Curricular Practical Training

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.

How to Apply

Step 1

Fill out the Curricular Practical Training Request Form. Complete the top half of the form and have the bottom half completed by your academic advisor, dean, department chair, or program coordinator. 

Step 2

Drop off the completed form along with the following documents at OGS at least 10 business days before the start date of your internship/practicum:

  • A photocopy of your passport bio/photo page
  • I-94 record
  • A photocopy of your internship class registration (if applicable)
  • If your payroll will be processed by an outside organization, provide a letter of explanation from your employer specifying the name and address of the payroll company.

If eligible, the OGS will authorize you for CPT by issuing an updated I-20. You may not begin employment until you have received your updated I-20.

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.