Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a type of work-authorization used for F-1 students to complete off-campus training experiences. The primary purpose of CPT is to gain practical experience in the student's field of study. The training experience must be an integral part of an established curriculum and directly related to the student's major area of study. Since CPT is curricular in nature, the student must also enroll for a course that requires an off-campus training experience. CPT is not possible for all F-1 students because it is dependent on the academic requirements of a specific academic program.
*Please note that “employment” is defined as any type of service for which a benefit, including academic credit, is received. Therefore, even if the student will not be paid for the internship, they should obtain CPT authorization.
To be eligible for CPT authorization you must meet the following requirements:
CPT will not be authorized in situations where Optional Practical Training is more appropriate or for work to be done after completion of your degree requirements.
CPT authorization is semester specific. There are four semesters during which one may apply for CPT: Fall, Winter, Spring or Summer.
If you are authorized for 12 or more months of full-time CPT, you will lose your eligibility for Post-Completion Optional Practical Training.
When considering CPT, it is important to plan ahead. Be aware of ISS application deadlines (see CPT Application Deadlines section below).
Applications will not be accepted after the application deadline.
|Semester||Application Deadline||Earliest Start Date||Latest End Date|
|Spring 2020||Friday, February 14||Saturday, January 25||Saturday, May 16|
|Summer 2020||Application Deadline is Add/Drop for Summer Session. Refer to Academic Calendar for specific date.||Sunday, May 17||Friday, August 14 (12 Week Session); Refer to Academic Calendar for 6 week end dates|
|Fall 2020||Friday, September 18||Saturday, August 15||Monday, December 21|
|Winter 2021||Application Deadline is Add/Drop for Winter Term. Refer to Academic Calendar for specific date.||Tuesday, December 22||Friday, January 22|
|Spring 2021||Friday, February 12||Saturday, January 23||Saturday, May 15|
*The University at Buffalo academic calendar is set by the Faculty Senate and University President, and dates may change at their discretion.
To qualify for CPT, one must be enrolled in a course that is listed in the course catalog, specifically designed for a practical training experience, and be a minimum of one credit. Enrollment is required during each semester a CPT is requested (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer).
If your department does not offer an internship, practicum or Co-Op, or no course meeting these requirements is available to you, then you may not be able to pursue this type of employment. Because CPT is directly linked to the curriculum of your department, not every F-1 student at UB will have the opportunity to utilize CPT.
Full-Time CPT (more than 20 hours of work per week) is not possible during a student's final semester of the program. Most CPT authorizations are limited to 20 hours of training per week (part-time). Full-time (more than 20 hours per week) is possible only if the following criteria are met.
Full-Time CPT (more than 20 hours of work per week) is not possible during a student's final semester of the program unless it is required of all students in the program.
To apply for CPT, follow the directions below. We recommend submitting your application at least 7 business days before your expected employment start date.
CPT applications received after the published application deadline will be denied.
The internship/training experience cannot begin until the CPT I-20 is issued and the start date has passed. Retroactive authorizations will not be granted.
Any work that takes place outside the CPT approval dates is unauthorized employment.
Full-Time Certification vs Reduced Course Load: What's the Difference?
If you are a graduate student near the end of your program you may be eligible. Contact your department’s graduate coordinator (before the semester begins) to see if you qualify. If you qualify, you will file a form with your academic department and the Graduate School.
The Graduate School has Full-Time Certification forms on their website.
If you are an F-1 student who meets the eligibility requirements for one of the three types of Reduced Course loads, you may apply for this benefit through ISS.