Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a type of off-campus work permission for F-1 international students who want to gain experience in their field of study. CPT is defined as employment which is an integral part of an established curriculum, including: “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.” Source: [8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(i)]. CPT is available only prior to the completion of a degree program and students must have a job offer at the time of application. CPT employment may not delay completion of the academic program.
To obtain CPT, a student must:
- be in valid F-1 immigration status for at least two semesters (except graduate students who must work immediately as a requirement for their degree)
- secure a job offer related to the his/her field of study
- get CPT authorization BEFORE beginning employment; authorization cannot be post-dated
P/DSO’s at Saint Peter’s Center for Global Learning authorize CPT in SEVIS after establishing the student’s eligibility and reviewing the application materials. The authorization is granted by issuing a new I-20 for the student with the employer’s information notated on page 2 of the document. After the application for CPT is submitted to the CGL, the new I-20 is issued within 2 working days. The I-20 should be shown to the employer as evidence of work authorization.
There is no limit to the amount of CPT a student is eligible for. However, if 12 months or more of full-time CPT is used, a student forfeits eligibility of Optional Practical Training. Accrual of part-time CPT does not affect eligibility for OPT.
Types of Curricular Practical Training
Again, CPT is only available to F-1 students when it is an integral part of an established curriculum. In practical terms, “integral part of an established curriculum” means an opportunity must be required by the curriculum or, if not required, the student must receive credit for the training (transcripted).
- Degree Requirement (for Master’s students)
CPT may be authorized when an internship is a requirement of the degree program (i.e. all students in the program must complete the internship to obtain the degree). Graduate students may be authorized for full-time or part-time CPT. Proof of course enrollment for this type of CPT is not required.
Eligible Master’s Programs: : Data Science, Business Analytics, Marketing Science, Cyber Security, Business Administration (MBA), and Education. For other programs, please ask your P/DSO or program director if your program has been identified as requiring employment to graduate.
- Course Credit (for Undergraduate students)
CPT may be authorized for students who enroll in a course that requires employment to earn a grade, or a course where students design their own research project based on the employment. For undergraduates, CPT can be authorized for full-time employment during breaks, but is limited to part-time employment while classes are in session. Enrollment in the course must be concurrent with the employment. Authorization will be granted on a semester-only basis. However, if a student wishes to work for a period longer than the last day of the semester, s/he must enroll in the next available semester before authorization can be extended beyond the current term.
Fall and Spring Semester. Employment is limited to part-time (20 hrs/week or less) while classes are in session.
Summer. Full-time (21 hours or more per week) employment is allowed for all continuing students in the summer. To be eligible, students must enroll in one of the current or next available semester courses. Authorization can be granted as early as the day after spring classes end up to the last day of the summer (day before fall classes begin).
How to Apply for Curricular Practical Training
Contact your PDSO to begin the process.