Curricular Practical Training
What is Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?
Curricular Practical Training, or CPT, is referred to by many different names. Whether you call it Co-op, internship, working off-campus, or a part-time job, it all refers to the same thing: CPT. Beware! Not all off-campus employment qualifies for CPT authorization. Read below for more information about what types of employment are eligible for CPT authorization.
Curricular practical training allows you to work off-campus in a position related to your field of study. Employment under CPT must also be considered “an integral part of an established curriculum.” Curricular practical training falls into one of three categories:
Who is eligible for curricular practical training as offered through the Co-op Office?
Eligibility requirements for obtaining authorization from the International Student Advisor and the Co-op Office on your campus are as follows:
How many hours can I work?
While school is in session, you may be authorized to work on a part-time basis (no more than 20 hours per week). During documented school vacations and breaks and during the summer you may be authorized to work on a full-time basis (40 hours per week). During the academic year, CPT employment is in addition to your regular full-time course load.
The eligibility requirements and hourly limits for CPT authorizations include both paid and unpaid positions in accordance with Pace University policy. The following policies apply to receiving university approval for unpaid work:
If you work 12 months or more of full-time curricular practical training you will forfeit all optional practical training. Part-time curricular practical training is not counted toward the 12-month threshold at which a student loses eligibility for optional practical training. Employment of more than 20 hours per week is considered full-time and will be counted by the USCIS in determining your eligibility for optional practical training.
How do I apply for a Co-op Internship?
The following procedures should be followed to obtain authorization for a co-op internship:
Work authorization will be granted on a semester basis. If your co-op placement extends beyond this initial employment authorization, you must obtain renewal authorization from the International Student Advisor before the expiration date of your current authorization. You may not continue to work beyond the end date that is specified on your Form I-20. If you do, you are working illegally.
A student may begin Curricular Practical Training ONLY after receiving an endorsement on the Form I-20 from International Student Advisor.
What if I am taking an internship for course credit or the internship is a required component of my degree?
If the internship is required for your degree program, you must bring a letter from your department chairperson to the International Student Advisor on your campus. The letter should provide information on the specific internship opportunity as well as the degree requirement that it satisfies and the period of time that will be required to complete the internship.
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