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Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is work authorization that allows F-1 international students to participate in paid off-campus academic internships during their degree program.
The purpose of CPT is academic, not just for employment purposes, and the internship must be considered an integral part of a student’s degree program. Students must have a specific job/internship offer to apply.
If the internship is an unpaid or volunteer position, CPT is not required but students cannot accept any kind of compensation for work performed.
Students must have been in F-1 student status for at least one academic year and must have properly maintained their F-1 status each semester before they can apply for CPT. The only exception to this rule applies to those students who are in degree programs that require internship/practicum hours to fulfill their degree requirements.
CPT authorization is given on a semester basis and students must apply separately for each semester they wish to do CPT. CPT is only authorized for the dates of the specific semester.
Registration for Academic Credit: In order to receive CPT authorization, students must be registered for 1-2 academic units in an internship course or a class that requires an internship at Dominican during the semester they wish to do CPT. Students must register for the units and complete the application process for each semester they wish to do CPT.
Students will need to receive approval from their academic adviser with what internship they can register for.
Once all documents are submitted to GEO and the application is complete, GEO will process an updated I-20 that lists on page 3 the location of the internship and whether the CPT is part- or full-time. CPT I-20 start dates will be listed either as the requested start date or as the approval date, whichever is later.
Processing time for CPT applications at GEO is 5 business days. Students cannot begin working until they receive their new I-20 with CPT authorization from GEO.
CPT does not interfere with students’ eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT) after graduation unless they have done a total of 12 months full-time CPT during their degree program. In this case, they would lose the option to do OPT. Amounts under the 12 months full-time do not cancel any portion of OPT.