Quick Information & Links

Basics: Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an F-1 off-campus authorization for paid and unpaid positions directly related to the major field of study listed on Page 1 of the Form I-20. CPT can be used to authorize a variety of positions, including employment, internships, fellowships, practicums, etc.  

Context: U.S. federal regulations grant universities the authority to issue CPT for opportunities that are integral to the curriculum of a degree program. CPT is unique among U.S. work authorizations for foreign citizens because it does not require an application to USCIS. This makes CPT a natural target for scrutiny by immigration authorities. Perceived abuse of CPT could jeopardize access to future immigration benefits. 

Conditions: Unless required by the academic curriculum, CPT cannot be used during the first two semesters of F-1 study. F-1 Students may not exceed three CPT authorizations during a degree program. Withdrawal from an internship course voids CPT authorization, and students who fail an internship course are ineligible for further CPT authorization.

Procedures: Apply by email to your dedicated IS Advisor. A new Form I-20 reflecting authorization will be issued within 3-5 business days following the submission of a complete application.

Attend an OFf-Campus Authorization Session  CPT Eligible Course List 

CPT Request Form (PDF)  CPT FAQs

Sample Offer Letter (PDF)

Application

  • Determine if your program has off-campus experience as part of its curriculum: CPT Eligible Course List.
  • Attend a pre-completion off-campus authorization workshop at OGS or complete the CPT module and quiz in the Canvas International Student & Scholar Services course (Off-Campus Authorization Module 1).

    *Note: If you complete the Canvas module, you must complete the corresponding quiz.

The letter should be written on the organization's letterhead and must include the following information:
  • position description and title
  • position start and end date*
  • number of hours per week**
  • supervisor's name, title, and contact information
  • employment address (if not included on letterhead)
  • Sample Employment Verification Letter (PDF)

*Credit-based CPT authorizations cannot begin before the first day of classes or end after the last day of exams (Academic Calendar).

**F-1 Students may not exceed 20 total hours per week of employment and training during required academic terms (combined on- and off-campus). This is a weekly maximum rather than an average.

Incomplete letters will delay authorization issuance.

Email the complete CPT application to your dedicated IS Advisor (OGS does not accept in-person submissions). Allow 3-5 business days for processing. Do not begin any activities for the organization until you receive the authorization approval notice from your IS Advisor.

Your IS Advisor will issue a new Form I-20 reflecting CPT authorization on Page 2.

F-1 Students must be in the United States to request CPT. Please include the dates of any upcoming international travel in your CPT application email.

 

Questions about the CPT process? Eligibility? Limitations on CPT?
Or examples of employment scenarios that qualify for CPT?
 View the Frequently asked questions