on a semester-only basis.
CPT may be authorized if the work the student will be doing for the employment is a required part of the research for the dissertation or thesis. The employment cannot simply be related to the dissertation topic, but will actually be an integral research component of the dissertation / thesis project.
This is the most common time for students to use CPT. Full-time (20 hours or more per week) employment is allowed for all continuing students in the summer. Authorization can be granted from the day after spring semester officially ends up to the last day of the summer (day before fall classes begin). For full time summer CPT, the related course credit would generally be taken in the fall semester.
Employment is limited to part-time (20 hrs/week or less) during the Fall and Spring semesters. Occasionally a student takes a leave of absence for a semester to pursue an internship which is integral to the degree program. If the student is on leave of absence, and meets the other criteria of eligibility for CPT, the student may be authorized for full time CPT.
For Law, JGSM or ILR students, there are internship courses specifically for you that allow for Curricular Practical Training. Please follow the link related to your program below (or to the left). You must register for these courses online starting in late-February.