Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an employment opportunity for students on F-1 visas. CPT allows students to work or intern for an employer if the position is related to their major and is an integral part of their academic program’s curriculum.
Please talk to International Student Services before completing any application.
Undergraduate Student CPT Policy
- Must be enrolled full-time (12 credits minimum) unless you are on your vacation semester.
- Must be in your junior or senior year.
- Must be enrolled in an undergraduate internship course related to your major.
- You can do part-time or full-time CPT for when you are enrolled in the course only.
5-Year Student CPT Policy
- Must be enrolled full-time (12 credits for undergraduates, 6 credits for graduate students).
- While you are an undergraduate student, you must be enrolled in the internship course relating to your major (see undergraduate policy) in your junior or senior year.
- When you receive a graduate-level I-20, you can access more CPT (see graduate student CPT policy). Unlike normal graduate students, you can do part-time or full-time CPT in your 1st semester as a true graduate student.
Graduate Student CPT Policy
- Must be enrolled full-time (6 credits minimum) and earning a minimum of a 3.0 GPA.
- Your 1st academic semester cannot be full-time CPT. You can do part-time CPT or no CPT during your 1st semester.
- You can do part-time CPT throughout your entire program.
- You can do full-time CPT for 2 semesters maximum. Unless you are in the doctoral program. Then you are only eligible for 1 semester of full-time. There are no exceptions to this.
CPT Application Requirements
The following application requirements are for new CPT requests with a new employer. Once the International Student Services office receives these documents, a new CPT I-20 can be generated relatively quickly.
CPT is like finding any job in America. You must look, apply, and go through the entire hiring process like any employee in America.
For a CPT application to be complete, you need 4 documents:
- CPT Application Form signed by the supervising faculty member in your major’s department.
- CPT Employer Agreement signed by your employer with the local address and appropriate signatures.
- CPT Academic Agreement with your supervisor’s signature.
- An offer letter from your employer on official letterhead with the local address of where you are working, your name and position, start date, and whether you are part-time or full-time.
Once we review these documents and have an in-person meeting, we can issue you a CPT I-20.
Additional CPT Information
- NU issues CPT by the semester. CPT can be renewed for subsequent semesters, but we do not issue CPT for multiple semesters at one time. Therefore, the CPT dates on your I-20 will be from the start of one semester to the next.
- If you need a social security number (SSN), ISS can help you get an SSN after you have an offer letter.
- If you are changing employers, you must submit all 4 CPT application requirements.
- If you are renewing CPT or changing your CPT hours, we only need a new CPT Application form.
We do not backdate CPT dates.
- If you submit a CPT application late, you will receive your authorization dates on the day the CPT I-20 is created.
- It is your responsibility to submit your CPT application on time.
You cannot do CPT during your grace period after your I-20 program end date. When you have completed your program, you must stop CPT.