Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a type of work authorization granted to international students by USCIS only if the job is an internship, practicum, or other type of employment that is either required by the student’s academic program OR an experience for which a student receives academic credit. It does not suffice for it to be only a job experience in the student’s field of study. Student MUST fulfill a “curricular” component with you. It is up to the Academic department to determine if a position qualifies for academic credit and therefore eligible for CPT. If the position does not qualify, then the student is always eligible to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) which does not have the same academic restrictions. Optional Practical Training positions simply need to be in the student’s field of study. OPT is authorized directly by ISSO and USCIS, and does not require UML faculty approval.

The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) could at some point request the student, or the UMass Lowell Faculty Advisor to verify how the “curricular” component was fulfilled. The following will help you evaluate and grade the student’s CPT.