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
- Meet one of the following requirements:
- are enrolled in an internship course or tutorial for credit
- are required to participate in an internship (not for credit)
- are required to participate in a specific internship to complete the dissertation
Yes. CPT can only be authorized for a specific position at a U.S. organization, 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, 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. There is no cost to the student for the CPT application. However, if the student is enrolled in an internship class, Georgetown University may charge tuition for the course credit.
If you have been authorized for full-time CPT for a total of 12 full months (365 days), you will not be eligible for OPT. Otherwise, OPT should not be affected.
During required academic terms, your total employment/internship activities (on-campus and off-campus, paid and unpaid) may not exceed 20 hours per week. Note this is a weekly maximum, not an average.
Exception: A few programs require full-time CPT during required academic terms, as detailed here (new window).
A part-time authorization is limited to 20 hours per week even during a university break.
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 2019 you are offered an internship for Summer 2019), 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 10 business days and your IS Advisor will send an email when the new Form I-20 with CPT authorization is ready for pickup.
CPT Applications must be submitted by email to your dedicated IS Advisor as PDF attachments.
No, students must submit separate CPT applications for reach semester or summer. Each CPT experience must demonstrate new skills and responsibilities the student will gain from the new position.
The CPT authorization is on on page 2 of the 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 I-20 with CPT authorization.
While on CPT
Yes, F-1 students are required to update their local, U.S. address within 10 days of moving to the new address. Update your local off-campus address in MyAccess to fulfill this requirement.
Yes, you are still in F-1 status. CPT is not an immigration status. Rather, CPT is a benefit of F-1 status for off-campus authorization to engage in practical training in one’s field of study.
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 review the Tax page and complete the Tax Questionnaire each February for current information.
4. What happens if I am authorized for CPT and then I change my mind or lose my position or something about the position changes (location, hours, job description, etc)?
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 student may enroll in an internship class or receive authorization. You must get permission from 1) your Dean or Academic Advisor 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. The maximum number of CPT authorizations for any student is three per degree program.
There may not be a specific class for CPT related to a degree or dissertation requirement. However, students must be registered full time or with an OGS-approved courseload reduction to be eligible.
3. I work at the library for five hours a week and have been offered an internship off campus. How many hours can I request on my CPT Request Form?
While school is in session a student may only engage in a maximum of 20 hours of employment per week, on campus and off campus, paid and unpaid. 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.
5. I have been enrolled as a full-time student for the past two years but in H4 status and just recently changed to F-1 student status. Am I eligible to apply for CPT?
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
- the existence of a supervisory relationship throughout their period of authorization, and
- how they achieved professional immersion despite working remotely.
7. I am partaking in two CPT experiences during the same semester (or same summer) and enrolling in an internship course. Can I complete one CPT application for the two opportunities?
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 total permitted CPT authorizations and will have one authorization left before graduation.
8. I want to intern at an embassy; do I need authorization? I’ve heard embassies are considered foreign territory.
For the purposes of your F-1 status, an embassy is no different than any other U.S. employer. Off-campus authorization is required for both paid and unpaid positions.