Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is CPT?
An F-1 student may engage in paid, off-campus employment if it directly relates to a
course for which they are currently registered. The course must be approved by the
student’s academic department. The employment authorization is granted by the Office of
International Student Services (ISS).
Who can apply for CPT?
Full time F-1 students who have been in the program for two consecutive semesters
may apply for CPT. The student must be full time in BOTH the fall and spring
Do I need to be registered for a course for CPT?
Students must be registered for a course to engage in CPT. ISS will not authorize
CPT until you have registered for a course.
Is CPT part time or full time?
A student may engage in either part time (20 hours a week) or full time (21- 40 hours
a week) CPT.
When do I start/end my CPT employment?
CPT is only approved for the duration of the related course. Therefore the CPT must
start/end within the confines of the semester in which you engage in CPT. The CPT
course must be completed at the end of the semester, or risk jeopardizing your F-1
Will CPT affect my eligibility for Post-Completion OPT?
If you engage in 12 months of full time CPT, you will be ineligible for Optional
Practical Training (OPT). Engaging in less than 12 months of full time CPT will not
affect your Post Completion OPT.
Can I extend my CPT?
No, you cannot extend your CPT period. However you may apply for another semester
of CPT if recommended by your department. Please remember this would mean
registering for another course.
For more information contact the Office of International Student Service at (201)-692-2743.
Applying for CPT
1. The letter of employment on company letterhead must have the following:
o Your name
o The number of hours to be worked per week
o The office location where you will be working
o The start and end of date of employment
o The salary/hourly wage/compensation being offered (if any)
o A general description of responsibilities being offered
2. A letter from your academic department recommending CPT stating:
o The course name and number in which you will be registered for, and how the
course is directly related to the employment
3. A copy of current registration for the course.
o NOTE: CPT will not be authorized on your I-20 unless you have proof of
After all these documents have been collected, bring them to International Student Services
(ISS) for processing. You will be issued a new SEVIS I- 20 with the authorization for CPT on