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FAQ: Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Q:    When can I use CPT?
A:    Undergraduate students - after 2 long semesters (fall/spring); Graduate students - in the first semester of your program

Q:    What exactly is CPT?
A:    As the name suggests, CPT is used when you are in the process of pursuing your degree. F-1 students must have permission to be in a work environment (paid or unpaid) that is off-campus. An I-20 with CPT authorization is the permission you need. CPT is also a good way to network if you plan to use Optional Practical Training (OPT) when you complete your degree.

Q:     Should I already have a job when I apply for CPT?
A:     Yes.

Q:    What is the procedure to apply for CPT?
A.     In the Portal, complete a request for Curricular Practical Training (CPT). The request contains more information about CPT.

Q:    How does CPT affect my OPT eligibility?
A:     If you use CPT FULL-TIME (over 20 hours per week) for 12 months, your eligibility for OPT is gone. You may use CPT Part-time (20 hours or less per week) for any length of time and it will have no effect on your OPT.

Q:    Must I be enrolled to use CPT? In what course?
A:    Yes, you must be enrolled. You must be enrolled in a course in your major to use CPT.

Q:    Can I get paid on CPT?
A:    Yes, CPT can be paid or unpaid.