What is CPT?

CPT Definition
F-1 Regulations : “Curricular practical training is defined to be alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers  through cooperative agreements with the school.”          
 8 CFR § 214.2 (f)(10)(i)
  • “Curricular” is a reference to the academic degree requirements that are needed to complete a degree.
  • Off-Campus work authorization for internships and other job opportunities must be integral to your degree program. 
  • Integral 
    • Required internship or optional work experience directly related to degree completion.
  • Temporary work authorization
    • Authorized only one semester at a time for all CPT 
    • Authorization dates will mirror the start date of the term and will end on the last day of finals. 
    • Required for paid employment 
  • Employer Specific
    • Must be employer specific
    • Must have an offer letter
  • How do I know if my work opportunity is integral?
    • Required Internships:
      • Cannot graduate without a department-defined work experience
      • Must have a course enrollment
      •  CPT course must be taken the same term of CPT authorization
    • Optional Work Experience: 
      •  Elective required for graduation
      •  Directly related to degree program
      • Must be enrolled in and complete the approved CPT course
      • CPT course must be taken the same term of CPT authorization
      • Any activity within a CSU course that requires “out of the classroom” experience or training requires CPT authorization prior to starting the “out of classroom” activity.

 * Scam Warning!: Please know that your employer should not ask you to pay any fee for your internship job or job training. Those scammers would ask for a fee payment before starting the job and tell you the payment would be refunded in a future paycheck. However, it would be a scam. If it happens to you, do not make a payment and contact CISP advisor immediately.