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F-1 Curricular Practical Training

CPT Eligibility

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 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.

  1. 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 CLASSES: Communities - 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.
    • If you have questions about accessing INSPIRE, please contact Career Services.
  2. 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.
  3. ISS will email you about your eligibility date and the next steps.
    • After you receive the email with your eligibility date, you will complete the CPT Eligibility Checklist in ISS Connect. In order to be eligible for CPT Authorization, your CPT Eligibility Checklist must first be submitted.

CPT Authorization

  • 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.
  • Students authorized for CPT 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.

Review the CPT Guidelines (PDF) for more information.