Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is temporary authorization for practical training, paid or unpaid, directly related to your major field of study. This may include internships, independent study, graduate research, and cooperative education programs.
CPT can be part time (20 hours or less per week), or full time (more than 20 hours per week). Students who accumulate 12 months of full-time CPT authorization automatically lose their eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT). It is the student’s responsibility to keep track of how many days they work full-time while on CPT. Part-time CPT authorization (fewer than 12 months of full-time CPT authorization) should not affect OPT eligibility. Please note that OPT approval is at the discretion of USCIS.
In any case (full time or part time CPT), the student must be making academic progress. Students partaking in CPT must be registered for classes on a full-time basis in order to comply with immigration regulation. Co-op registration alone does not meet the requirement for full-time registration for immigration compliance.
Curricular Practical Training is authorized by the ISSS office and can only be approved for one semester at a time. You must reapply for any subsequent semesters of CPT by submitting a new application packet to ISSS.
An F-1 student is eligible for CPT if:
- They are an active, degree-seeking student at FIT
- They have been lawfully enrolled in a university on a full-time basis for one full academic year
- They continue to maintain a full course of study during the period of employment, per immigration regulations
- They continue to make normal academic progress, per immigration regulations
- They are in good academic standing
Applying for CPT
To apply for CPT, please submit the following to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- CPT workshop grades
- CPT Request Form
- Job offer letter
*If you will be requesting CPT by means of a co-op, then a Co-op Request Form is also required. Please contact Career Services to obtain the Co-op Request Form.
The first step in applying for CPT is to complete the online CPT workshop. You must obtain a score of 100% on the quizzes in order to complete the workshop. Once completed, please be sure to print out your grades.
Second, you will need to meet with your academic advisor to fill out a CPT Request Form. On this form, your advisor will confirm how the practical training will be evaluated and will include details about your program plan. *If you are applying for a co-op, please have your academic advisor sign the Co-op Request Form as well.
Next, you will also need to include a job offer letter with your CPT application packet. Offer letters must be printed on official company letterhead and contain the signature of the supervisor or hiring official. Job offer letters must include the following:
- Position title
- Exact start and end dates of employment (must fall within semester start and end dates)
- Exact number of hours worked per week
- Address where the work will be performed
- Job duties
- Supervisor’s name, title, phone number, and complete address
Lastly, you will need to register for your CPT course. If you are using the Internship or Thesis/Dissertation option, your academic advisor will provide you with the course you should register for. If you are requesting a Co-op, you will receive an email from Career Services with registration instructions. Once you are registered, please email email@example.com so that we can submit your CPT Request to immigration.
Once your application is processed, you will receive an updated I-20 from ISSS which will include your CPT work authorization on page 2. You may begin working on the first day indicated in the CPT authorization only once you have received your updated CPT I-20.
*Please allow 5-7 business days for processing. Co-op requests may take longer, as this requires the approval of several departments. All requests are processed in the order they are received. Please plan accordingly.