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Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Last updated July 07, 2020

Curricular Practical Training


What is Curricular Practical Training?

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is authorization needed for any off-campus internship prior to the completion of an academic program or degree. Per regulations, CPT must be "an integral part of an established curriculum" and is "defined to be alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers."

CPT can be used during the fall, spring, or summer sessions. Students must reapply each semester they wish to participate in CPT. A student must register for a CPT-related course and be authorized by the DSO prior to the start of any internship or academic learning experience. To receive authorization, CPT experiences must be directly related to a student's level and major field of study.

CPT is for the purpose of an academic learning experience, not for facilitating employment.



When is a student eligible for CPT?

  • Student must be in valid F-1 status
  • Student must have completed one academic year


What steps must I take in order to complete the CPT application process?

  • Receive internship offer
  • Obtain employment verification letter. Sample.
  • Work with your supervising faculty to establish internship class/credit
  • Register for internship class
  • Complete the CPT Request Form
  • Set up an appointment with your DSO to review CPT request form. For your appointment you will need:
    • Completed CPT Request Form
    • Employment verification letter

What must be included in the employment verification letter?

  • Name and address of the company or institution providing the CPT learning experience
  • Name and address of the company or institution where the CPT learning experience will take place, if different from the address of the company
  • Specific start (month/day/year) and end dates (month/day/year). Must be within our academic term
  • Number of hours of CPT activity each week
  • Must be on the company letter head



Is there a limit of how much CPT I can have?

365 days of full-time (40 hours per week) CPT eliminates eligibility for OPT at the same educational level

Are there any restrictions on how many hours I can work while on CPT?

  • Part-time CPT: 20 hours or fewer per week
  • Full-time CPT: 21 hours or more per week. This is only available to Morningside students during the Summer Term or students completing an Externship.

Can I drop a course on which my CPT is based?

Yes, but your CPT authorization will be canceled. 

Can I submit just one request if I plan to do CPT for more than one semester?

No, students must submit a new request for each semester of CPT.


CPT and On-Campus Employment

Can I request CPT and still work on campus?

Yes, students are eligible to work up to 20 hours each week on campus in addition to their CPT. However, it may not be advisable to attempt 20 hours of on-campus employment, CPT activity, and full-time enrollment. 


CPT Experience

When can I begin my CPT?

Students may begin CPT experience on the date listed on their employment letter and only after receiving the new I-20 with CPT authorization.

Can I change employers during my CPT?

Yes, but the new training must meet the eligibility requirements for CPT. Students must complete a new CPT request. Students must receive a new I-20 with the new company or institution's information on it before participating in a CPT learning experience at that location.


Immigration Consequences

What will happen if I work off-campus without CPT authorization?

  • You will be in violation of your F-1 nonimmigrant status.
  • Your visa will be terminated.
  •  It could impact your future visa requests to the United States.