Curricular Practical Training (F-1)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is temporary work authorization granted to students in F-1 status. It is designed to enable international students to apply and practice the knowledge and skills gained in their academic programs. CPT must be an "integral part of an established curriculum” and is granted by the International Student & Scholar Advisor (ISSA) in accordance with the Department of Homeland Security and United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations.

Eligibility

  • Employment must be related to your major field of study and must be an integral part of your studies.
  • You must be in valid F-1 status and enrolled full-time for at least two semesters immediately before applying for CPT.
  • CPT authorization is employer and date specific. CPT is authorized from a specific start date to a specific end date for one specified employer. This means that if your internship changes in any way (different dates, different employer, etc.) you must first obtain authorization from your ISSA. Failure to do so may be a violation of your status.
  • There is no limit on the amount of time you can be authorized for CPT. However, if you use 12 months or more of full-time CPT you will lose you eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT). Part-time CPT is not counted against OPT eligibility.
  • Employment must be related to your major field of study and must be an integral part of your studies.
  • If you have previously engaged in CPT, you must submit documentation to Slater that you successfully completed your internship, either by your professor sending an email to slatercenter@wellesley.edu or by providing an official transcript.
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Fall/Spring Internships and CPT

Steps to Apply for Fall/Spring Internships and CPT: 

  1. Obtain an offer letter of employment from your prospective employer.

The letter must be written on official letterhead, signed, and include all of the following:

  • Company Name
  • Company Address (must be complete, including zip code)
  • Job Title
  • Brief description of the duties
  • Hours per week (20 hours per week or less)
  • Exact start and end dates of employment (your start day must be at least 5 business days in the future)
  • A signature from your employer
  1. Meet with your International Student & Scholar Advisor (ISSA) at the Slater International Center to evaluate your employment opportunity and to verify that both you and the job meet the CPT eligibility requirements.
  2. Complete the F-1: Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Application. You must complete the first section, your Class Dean must complete the second section, and your supervising Faculty member must complete the final section.
  • Identify a Faculty member who may be willing to supervise you for an independent study. Discuss the internship with the faculty member and determine if it is possible for you to register for an independent study course (350 or 250) using the experience and the data of the CPT internship as the basis for your independent study.
  • Speak with your Class Dean to determine if you are eligible to enroll in an independent study.
  1. Register for your Independent Study
  2. Upload the following documents to our CPT Application page:
  3. If you do not have a Social Security Number and you are receiving income for your CPT, you must apply for a Social Security Number. Please see our guide for how to apply.

If your application for CPT is complete, it will be approved. CPT will be authorized on a new Form I-20 by your ISSA within 5 business days from receipt of the documents on a new Form I-20. You will receive an email on how to receive your new I-20. It can take up to 5 business days to approve and process a CPT application.

YOU MAY NOT BEGIN EMPLOYMENT UNTIL YOU ARE AUTHORIZED FOR CPT

 

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Summer Internships and CPT

Steps to Apply for Summer CPT:

  1. Obtain an offer letter of employment from your prospective employer

You can download a sample that your employer can copy here.
The letter must be written on official letterhead, signed, and include all of the following:

  • Company Name
  • Company Address (must be complete, including zip code)
  • Job Title
  • Brief description of the duties
  • Hours of Employment
    • Include number of hours per week or total hours for the course of the summer
  • Salary Amount
  • Exact start and end dates of employment (your start day must be at least 10 business days in the future)
    • The internship period cannot begin before May 15, 2020 (the last day of Spring semester finals) and cannot end after September 8 (the first day of Fall semester classes).
  • A signature from your employer
  1. Register for credit for your summer internship through the Career Education Office.

For additional information about the registration process, visit the Summer Internship Credit website or contact the Career Education Internships Program at internships@wellesley.edu. Please be aware of the internship registration deadline and internship requirements (available on the Career Education website).

You must successfully complete all of the internship requirements to remain in legal F-1 status.

  1. Obtain a copy of your approved internship contract from the Career Education Office
  2. Upload the following to Slater's Summer Internship Application Form:
  3. If you do not have a Social Security Number and you are receiving income for your CPT, you must apply for a Social Security Number. Please see our guide for how to apply.

 

If your application for CPT is complete and you qualify for CPT, it will be approved. CPT work authorization will be authorized on a new Form I-20 by your ISSA, within 10 business days from receipt of all the required documents.  You will receive an email to pick up your new Form I-20. It can take up to 10 business days to approve and process a CPT application.

YOU MAY NOT BEGIN EMPLOYMENT UNTIL YOU ARE AUTHORIZED FOR CPT. CPT is employer & date specific.

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Maintaining F-1 Status While on CPT

Once you have been authorized for CPT, it is important that you understand this benefit, and the rules that govern it. Remember that CPT is employer and date specific. Please read all the CPT information carefully and speak with your ISSA if you have any questions.

  1. Your new Form I-20 indicates your employment authorization for CPT on page 2. Please sign and date page 1 of the Form I-20.
  2. Be sure to keep any previous Forms I-20 that you have. Use this new Form I-20 for future travel and re-entry to the U.S. but remember to keep all previous copies of your Forms I-20 in a safe and secure place.
  3. You may only work for the employer specified on your Form I-20 and for the time period specified.
  4. If your internship changes in any way (different dates, different employer, etc.) you must first obtain authorization from the International Student and Scholar Advisor (ISSA). Failure to do so may be a violation of your F-1 Student status and must be reported by Wellesley College to USCIS.
  5. Social Security Numbers are unique identification numbers assigned by the U.S. Federal Government. They are required for those who are employed in the United States. If you do not already have a social security number, you must obtain one after receiving your CPT authorization and prior to your employment start date. For more information, please review the Applying for a Social Security Number page.
  6. If you change your address, you must report your new address to the Slater International Center within 10 days of moving.