Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

What is CPT?

Regulatory Reference:  8 CRF 214.2 (f)(10)

Curricular Practical Training, or “CPT” for short, is temporary off-campus employment for international students as a benefit of their F1 Visa. Curricular means the work must be either a required part of the student’s degree program or associated with a course in the student’s major field of study.

Eligibility

  • Must have been enrolled full time for at least one academic year prior to authorization date
  • Must be in good F-1 status
  • Must be in good standing with the school
  • Must have attended an Employment Workshop in the previous semester, or no later than the first two weeks of the current semester
  • IEP students are not eligible

Please Note:

  • You may not begin CPT employment without proper notation on the “current authorization” section of page 3 of your I-20.
  • CPT is employer-specific, which means you need to find employment before applying.
  • CPT is not available after completion of your program of study (after graduation).

Deadline to Apply

The CPT application deadline is the 1st day of the semester in which the CPT will take place.  A 2-week grace period after the start of classes is considered in limited situations. Plan ahead to ensure that your CPT is authorized in time. To review our complete CPT policy, please click CPT Policy.

How to Apply

  1. Complete the in-person or online CPT Workshop (see below)
  2. Obtain written job offer letter from employer*
  3. Register for CPT course (if applicable)
  4. Submit the CPT request e-form in iStart

Job Offer Letter Specifics

* The job offer letter must contain the following, or your CPT application will be delayed or denied.

  • Student’s Full Name
  • Job Title
  • Company Name
  • Address where the work will take place
  • Start & end dates of employment within the CPT approved dates
  • Hours per week (must indicate 20 or less for part-time, or 21 or more for full-time)
  • Brief description of the work to be performed
  • For an example letter, see slide #14 of the online CPT workshop below.

When to Apply

You can apply as soon as you have:

  1. Attended an employment workshop
  2. Obtained a supporting offer of employment/internship letter
  3. Registered for a CPT eligible course at GSU
  4. Completed the CPT application in iStart.

Duration of CPT

CPT may be authorized before the first day of classes of the semester, but CPT cannot go beyond the last day of finals of that semester.

  • Example: For a Fall CPT authorization you can work starting with the Fall Break and continue through the Fall semester until the last day of Fall semester finals.  

If you work during authorized break periods, your employment letter must specify how many hours you work during the break period, not to exceed 40 hours per week. You may only work up to 20 hours per week during the semester.

  • Example: In the above example, if the student worked full-time during the Fall Break, he or she must indicate the hours worked on the employment letter. For more information about Part-Time and Full-Time CPT and letter qualifications, please review the brief information below and attend an employment workshop.

Online Workshop

  • Best viewed in Firefox or Chrome in full-screen
  • After viewing the presentation, access this webpage to confirm completion and understanding.

 

Curricular Practical Training FAQ

Yes. Come to an employment workshop for more details.
A student can do part-time CPT (up to 20 hours) while school is in session and full-time (more than 20 hours/week) during breaks. However, specific authorization must be requested in advance for full-time employment during breaks.
Part-time CPT is 20 hours of work or less each week. Full-time CPT is more than 20 hours of work each week. For more details about this question, see our CPT Policy Page.
No. Any work performed without authorization is considered illegal. You cannot start working until you receive written authorization from ISSS.
 Students may do part-time CPT while holding a GRA. However, students may not do a full-time CPT and a GRA at the same time. 
 Generally, students are not permitted to do a full-time CPT while school is in session. There is one exception to this rule. A student may do a full-time CPT while school is in session if it is their final semester and they need less than a full-time course load to complete their degree.