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F-1 CPT

If you are a F-1 student, you may want to participate in Curricular Practical Training. CPT is off-campus work that gives you work experience in your field of study.

You need to fulfill these eligibility requirements: 

  • Valid F-1 immigration status.
  • Enrolled as a current student in your program of study. 
  • Enrolled as a Cornell student for at least two semesters before the CPT.

View our short video about F-1 CPT

Facts About F-1 CPT

Learn the details about Curricular Practical Training.

You must have a curriculum requirement for CPT. 

To qualify for CPT, off-campus employment must fulfill one or more of these curriculum requirements: 

  • An internship is required for your degree.  
  • Employment is a required part of your dissertation or thesis. 
  • Employment is required to earn credits for a specific class. 
  • You are a Law, JGSM, or ILR student enrolled in one of the following courses, which require you to work at an internship: Law 6730NMI 5100, or ILR 5990

Will part-time CPT fulfill my degree’s internship requirement? 

Your academic department sets the number of hours you must work to fulfill the requirement. This could be part-time (20 hours or less) or full-time (40 hours). 

Can I get CPT now to fulfill a past course requirement?  

Courses that require employment to earn credit should be taken at the same time as the employment or after it.  The course cannot be taken before the employment.  

Can I get CPT for work related to my graduate thesis topic? 

To fulfill a dissertation or graduate thesis requirement, the CPT should be a required research component of your topic. 

When can I register for Law 6730, NMI 5100, or ILR 5990?

If you are a Law, JGSM, or ILR student, you can register online for Law 6730, NMI 5100, or ILR 5990, when your college or school makes the registration live.

You need an offer letter for a job related to your field of study.

The letter must include:

  • Start and end dates

  • Location
  • Signature on company letterhead

Can I start my job before I get CPT authorization? 

No. Come to the Office of Global Learning to get CPT authorization before you begin working. 

Can I get CPT after I graduate from my program?  

If you have graduated, you do not qualify for CPT—but you may qualify for OPT after graduation. 

Will my CPT affect my eligibility for OPT?

CPT does not affect your eligibility for OPT unless you work 12 months or more in full-time CPT. If you work 12 months or more, you are no longer eligible for OPT. 

CPT is available throughout the year. 

You can qualify for CPT at any time of year, but the amount of time you can work depends on whether you are registered for classes. 

  • When the university is in session and you are registered for classes, you may only work part-time (up to 20 hours a week).
  • In the summer and during winter break, if you are not registered for classes, you may work full-time (up to 40 hours a week). 

Can I take a leave of absence to work? 

If the internship is integral to your degree program, you can take a leave of absence for a semester in order to work full-time, as long as you meet all other criteria for CPT. Your employment has to cover the entire semester, start no later than the first day of classes, and end no earlier than the last day of classes. 

When should I start and stop my summer internship? 

Your summer work should start no earlier than the day after spring semester ends. It should continue only until the day before classes start in the fall, as listed on the university academic calendar.

If my authorization is based on a course, when do I take the course credit related to my CPT? 

  • For summer CPT: Take the course credit the following fall. 
  • For spring and fall semester part-time CPT: Take the course credit at the same time as your employment. 
  • For full-time CPT over winter break: Take the course credit in the spring.  


Apply for CPT