Curricular Practical Training

An F–1 student may be authorized by the DSO to participate in a curricular practical training program that is an integral part of an established curriculum. Curricular practical training is defined to be alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.

CPT may take place during the academic year and/or in the summer. CPT can only be completed prior to the completion of your course of study. Because USCIS uses a broad definition of employment— any activity for which a student receives a benefit, monetary or otherwise—even unpaid internships require CPT authorization.

For CPT, you must register for an internship course at Hostos Community College. Registration can only occur AFTER you have received approval from the Faculty Advisor responsible for the course. You will receive credit(s) for the internship course and can be paid by the company. Undergraduate students are ONLY eligible for part-time CPT (up to 20 hours per week) during the fall and spring semesters. Undergraduate students may choose to engage in full-time CPT (more than 20 hours per week) when school is not in session or during your annual break.

A student that accrues more than 365 days of Full-Time CPT, becomes ineligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT). A student is then essentially forfeiting his/her OPT. Please Note: The "365-Day Rule" ONLY applies to FULL-Time CPT. You can accrue Part-Time CPT without affecting your eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT).

*If you are authorized to work on-campus and also choose to engage in Practical Training (CPT or Pre-OPT), per ICE regulations the total number of hours for the Practical training and on-campus employment can NOT exceed 20 hours while school is in session. You may work full-time during periods when school is not in session or during your annual break.

To qualify, the CPT course "must be an integral part of your established curriculum" The DSO must validate to the USCIS that the CPT course represents satisfaction of the requirements for your particular degree.

NOTE: A course offered for the primary purpose of facilitating employment authorization does not qualify for CPT.

Acquiring CPT Approval

The following THREE (3) items are required to be completed and submitted to the DSO to process an application for CPT:

  1. Completed Faculty Advisor’s Recommendation Form for CPT

  2. Offer letter from employer on their official letterhead stating:

    • The starting and ending dates of the placement

    • The number of hours per week (maximum of 20 for Part-Time CPT)

    • A brief description of duties to be performed

  3. Proof that you have registered and paid for the Internship Course

Once the CPT application is complete, the DSO will update the SEVIS record and print a copy of the student’s SEVIS I-20, authorizing CPT with that employer only. The SEVIS I-20 will be given to the student. You must be issued the SEVIS I-20 before commencing employment.

Students in F-1 status must have been lawfully enrolled in school on a full-time basis for at least one full academic year before becoming eligible for practical training. CPT must be undertaken prior to the completion of a course of study.

Students must maintain good academic standing.

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