Curricular Practical Training

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What is Curricular Practical Training?

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an employment option available to F-1 students when  the practical training employment is considered to be an integral part of the curriculum or academic program. At Yale, the use of CPT is very limited and is only available in the two circumstances listed below.

  1. The employment (usually an internship or practicum) is a degree requirement of all students in the program.  Each school and each degree program within the school has different requirements that affect your eligibility for CPT. Please check with your school or OISS.
  2. You will receive academic credit for your proposed CPT employment.  Included in this category is employment for an established course listed in your school bulleting which is specifically designed to award academic credit for an employment experience, again very limited at Yale.  PhD students in dissertation status may be eligible for CPT if the training experience is an integral component of the dissertation.

Criteria for Curricular Practical Training Eligibility

  • You must have been in lawful F-1 status for at least one academic year.
  • You must have an offer of employment that qualifies for CPT.
  • You must provide proof that the proposed employment is either a degree requirement for all students in your program or that you will receive academic credit based on your proposed employment experience. PhD students requesting CPT must: (1) provide a letter from your dissertation advisor explaining in detail the relationship between the proposed employment and your doctoral dissertation research, and (2) meet with your Graduate School Associate or Assistant Dean to obtain their signature on the CPT request form attesting that your activity is sanctioned by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and that you will continue to be a registered student during the requested period.


Applying for Curricular Practical Training

Your first step is to contact the OISS advising staff or your school to evaluate your eligibility for curricular practical training. If all eligibility requirements are met, you will need to present OISS with a completed CPT Request Form signed by your academic adviser or dean.  (Some of the professional schools will have their own CPT Request forms.)

Curricular practical training is authorized by OISS; it does not require approval from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). A new SEVIS I-20 will be issued denoting employment authorization, including the employer and the dates authorized, on page three. You may not change employers or continue employment beyond the date authorized unless you apply and are granted an extension of your CPT.  Work undertaken after the expiration date of your CPT will be considered unauthorized employment.

Part time vs Full time CPT

During the academic year, CPT employment is limited to part time, i.e. no more than 20 hours per week and you must continue to be enrolled as a full time student.

  1. Full time CPT, which is more than 20 hours per week, is generally available to students only during the summer break.
  2. In your CPT authorization which appears on page three of your I-20, it will be noted whether your CPT is part time or full time.


The Relationship between CPT and OPT

The time you spend in full time curricular practical training will not be deducted from the twelve months of allowable optional practical training UNLESS you use 12 months or more of full-time curricular practical training.

Working with CPT

Your I-20 form authorized for CPT is all you will need to provide your employer. Within the first three days of beginning work you and your employer must complete a form entitled Employment Eligibility Verification, USCIS Form I-9. Your I-20 with curricular practical training employment page (Page 3) and your unexpired passport should meet the documentation requirements of the I-9.

If you don’t have a U.S. Social Security Number, you should apply for one while using CPT. 

You will likely have federal and states taxes withheld from your payment. In general F-1 students who have been in the U.S. for fewer than six calendar years are exempt from social security taxes (also known as F.I.C.A. tax).



Related Links

F-1 Students

PDF Documents

Applying for CPT



Employment Authorization