Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is defined as employment that is an integral part of an established curriculum, in the student's course of study. Types of CPT work authorization can be internship, cooperative education, or any other employment that is related to the student's degree program. Thus, CPT for F-1 students is intended to provide work experience in situations where the work serves as an integral part of a student's academic program, prior to completion of that program.
In order to be enrolled in the CPT (Co-op) program, the student must have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for one academic year (2 semesters) before being eligible for CPT. It is only available to students in valid F-1 status and before the completion of his/her program. Students must meet all program requirements each term including meeting all scheduled deadlines, maintaining the minimum GPA standard of 2.0 for undergraduates and 3.0 for graduate students, and notifying both Office of International Programs and the Career Development Center (CDC) of employment. Students not meeting the program requirements will not be allowed to work during that term. All assignments are semester based and changing employers during the semester is not allowed. Students must also maintain health insurance at all times.
This process should be started as soon as possible to ensure completion by the start of employment term.
You are authorized to work for specific dates of employment on your I-20. You may not begin before the start date or continue working after the end date. If you expect that you will need to work beyond your end date, you must reapply for CPT and be approved by Office of International Affairs. If you work beyond the end date, you will be working illegally and could lose future immigration benefits.
An International Student Adviser will authorize CPT by issuing a new I-20. Processing time is 5-7 business days. You may engage in CPT employment only after you have received the I-20 with work authorization. This work authorization is valid only for the specific employer, location, time period and on a part-time or full-time basis as approved and recorded by an International Students Adviser as evidenced on your I-20 issued for CPT.