* This article about Curricular Practical Training (CPT)  is part of series of articles about F1 Visa. Refer to Table of Contents at end of this article**

According to Department of Homeland Security Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is defined as “alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.”

Thus, CPT for F-1 visa students is intended to provide work experience in situations where the work serves as an integral part of a student’s academic program, prior to completion of that program.

CPT Eligibility

The student must have enrolled on a full-time basis for one academic year before being eligible for CPT.

An exception exists for graduate students whose programs require immediate participation in an internship.

One Academic Year

  • Starting College in Fall – Fall and Spring (CPT from Summer)
  • Starting College in Spring – Spring, Summer, Fall (CPT from Spring)

CPT is available only while the student is in valid F-1 status and before the completion of degree.

CPT – Part-Time vs. Full-Time

It is possible to get Part Time of Ful-time CPT.

Part-Time CPT

During the school year while classes are in session, students can get internship offer and work part time (limited to no more than 20 hours per week)

Full-Time CPT

If you find a full time internship after completing one academic year, then apply for Full-time CPT. This could be in Summer, Fall or Spring.

Some schools may not allow full time CPT during Fall and Spring semesters (only in Summer break).

Important – If you use CPT for 12 months or more, you will not be eligible for post-completion optional practical training (OPT).