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Curricular Practical Training (CPT/Internships)

Off-Campus Employment: 

Off-campus employment opportunities are restricted for F-1 international students so students should never accept or engage in off-campus employment without prior authorization from the Office of International Services. Any unauthorized employment - even for one day - poses a serious threat to your ability to remain in or return to the United States. You must always make sure that you have the necessary employment authorization before you begin work. 

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT is an employment option available to F-1 students who are engaged in an off-campus internship or practical training employment that is considered to be an integral part of the curriculum or academic program and directly related to the student's major. Here are the key aspects of CPT:

  • Students are eligible for CPT when they are enrolled in course that requires an internship or practical training employment, such as the Internship Capstone course. 
  • Students must be receiving academic credit for the work experience to be eligible for CPT. 
  • The student must have been enrolled as a full-time F-1 student for one academic year. 
  • CPT authorization requires a written job offer indicating the job title, dates of employment, number of hours, and location of employment. 
  • CPT authorization is required even if the off-campus internship or practical training is unpaid. 
  • The Office of International Services must authorize CPT in SEVIS prior to the student engaging in the internship experience.  Students then receive a new form I-20 with CPT authorization indicated on the second page.
  • No USCIS approval is necessary, but if the student decides to change their employer, the student must obtain a new job offer letter and a new authorization in SEVIS. CPT is not transferable from one job to the next.
  • CPT must be part-time for undergraduate students (less than 20 hours per week). If graduate students wish to engage in a full-time CPT position (more than 20 hours per week), they are required to meet with their academic advisor and the Office of International Services. 

CPT Authorization Application Process

In order to receive CPT, authorizations F-1 students must: 

  1. Be registered in a course that requires an internship or training component
  2. Submit an offer letter or email from the company to the Office of International Services by email at The letter must include the following information. 
    • Name of Company 
    • Mailing Address of Company
    • Start and End Dates (within the semester)
    • Number of hours per week 
    • Job title and description of role

Sample Job Offer Letter

Note: You may not begin employment until you have been issued a new I-20 with CPT authorization. You may not work before or after your dates of authorized CPT.