CPT work experience must be in the F-1 student’s field of study and must contain a curricular component. The concept of curricular practical training is to bring the learning of the job experience into the classroom to be evaluated by the Faculty Co-Op Advisor.
If student’s academic program requires immediate participation in CPT, then the first academic year requirement can be waived. This is very rare as most academic programs do not require that CPT be done in the first academic year.
F-1 students are not permitted to finish their program by only doing CPT. Students doing CPT during their last term, must have required remaining work for completion of degree that is in addition to CPT. For this reason, it is mostly an occasional approval to graduate students working on their thesis/dissertation if the work is integral to the completion of their thesis/dissertation and then the CPT would need to be approved by both their Thesis Advisor and the School Dean.
F-1 graduate coursework students are not permitted to do CPT in their last semester and need to apply for pre-completion optional practical training (Pre-OPT) should they wish to work off-campus in their last semester.
An F-1 student making up an incomplete is not eligible for CPT. As stated above, the concept of curricular practical training is to bring the learning of the job experience into the classroom/be evaluated by the Faculty Co-Op Advisor prior to a student’s degree completion.
Student who is finishing in the summer is not permitted to do CPT unless they are a graduate thesis student who has work that is required for the completion of their degree and even then, it must have the approval of their Thesis Advisor and School Dean.
CPT is authorized per academic semester by the International Students and Scholars Office and the USCIS. CPT work authorization should fall within the semester dates. CPT requests in mid semester will require additional written justification that the CPT work experience is integral to the student’s academic degree and outline how it will be integrated into the student’s semester requirements.
Each F-1 CPT work authorization must be registered on student's transcript. Course registration must be for a minimum of one credit (as per department requirements.) Only CPT that is required for completion of degree as per the course catalog may have a course registration of zero credit.
If an F-1 student uses 12 months of full-time CPT, they will not be permitted to apply for post completion optional practical training (Post OPT). Part-Time CPT does not impact the 12-month CPT allotment.