CPT allows you, as an F-1 student, to accept off-campus employment as part of the curriculum of your degree program. CPT employment MUST be directly related to your major area of study.
We recommend that ALL students who have an internship that is UNPAID get authorization for practical training if any of the criteria listed on the New York State wage requirements for interns in for-profit businesses are met. If you intend to intern at a not-for-profit business, refer to the New York State wage requirements for interns in not-for-profit businesses to determine if your proposed position is truly volunteer work. If you'll be working elsewhere in the US, please refer to the US Department of Labor guide on unpaid interns.
CPT is typically done on a part-time basis (up to 20 hrs/wk) during school year and on a full-time basis during vacation periods. Exceptions may apply for graduate students depending on the structure of your curriculum.
If you work over 12 months of full-time CPT, you will forfeit all OPT.
Who is Eligible
To qualify for CPT, your program must have an internship elective or fieldwork/practicum requirement as part of the curriculum. Otherwise, read our instructions on Optional Practical Training (OPT).
You must also:
- have a job offer directly related to your program of study.
- have been a full-time student in the US for at least one academic year. (If your graduate program requires all enrolled students to get work experience in the first academic year, you are then eligible during your first year.)
- be in valid F-1 status.
- be making normal progress toward degree completion and be in good academic standing.
CPT for Thesis or Dissertation
If your internship activity is necessary for your thesis or dissertation, and the experience and/or data from it will be directly and clearly used your dissertation or thesis work, you may submit an additional departmental letter, asking the OGS to approve CPT for thesis or dissertation. However, if your CPT experience and/or data from the internship will not be directly and clearly used in the your dissertation or thesis work, you should instead register for any appropriate internship course and seek CPT authorization based on that; or apply for Pre-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT)
How to Apply
Determine whom in your academic department can confirm your academic progress and enrollment for the CPT course, where applicable.
You will need to provide the name and NYU email address of your academic advisor, department chair, program coordinator, or faculty advisor in your academic department to the OGS in order to apply for CPT. That person must then be able to confirm your academic progress, verify that your requested CPT is tied to your curriculum, and confirm that you are enrolled for the course connected to CPT where applicable.
Submit this online request to the OGS for an I-20 authorizing you for CPT.
In order to submit your request successfully, you will need to:
- provide the name and email address of your academic advisor or department contact.
- provide the name, address, and dates of employment for your proposed CPT employer.
- I-94 record
- If your payroll will be processed by an outside organization, a letter of explanation from your employer specifying the name and address of the payroll company.