Curricular Practical Training

Optional Practical Training
On-Campus Employment
Definition of "Curricular Practical Training"
Student Eligibility Requirements
Part-time CPT Vs. Full-time CPT
Procedures for Application
Supervising Department Chair Recommendation for CPT
Definition of "Curricular Practical Training"

The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) defines Curricular Practical Training (CPT) as employment, which is an integral part of an established curriculum. CPT is available only prior to the completion of your degree program and you must have a job offer at the time of application.
There are two types of CPT:

1. Required part of program - the program requires employment in your field of study to graduate.

2. Non-required part of the program - the practical experience is for credit and directly related to your field of study. You must be enrolled for the course while engaging in this type of CPT.


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Student Eligibility Requirements

To apply, USCIS requirements states that you must:

  • Have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for at least two consecutive terms.
  • Be in lawful F-1 status at the time of applying for CPT;
  • Have a job offer.
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Part-time CPT Vs. Full-time CPT

Part-time CPT: Employment for 20 hours or less per week is considered “part-time” CPT. Though there is no limitation upon the length of time you may participate in part-time CPT, you must be simultaneously enrolled full-time in order to maintain lawful F-1 status.

Full-time CPT: Employment for more than 20 hours per week is considered “full-time” CPT. Please be aware that 12 months or more of full-time CPT will cancel your eligibility of Optional Practical Training (OPT).


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Procedures for Application

Contact the International Student Services Coordinator at Lehman College in Shuster Hall, Room 210 or call 718 960-7274 to set up an appointment, in advance. At your scheduled appointment, you must bring the following:

A copy of the course description as it appears in the Course Catalog or departmental bulletin.

The completed "Supervising Departmental Chair Recommendation for CPT” form in (pdf) file -- You need to print the form.

A copy of the job offer letter you obtained from the employer. The job offer letter must contain the following information:
      The student’s name;
      The company’s name;
      A statement of the job offer, duties and responsabilities;
      The number of hours to be worked [full or part-time specified];
      The beginning and end dates of the employment;
      The letter must be on the company’s letterhead.
If your application is approved, USCIS will be informed and you will be issued a new Form I-20 with your CPT authorization. Please be aware that if you wish to pursue CPT for more than one semester, you will need to complete the same procedures for each semester and also register for the appropriate course for that term.


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Update: July 15, 2009