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Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a type of off-campus work permission for F-1 international students who want to gain experience in their fields of study. CPT is defined as employment, which is an integral part of an established curriculum, including: “Alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.” Source: 8 C.F.R. 214.2(f)(10)(i).  CPT is available only prior to the completion of a degree program and students must have a job offer at the time of application. CPT employment may not delay completion of the academic program.

To obtain CPT, a student must:

  • Be in valid F-1 immigration status for at least two semesters (except graduate students who must work immediately as a requirement for their degree)
  • Secure a job offer related to the student’s field of study
  • Get CPT authorization BEFORE beginning employment; authorization cannot be post-dated

P/DSOs at McDaniel College authorize CPT in SEVIS after establishing the student’s eligibility and reviewing the application materials.  The authorization is granted by issuing a new I-20 for the student with the employer’s information notated on page 2 of the I-20. After the application for CPT is submitted to [office of international services] the new I-20 is issued within two (2) working days. The I-20 should be shown to the employer as evidence of work authorization.

There is no limit to the duration of a student’s CPT. However, if 12 months or more of full time CPT is used, a student forfeits his or her Optional Practical Training (“OPT”) eligibility.  Accrual of part time CPT does not affect eligibility for OPT.

Types of Curricular Practical Training

Again, CPT is only available to F-1 students when it is an integral part of an established curriculum. In practical terms, “Integral part of an established curriculum” means an opportunity must be required by the curriculum or, if not required, the student must receive credit for the training (transcript).

Degree Requirement

CPT may be authorized when an internship is a requirement of the degree program (i.e., all students in the program must complete the internship to obtain the degree).  CPT can be authorized for full-time employment or part-time employment, but please note that if 12 months or more of full-time CPT is used, a student forfeits his or her OPT eligibility.  Proof of course enrollment for this type of CPT is not required.  Follow the application procedures to request CPT based on Degree Requirement. Authorization is granted on an academic year basis.

Eligible Programs: The Master’s in Data Analytics fits this eligibility category.