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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Student completes Part I
- Academic Dean/Advisor completes Part II.
- CPT Request Form (PDF).
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.