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Curricular Practical Training (CPT)


View our CPT Workshop (Pratt OneKey required)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) can be granted to a degree-seeking F-1 student enrolled consecutively for one academic year. You can apply for CPT only after receiving your internship offer, with your academic department reviewing and approving the offer and assisting you to enroll in an appropriate academic internship course. When your CPT application is complete, you will receive an updated I-20 with employer-specific CPT authorization on page 2.

Only part-time CPT is permitted during the Fall and Spring semesters, while full-time CPT is also permitted in the summer. Part-time CPT is 20 hours a week or less and full-time is anything above 20 hours per week. Taking a relevant internship course is required for any semester you wish to do CPT, as that academic work is what formalizes the internship as “an integral part of your established curriculum.” Non-degree students are not eligible for CPT.

CPT is required for both paid and unpaid internships and/or any off-campus work experience. If the opportunity is something you would put on your resume or CV, you need CPT. An exception is unpaid charitable work that is unrelated to your field of study. In cases of true charitable community service, you do not need CPT. Example: volunteering at a local food pantry or helping clean up a park.

Use of part-time CPT (20 hours or less) does not affect eligibility for OPT. Receiving full-time CPT for a total of 12 months or more eliminates eligibility for OPT – but this does not happen at Pratt.


You have to get the internship offer first before you can apply for CPT, because the authorization is employer-specific. You must receive CPT authorization from OIA before starting your internship, whether paid or unpaid. When accepting an internship offer, plan your start date to be at minimum 10 business days into the future as the CPT approval process takes time.

Starting to work before, or continuing to work beyond, the dates authorized on your CPT I-20 page 2 is a violation of federal regulations, resulting in the loss of valid immigration status. CPT cannot be authorized retroactively.

Steps before getting your internship offer:

1. Watch the Internship Orientation video with the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) and complete the quiz for international students

2. Review the Academic Internship Guide and make sure you understand the process in your own department, including which course you will register for. Contact the listed internship coordinator in your academic department if you have any questions about the requirements.

3. Review the letter requirements for your internship job offer, so when you receive an offer, you are ready to get what you need.

Internship job offer requirements:

  • Employer’s name and full address; 
  • Start and end date of internship (start date at least 10 business days into the future); 
  • Number of hours per week (only 20 hours/week or less during Fall/Spring)
  • Description or title of internship position
  • Whether internship is paid or unpaid

Steps after getting your internship offer:

4. Submit a CPT application in TDS Student Portal. You will need to provide your Employer name, address, internship start and end dates, and upload the internship offer letter and your current I-94 (not travel record).

5. If you have not yet already, enroll in the appropriate internship class for the appropriate semester. You must successfully complete this course to maintain your F-1 status.

6. Wait to begin your internship activity until the CPT process is complete.


Your department’s academic internship coordinator will review the application you submit in TDS and approve it electronically. Then an OIA Designated School Official (DSO) will review your application. Provided it is complete, we will authorize your CPT on page 2 of an updated I-20. You should print your CPT I-20 out, and then sign and date the paper copy. 

Please note the CPT authorization process takes multiple days. You must have your CPT I-20 before you can begin work. Do not begin working without pay as an alternative to this, as it is still considered unauthorized employment.

You should present your CPT I-20 to begin working at your internship location, along with your passport and I-94. You are also eligible to apply for a Social Security Number with your CPT I-20, if the position is paid and you do not have an SSN yet. Keep records of your internship documents, such as offer letters, agreements, and pay stubs in an electronic folder.

If you cannot complete your internship, contact your academic department internship coordinator. Remember that you would need to get a new CPT granted if you are offered an extension to continue working at the employer, or a new internship, because the CPT authorization is both time and employer specific.