F-1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
In order to participate in paid/unpaid off-campus internship (CPT), F-1 international students must be enrolled full-time for one full academic year (two consecutive academic semesters). Exception to this is given to graduate students that require immediate CPT participation (internship is integral to and part of the curriculum).
Attention transfer students: If you have been enrolled full-time as an F-1 student in an academic program at another U.S. institution and have already met the one full academic year requirement, you may be eligible for CPT when you begin your program, provided you have completed the requirements outlined in the guidelines below. Please keep in mind you must also complete new student requirements, such as the mandatory new student orientation and check-in before you can be approved for CPT.
For questions or to establish your off-campus employment eligibility, please visit the International Student and Scholars Office to meet with an International Student Advisor.
- All students seeking an internship must first enroll in Career Services’ INSPIRE (International Student Professional Readiness Education) Program and attend mandatory and recommended online and in person workshops. Please login to Blackboard: My Organization-INSPIRE to get started!
- One of the online workshops is Career Services CPT Guidelines Workshop; after you view this online, your information will be submitted to ISS.
- ISS will determine your off –campus employment eligibility. Your eligibility will be determined by the length of time you have been in F-1 status.
- You will be informed by ISS about your eligibility date and next steps. Once your off-campus employment eligibility is saved on your student record, you will have access to the CPT Eligibility Checklist in ISS Connect. The checklist includes the mandatory ISS-Coop online CPT workshop, CPT acknowledgement form, and CPT Guidance.
- Eligible students may intern up to 20 hours per week during the academic year and full-time for the summer or winter break in a position that is related to the student’s major area of study.
- You MUST obtain written authorization BEFORE beginning ANY internship. CPT is authorized on a semester and/or school break basis (one at a time). If students start a paid or unpaid Practical Training (internship) PRIOR to getting authorization (new Form I-20) from the International Student Office, they will be in violation of their visa status and the employer will be informed.
- Review the CPT Guidelines (PDF) for more information.
- Attend a mandatory ISS-Career Services online CPT workshop.