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.”
  • The internship/co-op is directly related to my current program of study.
  • I am maintaining lawful F-1 status.
  • I satisfy the one full academic year requirement for my current degree program set by both immigration and the institution (full Spring and Fall semesters, Summer semesters do not count); Please note if your SEVIS was terminated for any reason, you need to consult an International Student Advisor by emailing cpt@brideport.edu to determine your one full academic year eligibility.
  • 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). – Please note: remote work is temporarily allowed by SEVP due to COVID-19.

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. According to UB’s institutional policy, you may not be employed in any on-campus job during the period of authorized 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. Please be aware that UB policy limits full-time CPT to a maximum of 11 months per degree program. According to immigration regulations, 12 months or more of full-time CPT per degree level makes an F-1 student ineligible for OPT.
  • 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.
  • For detailed information, visit www.irs.gov for IRS Publication 519, US Tax Guide for Aliens, Chapter 8. Paying Tax Through Withholding or Estimated Tax.
  • 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 Center for Students and Scholars 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.
  • If you graduate in a Summer semester, the requirement of 100 miles radius of UB applies.
  • I am not working remotely (from home/any place other than the company location). Internships cannot be virtual.  Additionally, internship sites should be in a commercial not residential setting.  Internships based at a residential setting will not be approved. – Please note: remote work is temporarily allowed by SEVP due to COVID-19.

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 three weeks.

The CPT start date can be any date within a semester but, as mentioned above, should be three weeks in advance to allow sufficient time for CPT processing. The end date cannot pass the official end date of the semester. Please check the academic calendar on UB website for semester end date. If you have any questions about the end date, please email cpt@bridgeport.edu.

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 2.5 (Undergraduate)
  • You must not have any pending grades or unsatisfactory grade for a prior CPT
  • No holds on your account- check by logging into MyUB Portal 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, please send an email to cpt@bridgeport.edu using your UBmail:  

A. In the subject line of your email include both your full name and Student ID number.
B. In the body of the email include the following:
  • An explanation of what you are requesting written in the format of a professional email
  • Name, address and website link of the company
C. Attach the two documents detailed below to be reviewed by an International Student Advisor:
  • 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 3 weeks into the future**
  • Cooperative Education/Internship Agreement signed by your prospective employer. Click on link to print. Cooperative agreement is required by immigration regulations. Without such agreement, CPT will not be considered.


Tip:  Allow 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 respond by email to inform you the next step.

Once you receive the email, you can start preparing the documents listed below. Please make sure all forms are typed and you receive the signatures from your academic department. You must carefully read Student Statement Part I & II before signing.

You MUST email ALL the required documents back to cpt@bridgeport.edu. Do NOT start working until you receive an I-20 from us with CPT authorization AND the authorized start date is in effect. 

CPT Documents

Document Type & Page #Original/Copy
(All forms should be typed not hand written.)
Required Signatures
Approved Job offer letter (Sample Letter) CopyBy Employer
CPT Cooperative Education AgreementCopyBy Employer & Center for Career Development
CPT Recommendation Form Page 1CopyCareer Development
CPT Recommendation Form Page 2CopyAcademic Advisor & Academic Dean
Internship/co-op/practicum, etc. registration webform link will be provided to you at the time when CPT is processed.WebformCareer Development
Student StatementCopyStudent Statement

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