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Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) allows students the chance to obtain off-campus, work (paid or unpaid) that is directly related to their field of study.  It is generally approved as part-time work (20 hours or less per week) while school is in session.  During vacation periods, it may be authorized for more than 20 hours per week.

Using full-time CPT for 12 months will forfeit all Optional Practical Training (OPT).  Part-time CPT does not impact your OPT.


Types of CPT


  1. REQUIRED FOR YOUR ACADEMIC PROGRAM – Your academic program may require employment, practicum, OR internship experience in the field of study to graduate.

  2. NON-REQUIRED INTERNSHIP, PRACTICUM, OR INTERNSHIP – Your academic program may provide an option to complete practical experience in the form of an internship, placement, independent study or practicum.  For this type of CPT, the experience must be counted as academic credit and directly related to your field of study. You must be enrolled for the course while engaging in this type of CPT.

CPT Application Deadlines (2016)

You should apply for CPT at least 3 weeks before the start of the academic term for which you are applying.  Please see below for the 2016 deadlines


Academic Term Start Date (2016)

 CPT Application Deadline

Spring Semester: January 20th, 2016  Wednesday, December 30th, 2015
Spring Quarter: February 29th, 2016  Monday, February 8th, 2016
Summer Quarter: May 23rd, 2016  Monday, May 2nd, 2016
Summer Semester: May 23rd, 2016  Monday, May 2nd, 2016
Fall Semester: September 7th, 2016  Wednesday, August 17th, 2016
Fall Quarter: September 12th, 2016  Monday, August 22nd, 2016
Winter Quarter: November 28th, 2016  Monday, November 7th, 2016


Paid vs. Unpaid Internships

PAID VS. UNPAID INTERNSHIPS As an F-1 student, you must obtain work authorization for any type of employment. Unpaid internships at “for profit” companies and organizations are considered work unless it meets the following standards from the Department of Labor

  • The training received must be similar to what would be given in an educational environment
  • The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern only
  • The intern or trainee doesn’t displace regular employees (i.e. you cannot “volunteer” for a position that is otherwise paid
  • The employer gets no immediate benefit from the activities of the intern
  • The intern or trainee is not necessarily entitled to a job at the end of the internship
  • The intern is not entitled to wages or remuneration for time at internship

If your unpaid internship does not meet these standards, it is considered paid and must be authorized.

Applying for CPT

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate F-1 international students interested in applying for CPT should connect with their PACT Mentor for assistance.  You will need your PACT Mentor to work with the Office of Career and Professional Developement to apply for an academic internship.


Graduate Students

Graduate F-1 international students interested in applying for CPT should complete the PDF icon CPT Information & Recommendation Form_.pdf.  It will require review and signatures from your Academic Program Director and your internship supervisor.  Once completed, return to International Student Services for final approval.

Who is Eligible?

To be eligible for CPT, you must have

  1. Have been lawfully enrolled as a full-time student in the U.S. for at least one academic year*

  2. Be in lawful F-1 status at the time of applying for CPT, and

  3. Have a job offer that is directly related to your program

  • The internship description or job offer letter should include a list of responsibilities, company name and address, and supervisor name and address.

 *If your graduate program requires an internship or practicum right away, you are then eligible for CPT during your first academic year


Questions about CPT?

Feel free to call or email the ISS Office at (914) 674-7284 or with questions regarding CPT.