CPT: Curricular Practical Training

What is CPT?

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a benefit of F-1 visa status. According to the immigration regulations, CPT is “alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.” CPT must be an “integral part of an established curriculum.”  This means you must be getting academic credit for the work that you are doing and it must apply to your degree here at SUNY Broome Community College. CPT can be part-time (20 hours or less) or full-time (over 20 hours).  You MUST maintain a full course load (12 credits) while on CPT during the semester.

Who is eligible?

An F-1 student is eligible for CPT if the following conditions are satisfied:

  • student has been lawfully enrolled on a full time basis for a minimum on one full academic year;
  • student is in legal F-1 status;
  • student is enrolled in a degree program; and
  • the training is an integral part of the student’s degree program.

How do I apply for CPT?

The authorization for CPT comes directly from the office of your International Student Counselor (ISC).  If all requirements are satisfied the ISC will approve your CPT authorization in SEVIS.  There is no fee nor any paperwork that must be mailed to USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immmigration Services).  However, the paperwork required will need to be completed BEFORE authorization will be permitted and work CAN NOT begin before authorization is received.

 The following are the requirements you must complete for CPT authorization:

  • Completion of Employer Verification Form by prospective employer.  This form guarantees the offer of employment necessary for authorization.  It also gives guidance for duration suggestion.  This is the employer you will be granted permission to work at during your CPT.
  • Completion of Academic Eligibility for CPT Form by your Academic Advisor/Dean
  • Complete Student Acknowledgement Form

Please note that it may take several weeks to get the forms completed depending on your prospective employers and academic advisors schedule so you should plan ahead.  Once you have these forms completed, you should make an appointment with the ISC to authorize your Curricular Practical Training.  This process should be completed the semester BEFORE you are requesting the CPT.  You are only allowed to begin CPT employment once it has been authorized by the ISC, you have received your new I-20 with the authorization noted and signed, and during the authorized dates only.

Does this affect my eligibility to do OPT (Optional Practical Training)?

If you participate in 12 months or more of Full Time CPT, then you become ineligible for optional practical training for that degree level.  It is not clear as to whether Part Time CPT can be counted toward that 12 months of full time training.  So it is best to be cautious when making the choice to apply for Curricular Practical Training. 

What else should I know?

There is no regulation that limits the number of times or the length of time a student may engage in CPT; however, this will be regulated based on the degree and program requirements.  You are only allowed to do your CPT for the authorized employer, location, and time approved and recorded by your ISC.  The CPT can be granted for no more than one year at a time.

Download the required forms:

Student Acknowledgement Form

Academic Eligibility Form

Employer Verification Form

Employer Information Sheet on CPT