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Curriculum Practical Training (CPT) Policy

Statement of Purpose

The Department attempts to work with international students (those on F-1visas) to provide them with opportunities to undertake all or part of theirCurricular Practical Training (CPT) while full time students at UMass Lowell. 

Please note that in addition to Curricular Practical Training designation, there is also Optional Practical Training.  This CS Department Policy addresses only Curricular Practical Training, which is done while one is a full time student.  For clarification of the differences between these two, please see paragraph 10 in section 214.2(f) of the INS code.


This policy is not intended to be a legal document.  Rather, it is intended to present general guidelines to assist students and faculty in evaluating whether proposed CPT opportunities are appropriate for CS students. 

The rules governing all forms of work by students on F-1 visas are defined by the INS and are numerous and complex.  Final authority to approve or disapprove requests for all forms of practical training by international students rests solely with the Director of the UMass Lowell's International Students Office, who (in INS terms) is the university’s Designated School Official (DSO).  Students are strongly encouraged to contact the International Students Office for clarification of any and all issues related to this matter.

A Google search on “curricular practical training” results in thousands of hits and literally hundreds of policy statements at various universities.  Students are specifically warned NOT to assume that the rules at other universities apply at UMass Lowell.  As noted above, final approval of requests for CPT at UMass Lowell rests solely with the Director of the International Students Office.

Requirements for Participation

To participate in this program, international students must meet ALL of the following requirements.

  • You must propose to do work that involves furthering your knowledge of computer science, preferably in an area closely related to your field of research or courses you have taken or plan to take.
  • You must have completed one academic year (nine months) of residency in the US as a full time student in the UMass Lowell Computer Science program.
    • This means that you must have completed two full semesters at UMass Lowell and have earned at least 18 credits. 
    • This may be a fall and spring semester or two fall or two spring semesters, but the intersession and summer semesters do not count toward this requirement.
  • You must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
  • You must agree to take part in a CS Dept. Colloquium at which all CPT students make a short presentation on the company they worked with and the work completed there.

Procedures for Participation

  • You must complete all forms required by the  International Students Office.
  • You must submit a detailed, double-spaced, 500-word description of the work you will be doing for your CPT.
  • You must have the approval of a CS faculty member as indicated by his or her signature on the appropriate form.
    • The faculty member who signs your form must take an active role in supervising your CPT, including occasional meetings with you throughout your CPT, and discussions and possibly meetings with your industry supervisor.
    • Once you have a faculty member’s signature, you can approach the Department Head to obtain his or her signature on the same form. 
  • You must register for 91.593, a 0-credit course that serves as an official academic record of your CPT.
    • You must register for the section number assigned to your faculty supervisor.
    • Your faculty advisor can provide you with that section number.
    • If a section of 91.593 with that number is not open, your faculty supervisor must request that the Department Head open that section so that you can register.

Related Links

This policy was adopted by the UMass Lowell CS faculty on July 8, 2005.