F-1 students may apply and be approved for off-campus training/internships related to their academic major through the use of Curricular Practical Training (CPT.) Below are regulations and guidelines on CPT.
To gain approval from a DSO, you should schedule an appointment with the Center for Global Education and bring the following documents:
- Offer letter from the employer that indicates the following: ; employer/company full address; start and end date of employment, and number of hours per week OR if the job is full time/part time*
- Authorization form letter from academic advisor (form available from Center of Global Education,) and
- Proof of registration for an credit-bearing internship course IF an internship is not required in your academic major
*If any of these details change, you will need to receive a new CPT authorization.
Please allow a minimum of three business days for CPT applications to be processed and authorization via DSO endorsement for CPT activities on a reprinted Form I-20. SEVIS authorization MUST be entered by a DSO before work begins. Internships or training (paid or unpaid) done without CPT endorsement on a reprinted Form I-20 is unauthorized and puts an F-1 student at risk for being out of status.
COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT CPT
What type of internship qualifies for use of CPT? The internship and skills used at it MUST be directly related to your academic major and doing an internship must be integral part of an established curriculum of your academic major area of study. This means that doing an internship must be a written graduation requirement in your academic major or that you will receive academic credit for the internship.
Does using CPT effect OPT? Use of full-time CPT for one year or more eliminates eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT). Use of part-time CPT does not affect reliability for OPT.
Who can apply for CPT? Students must:
- Have been enrolled full-time at John Carroll University for one full academic year,*
- Be in F-1 status, and
- Have not yet completed their academic objective (ie not finished degree level yet)
*Exception exists for graduate students whose programs require immediate CPT.
Where can CPT take place? Students may engage in CPT only for the specific employer, location, and period approved and recorded by the Designated School Official (DSO) in the Student and Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS).
What is the time limit on CPT? CPT may be granted by DSO in increments of no more than one year, or until expected date of employment completion, whichever is shorter. There is no cumulative maximum.
How many hours per week can I work? CPT authorization can be approved for part time (20 hours or less) or full time (over 20 hours), e.g. part time during the academic year and full time during summer recess.
Do I have to continue to attend classes while doing CPT? Yes, students must continue to maintain a full course of study in F-1 status during the period of employment if the CPT occurs during a required term (ie during fall or spring semesters.)
What exactly does the government regulation say about CPT? “An F–1 student may be authorized by the DSO [Designated School Official] to participate in a curricular practical training program that is an integral part of an established curriculum. Curricular practical training is defined to be alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school. Students who have received one year or more of full time curricular practical training are ineligible for post-completion academic training. Exceptions to the one academic year requirement are provided for students enrolled in graduate studies that require immediate participation in curricular practical training. A request for authorization for curricular practical training must be made to the DSO. A student may begin curricular practical training only after receiving his or her Form I–20 with the DSO endorsement.” [SEVIS Regulation 8 C.F.R. ¶ 214.2 (f) (10) (i)]