- What is Curricular Practical Training?
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an authorization issued by the International Student & Scholar Office (ISSS) that permits F-1 students to participate in off-campus experiential learning opportunities. During the CPT authorization, the student must be enrolled in an academic course that guides their experience and measures their learning outcomes.
F-1 students must receive the approval for their CPT authorization from OIE before starting their employment and are only authorized to participate in the CPT during the authorization dates listed on the I-20 form. And CPT is employer specific. This means that when a student is authorized for CPT, they are authorized to work only for the employer between the authorization dates. For general information about CPT, please visit the Study in the States guidance provided by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).
- What are some of the factors that determine CPT eligibility?
In order for OIE to consider a student’s eligibility for CPT, the student must:
- Complete at least one full academic year of full-time enrollment inside the U.S. (only fall and spring terms can count toward an academic year)
- Be in good academic standing
- Engage in a practical training opportunity integral to the student’s primary degree program
- Have degree required courses remaining in their program.
- My program does not require an internship. Am I still eligible to apply for CPT?
Yes, if you are interested in participating in CPT, but your program does not require an internship, you may still be eligible. The experiential learning opportunity must be integral to your degree program and cannot impede your academic progress in the degree program.
- Am I eligible to participate in CPT after I’ve met all degree requirements?
No. By regulatory standard, CPT must be an integral part of your degree program. F-1 student visa holder who have already met all degree requirements are no longer eligible for CPT. Students who have met all degree course requirements are eligible to apply for post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) to continue practical training
- I am a thesis-track student, am I eligible to participate in CPT after my defense date?
No, because CPT must be an integral part of your degree program, student who have successfully defended are considered to have met degree requirements and are no longer eligible for CPT. Students in this scenario should consider applying for post-completion OPT to continue practical training.
- Am I eligible for full-time CPT during my final academic term?
Only F-1 student visa holders in degree programs that require a practicum/internship in the final semester of the program are allowed to request full-time CPT in their final semester.
- I am an online student applying to study at the Georgia Tech Atlanta campus, will I be eligible for CPT when I gain F-1 student visa status?
Online students transferring to the Atlanta campus must enroll full-time for one academic year before becoming eligible for Curricular Practical Training.
- I changed status from H-4 to F-1, when do I become eligible for CPT?
You will be eligible for Curricular Practical training after your F-1 change of status is approved or gained via travel and you’ve completed one full year of full-time enrollment inside the U.S. in any status.
- How many hours am I eligible to work while on CPT?
You can engage in one of two types of CPT; either part-time CPT or full-time CPT. If you plan to work a combination of on and off-campus employment, the total number of hours will be reviewed for CPT eligibility. Please see the bullets below for the amount of hours you are eligible to work each week while authorized for the two types of CPT:
- Part-time CPT Authorization: 20 hours or less per week
- Full-time CPT Authorization: more than 20 total hours per week
- If I utilize my CPT benefit, will I still be eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT)?
Students who utilize full-time CPT for 11 months and 28 days or more are ineligible for post-completion Optional Practical Training. Those participating in part-time CPT or less than 11 months and 28 days of full- time CPT will not lose eligibility to participate in post-completion OPT. Part-time CPT does not currently have an impact on a student’s eligibility for OPT.
- Can I participate in CPT if my employer wants me to work remotely?
Yes, students can participate in internships that allow them to participate in the experiential learning opportunity remotely as long as the employer can assess student engagement and attainment of learning objectives electronically.
- How can I find out more about CPT?
If you have additional questions about CPT, you are welcome to seek additional assistance during ISSS Advising Hours Hours. /isss_advising
- What is the deadline to request CPT?
Typically, the deadline to complete your CPT request with Career Center is the Friday prior to the start of the term you are requesting authorization. And as a reminder, you cannot begin your experiential learning opportunity until you are approved by OIE for the CPT authorization and receive your new I-20 form. For more information on Career Center’s deadlines, please review their website: https://career.gatech.edu/.
- If my CPT doesn't meet Career Center requirements or I'm unable to use CPT what are my options?
You may meet with an OIE advisor to discuss Pre-Completion OPT if you are not able to gain authorization using CPT. Pre-completion OPT takes 90 days to process with USCIS and does subtract from your total eligible Post-Completion OPT days.
- What is the difference between co-ops and internships through the Career Center office?
An internship is a one semester commitment. The internship can be either part-time or full-time. Co-op is a three semester commitment with the same employer. Students alternate between work and school until they have completed three work terms. Co-op work terms are always full-time, students do not attend classes while on work rotation. Students on co-op assignment take a schedule of full-time classes following a work term. Visit the Career Center webpage for more information. http://career.gatech.edu/faq
- What resources are there to help me find an experiential learning opportunity?
We recommend students use a variety of resources to enhance success in the job and internship search, such as: career fairs, employer information sessions, and online resources such as CareerBuzz. https://career.gatech.edu/employer-information-sessions https://career.gatech.edu/campus-career-fairs
- Can I accept a job offer before CPT is approved?
You can accept a job offer before your CPT is approved, but we encourage you to let your employer know that your eligibility to perform the work is contingent on the CPT approval.
- Can I begin working before OIE approves my CPT?
No, it is very important that you understand the serious consequences of engaging in unauthorized work while waiting on your CPT approval. The U.S. government regulations specifically state that students must wait until they receive an I-20 with the CPT authorization and CPT authorized start date before they are eligible to begin their experiential learning opportunity. If you begin your experiential learning prior to receiving your I-20 form for CPT, prior to the date authorized for you to begin CPT, or beyond the authorized CPT end date, then you are considered to be engaging in unauthorized work within the U.S. which will result in the immediate termination of your SEVIS record. Unauthorized work within the U.S. is a serious infraction and can result in loss of future benefits or the ability to remain legally inside the U.S.
- What is the process to request CPT?
Once you have received and accepted an internship or co-op offer, review the steps below to understand the steps required to apply for CPT.
1. Collect your offer letter and submit your request for internship or cooperative education experience online via CareerBuzz.
- a. Undergraduate Internship information, deadlines, and instructions can be found here: https://career.gatech.edu/how-register-your-job
- b. Career Center’s Graduate Internship information, deadlines, and instructions can be found here: http://career.gatech.edu/graduate-student/application-process
2. Once the job opportunity is reviewed and approved by Career Center, they will submit a CPT request e-form through iStart.
3. You will then receive an email with a link to complete the second and final part of the CPT request. You will be asked to verify that you understand your CPT responsibilities and to pay the $35 Practical Training Fee (PTF) /isss/ptf . OIE requires all CPT requests to be initiated by Career Center no later than the Friday before classes begin of the term being requested.
4. After you complete your CPT e-form, ISSS advisors will review your CPT request within the advertised processing time normally three business days and up to five business days during high volume seasons. You will receive an email from an OIE advisor notifying you when your updated I-20 has been processed or if the ISSS advisor has more questions about the CPT request.
5. If approved for CPT, your new I-20 form with the CPT authorization will include your employer's name, address, and the specific dates of employment. Please review the I-20 form for accuracy. You can only work during the dates of employment authorized on the I-20 form. The I-20 form with the CPT authorization is proof of employment eligibility, which you must show to your new employer to complete the hiring process. You must register either for the Career Center course or with the internship required for your academic program.
- How I register for my Co-op or Internship Course?
Students no longer register for the Co-op or internship courses themselves. The Registrar will register students in the appropriate course once the student is approved for CPT.
It is important that you check your course registration to be sure that you have enough space in your schedule to allow for the addition of the Co-op or Internship credits in your schedule. If the additional credits will place you over the credit maximum for the term, you will not be enrolled in the internship/co-op credits. Students who are not enrolled in internship/co-op credits are ineligible to participate in CPT.
- What is the process to make updates or cancel CPT?
To extend or amend the dates of an approved CPT authorization, you must work with Career Center to submit a CPT update request through iStart. Please note the following important considerations to ensure maintenance of status and accuracy of your SEVIS record:
· If your practical training opportunity ends earlier than the authorization end date listed on page 2 of your CPT I-20 form, you should notify Career Center prior to the end of your CPT authorization. To shorten CPT authorization, you will be required to request an updated letter or email from your employer verifying your employment dates.
· To cancel a CPT authorization prior to beginning employment, you must request a letter or email from your employer verifying that you did not participate in any employment with that company. This documentation will be collected by Career Center.
· If start your Internship or Co-op and then choose to discontinue the experience, please contact OIE and Career Center to learn of your options.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is authorized off-campus employment and is an integral part of the degree program. At Georgia Tech, an F-1 student may be eligible for CPT based on a required internship class for academic credit toward degree completion or participation in the co-op or internship program through the Career Center. F-1 students authorized for CPT are register for credit through Career Center or register for the internship required by their academic program.
Additional Eligibility Considerations
- F-1 students must be enrolled full-time (12 credit hours) on the main-campus for a fall and spring semester before becoming eligible for CPT.
- An F-1 student who begins their academic program in a fall semester can be eligible for off-campus practical training after enrolling full-time at the main campus in fall and spring semesters.
- An F-1 student who begins in the spring semester must enroll full-time at the main campus in spring semester and the following fall semester before becoming eligible for CPT.
- F-1 students may be authorized for full-time CPT or part-time CPT.
- CPT can be authorized as full-time (more than 20 total hours per week) for F-1 students participating in the co-op program or enrolling in a degree-required academic practicum.
- Students enrolled in their final semester are not eligible for full-time CPT unless they are completing a degree-required practicum or degree-required research experience.
- F-1 students authorized to work more than 11 months and 28 days of full-time CPT are no longer eligible for OPT. Part time CPT has no impact on eligibility for OPT.
Internship or Co-op through Career Center
CPT can be authorized when a Georgia Tech student participates in the co-op or internship program through the Career Center. More information about the co-op and internship programs can be found on the Career Center's website.
Required Internship for Academic Credit
Undergraduate students majoring in Building Construction who enroll in the internship for academic credit must work with their academic advisor to submit a request for CPT.
Graduate students majoring in City and Regional Planning or Informational Design and Technology who enroll in the internship for academic credit must work with their graduate coordinator to submit a request for CPT.
Enrollment to Maintain F-1 Status:
- F-1 students are required to enroll in at least 12 credit hours during their first semester of enrollment at Georgia Tech and each subsequent fall and spring semester.
- To meet the 12 hour minimum requirement, students must enroll in 12 hours of academic class, alternating work-study semesters which include 12 hours of co-op credit, or 6 hours of internship credit with the remaining 6 hours of academic class credit which count toward academic degree completion.
- Once the CPT has been authorized by the OIE, Career Center will register the student in the internship course for the appropriate term.
- CPT authorization can begin prior to the start of the term and continue until the day before the next available term. The student's academic progress will be monitored based on the CPT dates and grades will be adjusted after the term dates if a student fails to complete the academic work associated with an internship.
- All CPT requests must be submitted via iStart by Career Center by the deadline dates outlined on the Career Center website, please see graduate information here and undergraduate information here.
- Students not enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits by the end of phase 2 registration, are in violation of their F-1 status which can result in the termination of their SEVIS records.
- Students who lose their employment need to consult with Career Center right away. If the employment termination is determined to be due to the student's failure to meet internship and thereby academic requirements, then the student is removed from the credits. If the removal of credit hours results in less than full time enrollment, the student will be considered in violation of status.
Tips for Obtaining CPT
1. Explore Career Center resources to find a practical training opportunity aligned with your degree program.
2. Seek practical training opportunities in your field of study.
3. Once you have an internship offer, submit your request for internship or cooperative education experience online via the Career Center Undergraduate Internship page here or Graduate Internship page here. The Career Center career advisers will submit a request for CPT on your behalf once your request has been reviewed and approved.
4. You will receive an email from OIE requesting that you acknowledge your responsibilities while on CPT and upload the required $35 practical fee (see below). Complete this e-form process.
5. After you've acknowledged responsibilities and paid the $35 practical training fee, OIE will process the request from Career Center within the advertised business processing time, normally three business days and up to five business days during high volume seasons.
You will receive a new I-20 with the CPT authorization, which includes the employer's name, address and the specific dates of employment. Please review the I-20 for accuracy. In order to maintain status, you must only engage in practical training with the specific employer listed on the CPT authorization and only engage in practical training during the dates listed on your authorization. The I-20 with the CPT authorization is proof of employment eligibility, which you must show to your new employer to complete Human Resources processing and the I-9 verification required for all new employment.
Practical Training Fee
The Office of International Education will collect a $35 fee each time an international student holding an F or J student visa receives practical training benefits in the form of Curricular Practical Training (CPT), Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Academic Training (AT). Student e-forms submitted to the OIE for review after June 15, 2017 will be required to show evidence of PTF payment. Specific instructions for paying the fee will be include in the respective eform.
For more specific information about the PTF, please visit OIE's website: /isss/ptf