F-1 Curricular Practical Training
You must obtain CPT authorization before commencing employment.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations state that Curricular Practical Training (CPT) must be directly related to the major and an integral part of an established curriculum.
CPT is defined as "alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school." Thus, CPT for F-1 students is intended to provide work experience in the U.S. in situations where the work serves as an integral part of a student's academic program and an established curriculum, prior to completion of that program.
How To Apply for CPT?
- Before applying for CPT, you should register for the CPT course if applicable.
- Obtain a copy of your official offer letter on company letterhead that is signed by the prospective employer. A photocopy is acceptable. The letter should include the employer's name, full address, dates of employment, and duties.
- The CPT electronic request form is available in iPenn (see logo below). After you log in with your Pennkey, you will find "CPT Request" under Student Services in the left menu.
As part of your iPenn eform submission, scan and upload the following:
- Copy of your current I-20
- Copy of your passport
- Copy of your I-94 card (front and back if issued paper I-94) or US entry/admission stamp in passport (if issued electronic I-94) Refer to the automated I-94 process
- Copy of your official offer letter as described in step 2 above