Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) defines Curricular Practical Training as employment that is an “integral part” of a student’s course of study. This work authorization is granted by a DSO (Designated School Official) for an F-1 student to complete an internship that is an academic component of the student’s degree program.
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F-1 students must have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for two required semesters (fall and spring) before becoming eligible for CPT. Students must be in F-1 status and have not yet completed the academic requirements for their degree program.
CPT should not be used to facilitate off-campus employment as its sole purpose; it must be an academic component of the degree program. Very few degree programs at OSU require an internship in order to complete the degree program. Some will award degree credit for an internship, but you must receive required internship credit toward your degree to be eligible for CPT. Departments without required internships can award credit for internships toward the degree program as long as the credit awarded toward the internship doesn't cause the student to exceed the minimum credits required to earn the degree. Graduate Students must include the internship course to their plan of study. Some graduate students may qualify for CPT if the internship is required for their research and the data gathered in the internship will be included in their published thesis or dissertation.
The CPT enrollment must be an academic component of the degree program in one of these ways:
· The internship is a required part of the degree program.
· The internship is not a required part of the degree program, but academic credit will be given for the internship, and the credit will count toward minimum degree requirements so that student will not exceed number of hours required to complete degree.
· The internship is required to complete thesis or dissertation research.
The student must obtain an internship offer letter on company letterhead that indicates all of the following:
· Employer’s name
· Exact address of internship
· Exact start and end dates of the internship
· Supervisor’s name, internship job title and description
· If the internship is full-time or part-time
Students in full-time CPT must maintain and complete minimum enrollment requirements. US immigration law does not permit a student to complete less than a full course load during a required semester (fall and spring) due to full-time CPT.
Students can only be employed in the US for the specific internship employer, location, and period as authorized by the DSO on the I-20.
CPT may be approved for part-time (20 hours or less per week) or full-time (over 20 hours per week). Full- time internships are appropriate, in most cases, during summer break. 12 months of full-time CPT will result in ineligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT). The academic advisor must provide written support for a request for full-time CPT during a required semester. The purpose of the F-1 visa is not to facilitate off- campus employment, but to pursue a degree full-time.
CPT is authorized by the DSO each semester. Multiple semesters of CPT will require separate applications for each semester. CPT may be authorized only before the completion of the degree.
How to apply
Step1: Read the instruction and presentation file, and fill out the documents
The instruction file includes "Academic Advisor Confirmation form", "Adviser’s Letter Sample", and "Offer/Employment Letter Sample".
Step2: Fill the form below
To submit the CPT application you will need to upload the following documents:
- Academic Advisor Confirmation Form
- Adviser’s letter (see example of the recommendation letter below)
- Offer/Employment letter
- Copy of the internship class enrollment
Step 3: Wait for email notification that the ISS office has issued your CPT I-20.
You may collect the CPT I-20 in the ISS office. Please allow up to 10 business days to process the CPT I-20.