Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a type of employment authorization for students in F-1 status who wish or need to engage in off-campus employment in their field of study when it is a required component of their curriculum, is integral to their thesis or dissertation research (e.g., collecting data or testing hypotheses in a real world industry environment) or part of a co-operative education program in their field of study. Many students do not engage in CPT during their studies, but many others do take advantage of this benefit. It is important for students to remember that CPT is a benefit of the F-1 visa status, not a right. CPT at NC State University is done in conjunction with Co-op enrollment unless it is a required component for all students in the curriculum and is always done on a semester by semester basis.
Eligibility requirements include:
- Students must have been enrolled full-time for at least nine months (two consecutive semesters) and be in F-1 status
- Students must have completed at least one semester in their current curriculum at NC State
- Students must be maintaining lawful F-1 status
- Students must be in good academic standing (students whose academic programs are listed as suspended, terminated, probation or warning are not eligible for CPT)
- Students must be making normal progress toward their degree
- Students must register for a COP course. For questions concerning this, contact the Cooperative Education office.
- Students must obtain the recommendation of their DGP/Undergraduate Advisor
- Students applying for full-time summer CPT must register for subsequent Fall semester coursework prior to submitting CPT material to OIS
- CPT cannot delay or intefere with the student's progress in the degree program
Full-time and Part-time CPT:
Part-time (<20 hours per week) CPT is possible for eligible students (concurrent full-time enrollment is required in the Fall and Spring semesters). Full-time CPT during the Fall or Spring semester will only be authorized if the CPT is a required or integral part of the student's degree program or thesis or dissertation.
International students at NC State are limited to a combined total of 20 hours of employment during the academic year (inclusive of on-campus and any CPT). Students may be eligible for employment beyond 20 hours per week during the academic year if the CPT is justified because it is a standard requirement of the academic program or integral to the student’s thesis or dissertation. On campus employment cannot exceed 20 hours per week during the academic year.
- If a non-thesis student holds a .5 TA/RA position in a given semester, no CPT may be authorized for that semester.
- If a non-thesis student holds a .25 TA/RA position in a given semester, 10 hours of CPT may be authorized for that semester.
- If a thesis student holds a .5 TA/RA for a given semester but CPT is integral to the student's thesis research and is recommended by the student's thesis advisor and DGP, then CPT may be authorized and total employment may exceed 20 hours per week, but total employment should not exceed 40 hours per week.
CPT Application Process:
OIS provides you with an online CPT session that you can complete at your convenience. Once you complete the online CPT session, you are asked to take a short quiz at the end of the session. You'll need to pass this quiz and print the results page. (See orientation for further information).
Once you have completed the online CPT session and passed the quiz, please take the following steps:
- Complete the Co-op Application and hand it in to the Cooperative Education Office to gain access to the Co-op job system. The application is available at the Cooperative Education Office in 2100 Pullen Hall. All students must complete this step, even if you already have an internship.
- If you need help finding a position or would like to improve your interviewing skills, resume or want to learn about the expectations of American employers, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with one of the Co-op coordinators to advice you on this process. The Cooperative Education Office is located in 2100 Pullen Hall and the phone number is 919-515-2300.
Once you have secured an internship, please complete the application steps:
- Review the offer letter you have received and make sure you have the following items in writing from your employer: (1) Job title, (2) job description, (3) salary, (4) number of hours you will work per week, (5) start date, (6) end date, and (7) the specific work location (the address where YOU will work). If you do not have all of the details listed above you will not be authorized for CPT.
- Read the entire CPT Information Packet and complete the F-1 Student Application for CPT.
- Submit your offer letter and the F-1 Student Application for CPT to your DGP or Undergraduate Academic Advisor and ask them the complete the Academic Advisor’s Recommendation Form for CPT (see page 2 in link).
- E-mail or hand the CPT Supplemental Form to your future employer and ask them to complete it and give it back to you to include in your application packet for your appointment with the Cooperative Education Office. The employer may also submit it directly to OIS. This is the only form OIS will accept during this process. All other documents should be submitted to the Cooperative Education Office. (See form for OIS contact information).
- Schedule an appointment with the Cooperative Education Office (515-2300) to review your CPT application package and your registration for the semester in which you would like to engage in CPT.
- Once the Cooperative Education Office has approved your CPT application, the Cooperative Education Office will scan and submit your application to OIS.
- OIS will review your application materials to confirm if you qualify for CPT. You do not need visit OIS after the Cooperative Education Office has scanned your materials. OIS will only accept CPT applications submitted by the Cooperative Education Office. If your application is approved by OIS, you will receive your work authorization documents within 10 business days. OIS will e-mail you to pick up your work authorization documents from the OIS office. Make sure that you are registered for a COP course.
Note: It is your responsibility to read the entire CPT Information Packet. The final deadline to apply for Full-time CPT for the spring 2013 semester was Thursday January 17th. The last day to apply for Part-Time CPT for the spring 2013 semester is Monday March 11, 2013. The Cooperative Education Office and OIS will begin accepting completed CPT applications for students who wish to begin working this summer on Monday March 19, 2013. The work authorization dates for the summer session 2013 may be no earlier than May 13, 2013 and no later than August 20, 2013.
If you have questions, please take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions page on CPT.
Accept A Job Offer In Good Faith
When you accept an offer, you should have every intention of honoring that commitment. Accepting an offer only as a precautionary measure is misleading to the employer and may restrict opportunities for others who are genuinely interested in that employer.
Withdraw From Recruiting When Your Job Search Is Completed.
If you accept an offer or decide that full-time graduate or professional studies are for you, notify your career center and withdraw from the on-campus recruiting process immediately. And, let employers that are actively considering you for a job know that you are now out of the running. By informing everyone that you've got a job or are headed to graduate school, you not only get the chance to brag, but also to help your friends who are trying to get on interview schedules or who are being considered for positions.
It is also good practice (and recommended by OIS) to speak with your academic advisor or Director of Graduate Programs (DGP) if you are faced with a dilemma about accepting a job offer. Your academic advisor or DGP can help you make the best decision and advise you about professional expectations.
For more information regarding students' responsibilities when accepting job offers please visit the NACE - the National Association for Colleges and Employers web page (http://naceweb.org/playing_fair/) or contact the Cooperative Education Office.
Extension of CPT
Students who are eligible for and would like to request an extension of a current CPT (i.e. an additional few days or weeks within the same semester) for the same employer (nothing has changed except the new ending date) will need to request the employer to e-mail their OIS advisor and Co-op advisor confirming the new end date and that the student's job title and description have not changed.
Students who are eligible for and would like to request a second rotation or additional semester of CPT should complete the CPT application materials again. Once students have completed the required documents in the CPT Information Packet the students should contact the Co-op office to schedule a pre-work appointment. After obtaining authorization from the Co-op office students may submit the completed materials to OIS during a scheduled CPT processing session (Mondays and Thursdays at 9:30 AM).
Note: Students on an approved CPT are not eligible to continue working beyond the end date of the CPT authorization as indicated on the third page of the I-20. It is the student's responsibility to request the extension of a current CPT in a timely manner (recommended at least five business days prior to the expiration of the current CPT rotation).
Time spent doing CPT is not subtracted from the 12 month maximum period of OPT (Optional Practical Training), but students who engage in 12 months or more of full-time CPT are ineligible for any OPT. Students who engage in off-campus employment without obtaining CPT authorization, or who work before or after the approved dates on the CPT authorization as listed on the Form I-20, or who work for a different employer will be considered to have engaged in unlawful employment. Full-time CPT in the Fall or Spring semester does not meet full-time student status for university purposes, but is allowable for the purpose of maintaining F-1 status for a given semester (that is, no course enrollment is necessary for immigration purposes, but students should obtain the approval of their DGP or Coordinator of Advising).
In order to accept salary or wage payment from U.S.-based source, it is necessary to obtain a Social Security Number.