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 with a US based employer.

We recommend that ALL students who have an UNPAID internship get authorization for practical training if your internship does not meet all of the criteria listed on the New York State wage requirements for interns in for-profit businesses. 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 the school year and on a full-time basis during vacation periods (summer sessions and J-term). Very few graduate programs allow for full-time (more than 20hrs/wk) CPT during the fall or spring semesters. Confirm with your academic department whether your program allows full-time CPT during the school year.

Please talk with OGS advisors if you plan to use over 11.5 months of full-time CPT, as you risk forfeiting all OPT. Please note, you may not work before the CPT start date or after the CPT end date listed on your I-20, and your CPT authorization cannot be modified or changed retroactively after your employment start date.  

In general, the dates of the internship and the CPT authorization must fall within the dates of the internship course, if any. Also, CPT dates may not extend into an adjoining semester without additional enrollment for an internship course in that semester.

Who is Eligible

To qualify for CPT, your program must have an internship elective that contributes to the required credits to complete your degree 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. **Enrollment at an English language school or US high school is NOT considered as part of the one academic year requirement. (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.
  • have completed the required CPT Module.

CPT for Thesis or Dissertation

If your internship activity is necessary for your graduate level thesis or dissertation, and the experience and/or data from it will be directly and clearly used in 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 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


Complete the CPT Module, Understand the Process, and Prepare the Needed Documents

Complete the CPT module, read all the steps in this process carefully and make sure you're eligible! Then gather and prepare all items you need for your CPT application.

Complete the CPT Module

The CPT Module is a self-paced online module that can be completed at a time most convenient to you. Ideally, you should complete this training before you start applying for internships or jobs off campus. At the latest, you MUST complete this training module by the time you submit your CPT application to OGS in order to be eligible for CPT at NYU.

In addition to the CPT Module, you can attend an employment workshop for further tips on making a successful CPT application and reminders on what you need to do while you are on CPT to maintain your F-1 status.


Determine Who 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 experiential learning coordinator (e.g. department chair, program coordinator, experiential placement coordinator, academic advisor) to 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.


Get a Job or Internship Offer


Submit 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. This must be a US based employer.
  • confirm that your most recent I-94 record reflects a class of admission as F-1 and the admit until date shows D/S.

and upload a scanned copy of the following, if it applies:

  • 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.
  • If you are a Tandon Graduate student and your program allows for full-time CPT during the spring or fall semester, you will need a support letter from your academic department. Your academic department must use this Full-Time CPT letter template copied onto the department letterhead and signed before you upload the letter as support in your CPT request. 

If you have any problems submitting the online request, review our troubleshooting tips.

Once the OGS receives both your request for a CPT and the electronic confirmation from your department, it takes us 5 -10 business days to process your request. We will send an email to your NYU email address when your new I-20 is ready.

Once you receive your authorization for CPT, you must apply for a Social Security Number if you don't already have one. You must have a Social Security Number before you can be paid.

If Any Changes Occur with Your CPT Once Approved

If any update needs to be made with your CPT once you're approved (for example, you are requesting the dates to be changed or you have a new internship site), you must submit a new CPT request. Once you do so, OGS can ensure your academic department is aware and supportive of any change and provide you with an updated I-20 if and when the change is approved.

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