Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a work authorization benefit for which eligible F-1 students may apply. It allows a student to have a job that is an integral part of an established curriculum for which academic credit is awarded. The employment must be an important component of the student’s academic program (field of study). Examples include alternate work/study programs, internships, and cooperative education programs. If the primary purpose of the employment is to provide the student with work experience which will enhance his/her professional career, then the student must use optional practical training. No application must be filed with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for CPT approval. Students should contact their designated International Student Advisor to schedule an appointment for review and approval of the CPT application.
REQUIREMENTS FOR CPT:
- Students are eligible for CPT if they are in F-1 status and have been studying full-time for at least one academic year. The 1-year full-time enrollments requirement may be waived only if the academic program requires that the CPT begin in the first semester or year.
- The practicum either may be a required or an optional part of the curriculum. *If the CPT is a requirement for all students following a given curriculum, then it does not have to confer credit. *If the CPT is a required part of an optional course in the field of study, then the course MUST be taken FOR CREDIT. (Please refer to the FAQ #2 below for more information.)
- The student must have a job offer in writing.
Note: There is no upper limit on the amount of time available for CPT. However, please note the following:
- Students who use 12 months or more of full-time (20 or more hours per week) CPT will have no available time for Optional Practical Traning (OPT).
- Students who use fewer than 12 months of full-time CPT still will be eligible for up to 12 months of OPT.