F-1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

What is Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?

The Immigration Service defines “Curricular Practical Training” as employment which is an integral part of your 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.”

To be considered for CPT, the work must be directly related to your current major field of study AND must also be an integral part of your studies. Your training must satisfy one of the following conditions:
A. It is required of all students by your degree program
B. It is required for a particular course or curricular track
For instance, internship is one of the options offered to MBA students to complete degree requirements. This internship meets the requirement of CPT if you choose it for degree completion.
C. It is Cooperative Education offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.

  • The internship/co-op training is “an integral part of an established curriculum.”
  • I am maintaining lawful F-1 status.
  • I satisfy the one full academic year requirement set by immigration and the institution (full Spring and Fall semesters, Summer semesters do not count); Please note if you reenter the U.S. with an initial attendance I-20, your one full academic year will start from the time when you reenter the U.S.
  • I will continue to be enrolled for a full course of study during the CPT.
  • I meet all academic criteria set by my academic department.
  • I am not enrolled in UB’s English Language Institute. My one full academic year does not include the time I spent at ELI.
  • My internship/Co-op position is not as an independent contractor.
  • I am not working remotely (from home/any place other than the company location).

Your academic department must approve your request for Curricular Practical Training including how many hours per week you are approved for work.

  • Employment for 20 hours or less per week is considered “part time” CPT
  • Employment for more than 20 hours per week is considered “full time” CPT

No. As per UB’s institutional policy, you may not accept any on-campus job during CPT.

  • The length of CPT will be governed by the nature of the training and the requirements of your program for internship/co-op as published in the UB catalog.
  • Some students may be eligible to complete more than one semester of CPT in the duration of their program. Be aware that if you participate in full-time CPT for a total of twelve months or more, you will not be eligible for Optional Practical Training.
  • In general, F-1 students who have been in the U.S. less than five years are exempt from Social Security and Medicare (FICA) taxes.
  • See IRS Publication 519, US Tax Guide for Aliens, for detailed information by visiting www.irs.gov.
  • Your earnings are subject to applicable federal, state and local income taxes.
  • A tax return is due on or before April 15 each year, which will determine if any of these taxes may be refunded.
  • When you begin work, you and your employer must complete a form entitled “Employment Eligibility Verification” (USCIS Form I-9), which the employer retains.
  • The I-9 must be updated each time you receive a renewal of your work permission.
  • Your I-20 will have a specific employment authorization on page 2.
  • You MUST NOT work until you receive a new I-20 form with specific written authorization for CPT on page 2 of your I-20.
  • CPT is employer and part/full-time specific. You may only work for the employer for the number of hours authorized as shown on page 2 of your I-20.
  • Working improperly or without authorization is a serious violation of your F-1 student status.
  • You should consult with the International Student Services before taking up or changing any employment.
  • The job location must be within a 100 miles radius of UB during the Spring and Fall semesters
  • There is no distance restriction during the summer/winter annual break. Please note that your summer/winter CPT will not be extended to the Fall or Spring semester if the job location is beyond 100 miles.
  • I am not working remotely (from home/any place other than the company location).

Please note the start date of the job offer cannot be immediate. Since this process involves approval from a few offices, the start date should be in the future, preferably one to two weeks.

Do NOT work until you get the CPT I-20 and until the start date is in effect.

How to Begin the CPT Application Procedure

Review Eligibility

Step 1. Review the criteria above for legal eligibility. Next ensure you meet UB's eligibility requirements:

  • Balance less than $500
  • GPA must be at least 3.0 (Graduate) or 2.0 (Undergraduate)
  • You must not have any pending grades or unsatisfactory grade for a prior CPT
  • No holds on your account
  • Pre-registered for next semester (only for CPT during Summer and Winter breaks)

Submit Documents

Step 2: If you are eligible for all the above, kindly use your myUB email to send correspondence. In the subject line of your email include both full name and Student ID and attach two documents detailed below to cpt@bridgeport.edu to be reviewed by International Center for Students and Scholars (ICSS):

  • Job offer letter printed on a letterhead and signed/dated by your employer (Electronic signatures are not acceptable); it MUST include ALL required information as shown in this sample letter. **Please remember your start date should be at least 1 to 2 weeks into the future**
  • Cooperative Education/Internship Agreement signed by your prospective employer. Click on link to print.

Tip:  Give enough time (1 to 2 weeks) for the advisor to review your application after emailing your documents.

Attend Appointment

Step 3:  Once your documents are approved, an International Student Advisor will schedule you an appointment for CPT processing by e-mail.

Once you have an appointment made, you can start preparing the documents below. Please make sure you visit your academic department and Center for Career Development’s office to fill out the forms and receive their signatures.

You MUST bring ALL the required documents below to your appointment:

CPT Documents

Document Type & Page #Original/CopyRequired Signatures
Approved Job offer letter (Sample Letter)CopyBy employer
Cooperative Education/Internship Agreement CopyBy employer & Center for Career Development
CPT Recommendation Form pg1OriginalCenter for Career Development
CPT Recommendation Form pg2OriginalAcademic Advisor & Academic Dean
Green Internship/Co-op Registration FormOriginalCenter for Career Development
Student Statement Part I & IIOriginal/CopyStudent

If you have questions about your eligibility for CPT, please email cpt@bridgeport.edu with your full name and UB ID included using your UB email account.