Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

What is CPT?

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

Curricular Practical Training (“CPT”) is temporary, off-campus employment authorization for F1 visa students. Curricular means the work must be required or related to a course in the student’s major program of study, and the student must receive academic credits for the work.

Eligibility

  • Full time enrollment for at least one academic year (Fall + Spring) prior to authorization at GSU or at another SEVIS approved institution, unless your internship experience is required (and clearly stated in the Academic Catalog) to complete your program.
  • Active F-1 status
  • Good academic standing with the school
  • Completion of a CPT workshop in ISSS no later than the 1st week of the current semester
  • Availability of an existing course in the student’s major or program of study to support CPT authorization by the student’s academic department or supervising faculty member.
  • IEP students are not eligible

IMPORTANT: Updated 04/29/2020

  • Start Date: CPT authorizations may only begin after the last day of finals in the prior semester.
  • End Date: All CPT authorizations end prior to the start of classes in the next semester. An internship offer beyond that date requires additional CPT authorization and CPT course enrollment for the next semester. Unless your authorization takes place during your final semester. If your authorization will take place in your final semester – your CPT authorization end date cannot extend past the last day of finals in that semester.
  • CPT employers cannot be changed after approval of the authorization.
  • CPT work cannot begin without SEVIS notation for CPT on your I-20.
  • CPT is employer-specific, which means an offer of employment is required to apply.
  • CPT is not available after completion of your program of study (graduation).
  • New CPT applications must be complete and approved by the secondary approver, only pending ISSS review by the deadline each term to be processed.

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 Upcoming Application Windows:
Summer 2020 Application Opens: Monday, March 2nd, 2020
Summer 2020 Application Closes: Friday, June 12th, 2020 by 5pm*
Fall 2020 Application Opens: Monday, March 30th, 2020
Fall 2020 Application Closes: Friday, August 28th, 2020 by 5pm*
Spring 2021 Application Opens: Monday, October 26th, 2020
Spring 2021 Application Closes: Friday, January 15th, 2021 by 5pm*
Summer 2021 Application Opens: Monday, March 1st, 2021
Summer 2021 Application Closes: Friday, June 11th, 2021 by 5pm*

* New CPT applications must be complete and approved by the secondary approver, only pending ISSS review by the deadline each term to be processed. Regardless, applications submitted at the last minute are still subject to the the normal 3-5 day processing time. You may not be able to begin work on Monday even if you submit a completed CPT application by the Friday deadline.

 

  • Plan well ahead to ensure that all parts of your CPT application are completed, processed and approved well before the semester begins.
  • Applications which are incomplete by the deadlines above will be denied.
  • No new applications will be accepted after the deadline.
  • For more details, please click CPT Policy.

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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
  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:

  1. You have attended an employment workshop.
  2. You have obtained a supporting offer of employment/internship letter.
  3. You have registered for a CPT eligible course at GSU.
  4. You have completed the CPT application in iStart.
  5. The application window above is open. Incomplete applications will be rejected after the deadline.

Duration of CPT

CPT may be authorized following the last day of finals in the prior semester (unless you are in your final semester), but all CPT authorizations end prior to the start of classes in the next semester. An internship offer that extends beyond this date requires an additional CPT authorization and corresponding internship course for the next semester.

  • Example: For a Fall CPT authorization you can be authorized to begin work the day following the last day of Summer finals. The authorization must end prior to the  first day of classes in Spring.  

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 while classes are in session.

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, unless the internship is required and clearly stated in the Academic Catalog.
 Generally, students are not permitted to do a full-time CPT while school is in session. There are two exceptions 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. A Reduced Course Load (RCL) e-form must be submitted in addition to the CPT eform in the final semester to support this combination of enrollment and FT CPT. Also, FT CPT is permitted if the internship is is required and clearly stated in the Academic Catalog.
 No. Panther Temps positions are normally 40 hours per week, not flexible, and are not considered student jobs; therefore full taxes are witheld.
No. You may not. CPT experience is offered to extend classroom knowledge once per semester; it cannot be changed after approval. You may change jobs or work as much as you'd like during OPT though.
From an immigration perspective, unpaid internships do not require CPT authorization, unless the employer specifically requests that a student has work authorization. However, the U.S. Department of Labor provides 6 criteria that an unpaid internship should meet. Please review this printable U.S. Department of Labor Fact Sheet. You should discuss this with your potential employer before engaging in any type of unpaid activity. In addition, consider liability (who is responsible?) in case of an accident or injury on the site of the activity? A bona fide volunteer or unpaid internship should address this issue formally and in writing before the start date.