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.

F-1 Students who:

  • Have been in lawful, full-time status for one full academic year
  • Will not complete their degree requirements until after the position has ended
  • Are in good academic standing
  • Have been offered a position that is directly related to their major field of study
  • Are in a degree program in which off-campus experience is an integral part of the curriculum
  • Meets one of the following requirements: 
    • Is enrolled in an internship course or tutorial for credit
    • Is required to participate in an internship (not for credit)
    • Is required to participate in a specific internship to complete the dissertation

Yes. CPT can only be authorized for a specific position, at a specific location,during specific dates. The offer letter must be presented on company letterhead, with a brief job description, employment start date, employment end date, hours per week, salary information and supervisor details.

Yes. If the CPT is granted in conjunction with an internship class, you must remain enrolled in the class throughout the semester and work only during the approved semester dates. If the CPT is granted as a degree requirement or dissertation necessity, you must be enrolled full time for the semester (unless approved for part-time by OGS in advance of beginning the CPT). Once CPT is approved by OGS, students are not permitted to withdraw from the CPT course even if they end their CPT prematurely.

No. Your dedicated IS Advisor may authorize CPT in 3-5 business days after you submit a completed CPT Request Form, your most recent I-94 entry record, and your offer letter.

No. There is no cost to the student for the CPT application. However, if the student is enrolled in an internship class, s/he must pay the class tuition to Georgetown University.

If you have full-time CPT for a total of 12 full months (365 days), you will not be eligible for OPT. Otherwise, OPT is not affected.

CPT combined with any other authorization or on-campus employment cannot exceed a total of 20 hours per week during the academic terms but may be full-time during official University breaks. Students who wish to move from part-time to full-time CPT must complete a new request form and present a new offer letter and I-94 record.

Application Process

In order to request CPT authorization for the current term, you may submit the entire application to your dedicated IS Advisor as soon as you get the offer letter, the most recent I-94 entry record, and have completed the CPT request form with your academic department or dean. For future semesters (e.g., in February 2018 you are offered an internship for Summer 2018), please email your dedicated IS Advisor to determine the date they will begin processing applications for the next semester. Note: It is impossible to request a start date in the past!

OGS processing takes 3-5 business days and you will be notified by e-mail informing you when the new I-20 authorizing the CPT position is ready for pickup. 

CPT Applications must be submitted by email to your dedicated IS Advisor as PDF attachments. You can find the CPT Request Form here and your most recent I-94 entry record here.

No, students must submit separate requests for CPT for each semester or summer. It is essential that with each CPT experience, it must be clear what new skills and responsibilities the students is gaining from the new position.

Your IS Advisor will send an e-mail to your GU e-mail address when processing is complete. If you do not receive this e-mail within 6 business days, please send an e-mail to your IS Advisor; to check on your request.

The CPT authorization can be found on page 2 of your new Form I-20. You may begin working after you pick up the new I-20 and have reached the authorized CPT start date. You may not begin your CPT experience if that start date of the CPT has not yet been reached, even if you already have the Form I-20 with CPT authorization.

While on CPT

Yes, the F-1 immigration regulations require you to report your local, U.S. address within 10 days of moving to a new address. Update your local off-campus address on MyAccess to fulfill this requirement.

Yes, CPT is not a status but an off-campus authorization for practical training that is a benefit of F-1 status.

Maybe. If you are an F-1 student and have not been in the United States for 5 years you should not be paying Social Security or Medicare taxes. However, you may be subject to income tax depending on the amount of money you earn and your tax rate. Please attend GU tax workshops and review the OGS tax web page for more information each January/February/March. 

You must notify your dedicated IS Advisor immediately in order to cancel or amend your CPT so your SEVIS record remains accurate.

Specific CPT Scenarios

Yes, but many programs and departments limit the number of times you may enroll in an internship class or receive authorization. You must get permission from 1) your academic dean or director and 2) your dedicated IS Advisor for each period of CPT. CPT must remain integral to your curriculum and cannot be used to simply facilitate employment.

There may not be a specific class for CPT that is related to a degree or dissertation requirement. However, students must be registered full time or on an OGS-approved courseload reduction to be eligible.

While school is in session a student may only engage in a maximum of 20 hours of employment per week, regardless of whether they are engaged in employment on campus or off campus. A student who meets the eligibility requirements for CPT and works on campus 5 hours per week may be authorized for part-time CPT for an additional 15 hours. However, the total employment while school is in session may not exceed 20 hours per week (graduate assistantships count as 15 hours of permissible work per week; likewise Resident Hall Assistantships count as 20 hours per week). 

To participate in CPT, the program/school must either have:

  • An approved internship course that carries credit, semester dates, a faculty supervisor and is listed in the University bulletin; or
  • The academic dean or advisor must attest that the internship is a graduation degree requirement
  • or the DGS or department chair must attest to the fact that the student needs the internship experience to complete the dissertation requirement.

If the program/school cannot attest to one of the above requirements, then CPT is not an option and Pre-completion OPT or work with an International Organization may be alternatives.

Yes. In addition to the regular application materials, please also submit the documentation showing your previous semesters of full-time enrollment.

CPT authorization is intended to facilitate off-campus opportunities that resemble classroom instruction, albeit in a more practical context. A key characteristic of such an experience is a supervisory relationship, consisting of regular assignment and evaluation of deliverables. Practical Training also implies meaningful immersion in a professional environment.

Students who request CPT for remote positions should keep detailed documentation establishing (1) the existence of a supervisory relationship throughout their period of authorization, and (2) how they achieved professional immersion despite working remotely.

No. With each new position at each new location,students must apply for a new CPT authorization. In this scenario, the student will be using up 2 of the 3 permitted CPT authorizations and will only one authorization left before graduation.

Unfortunately, anything off campus that students do while physically in the United States requires authorization. If students receive an offer letter from an embassy, they will have to apply for CPT authorization.