CPT (Curricular Practical Training)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is legal employment authorization available to F-1 Students while they are still enrolled full-time. It consists of a work/study program, internship, cooperative education or practicum which is an integral part of established curriculum of the degree program in which the student is enrolled. In order to be eligible, the F-1 student must have been enrolled full-time for at least one academic year, be maintaining legal status, registered a for-credit course and be able to show that the job you are applying for is related to your major field of study. Please note that if you are applying for a change of status within the United States, you will not be eligible for CPT until your F-1 status has been approved by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

There is no limit to the length of time allotted to CPT, however students who have received a year or more of full time CPT employment are no longer eligible for Optional Practical Training after completion of their degree. Time allotted for CPT is not deducted from your allotment of OPT unless it exceeds twelve months of full-time employment, in which case the OPT option is forfeited. Full-time CPT is defined as employment for over 20 hours per week. Part-time CPT is defined as employment of 20 hours per week or fewer.

To apply for CPT:

  1. Fill out the Curricular Practical Training Application and have your advisor or program director sign the bottom of it.
  2. Set up a meeting with the International Student Advisor by calling (617) 521 2554
  3. If the International Student Advisor approves the CPT, she will then update the student's record in SEVIS to indicate that you are:
    • authorized for CPT
    • the duration of the authorization
    • and whether you are authorized for full-time or part-time CPT.

Regardless of whether you engage in full-time or part-time CPT, you must maintain a full academic course load in order to maintain your legal F-1 Status. When the SEVIS record is updated, the International Student Advisor will print out, sign and date a copy of the employment page of the I-20, which, once returned to the student, will allow the student to commence work as authorized by the I-20.