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CURRICULAR PRACTICAL TRAINING (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training is specific, off-campus, paid or unpaid work authorization for F-1 students in their field of study when the work meets an academic requirement.

Understand CPT

CPT is authorized through 8 Code of Federal Regulation 214.2(f)(10). The work experience must be an “integral part of an established curriculum,” which Saint Rose defines as:

  • Required by a credit-bearing internship course which is essential to a degree program, OR
  • A requirement for all students in the degree program

CPT represents the practical application of classroom theory. Therefore, students must complete a fall and spring semester at Saint Rose before applying, OR be enrolled in a graduate program requiring immediate CPT. The two semester requirement starts over with each new program level or new initial I-20.

Frequently Asked Questions about CPT:

What will be the authorized dates of my CPT? CPT authorization will follow the dates of the semester, unless the curricular reason for your CPT lies outside traditional semester dates. 

Can I continue CPT after the semester is over? If you remain eligible, you must reapply each semester.

How many hours can I work per week? You can work up to 20 hours per week during the Fall and Spring semesters, unless more is required by your degree program. Summer CPT can be up to 40 hours per week. During your last semester, with advisor permission, you can work more than 20 hours per week. 

Can I work on CPT during the winter break? Only if it is required by your program of study.

Can I use CPT and OPT later? Yes. However, after 12 months of full-time CPT, you will lose your eligibility for OPT. This is a federal regulation and there is no exception.

How does my employer know that I have work authorization? After your CPT authorization is processed by the Center for Global Affairs, you will receive an updated I-20 which you should present to your employer’s Human Resources department.

Can I have CPT and also work on campus? Yes, on a case by case basis. Make sure you are not taking on so much work that your academics suffer.

Interested in applying? 

  1. Understand the information above and establish your academic necessity for CPT. Make sure you are enrolled in a course or program requiring CPT.
  2. Receive an offer letter for your employment. Ensure the letter is on company letterhead and includes starting date and official hours per week.
  3. Access the Advisor’s Verification of CPT and fill it out with your advisor or program coordinator.
  4. Submit the online CPT Request form here to be reviewed by the Center for Global Affairs.

Please allow 3-5 business days for your request to be reviewed and your updated I-20 made available. DO NOT begin working until your CPT is approved and you have collected the new I-20. Beginning or continuing employment without authorization is a serious violation of F-1 status.

 

 

Optional Practical Training (OPT):

There are two types of OPT, Post Completion and Pre-Completion.

Post Completion OPT must take place after graduation.  F-1 Students are allowed to work full time for up to one year to gain work experience in their field of study.  F-1 students in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program may apply for an additional 17 months of OPT beyond their initial 12 months.  Detailed information about the STEM program can be found here.

Pre-Completion OPT can be obtained prior to graduation and students are allowed to work 20 hours a week while school is in session and 40 hours a week during holidays and vacations.  The amount of hours worked under Pre-Completion OPT is deducted from the students Post Completion OPT.

 

For detailed information on OPT and CPT please contact The Center for International Programs.