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Curricular Practical Training

You can apply for Curricular Practical Training ("CPT") for off-campus work opportunities (even unpaid work opportunities) if both the placement and the student are eligible for the benefit.
An F-1 Student can request (CPT), if, and only if, the work opportunity is considered integral to the established program of study. “Integral to an established program of study” is defined by F-1 Regulations as:

- An internship, rotation, or practicum required for a course offered in the MCPHS Course catalog for which the student will earn academic credit;
- An internship, rotation, or practicum that is required for all students in the program for degree completion; or
- An off-campus placement arranged by MCPHS to pursue graduate thesis or dissertation research that cannot be accomplished on-campus and is required to complete your degree program. The thesis or dissertation proposal must be approved by the student’s academic committee before CPT be authorized.

An internship must meet an academic (i.e. curricular) requirement to qualify for CPT authorization.

If you have an internship or employment opportunity that offers “excellent” or “relevant” experience to your major field, but is not considered integral to your established program of study as defined above, you will need to apply for and be approved for Optional Practical Training in order to accept that position.
If your internship, rotation, or practicum placement qualifies for CPT, you will become eligible to apply after you have been lawfully enrolled Full-Time in a degree program for one full academic year (excluding time spent in an intensive English program). You must also be maintaining valid F-1 Status at the time of your CPT application.

Exception: Some graduate students in F-1 Status may be exempt from the one full academic year requirement if their graduate program requires immediate participation in an internship, rotation, or practicum.

Important Note: If you violate your F-1 Status and regain status by reentering the U.S. with a Form I-20 issued for “Initial Attendance,” you will need to complete two (2) more semesters of Full-Time study to regain your CPT eligibility. Any time previously spent in F-1 Status will not count toward eligibility.

An application to change Immigration Status to F-1 from within the U.S. may also affect eligibility for CPT. Students should discuss eligibility with the Immigration Services Office if you would like CPT authorization within the first two full semesters after changing to F-1.

F-1 Students enrolled in Pathway/Bridge Programs are not eligible for CPT.
CPT can be authorized during the academic year or during the summer, but must be specified as either Part-Time or Full-Time.

There is no regulatory time limit to CPT – the total time granted under CPT authorization that will be authorized is defined by what is required or permitted under your degree program. However, if you are authorized for a total of 12 months of Full-Time CPT or more, you will not be eligible for Optional Practical Training. Periods of Part-Time CPT authorization do not affect OPT eligibility.

Part-Time CPT Authorization

If your eligible internship, rotation, or practicum placement requires you to work 20 hours per week or fewer, then you will be authorized for Part-Time CPT. You must maintain a Full-Time Course Load if you engage in Part-Time CPT during any required semester of study.

Full-Time CPT Authorization

If your eligible internship, rotation, or practicum placement requires you to work more than 20 hours per week, then you will need Full-Time CPT authorization. If you are engaged in Full-Time CPT during a required semester of study, you must carry a Full-Time Course Load (or its equivalent as determine by your academic department at MCPHS).
In order to apply for CPT authorization, you will need to:

- Secure an eligible internship, rotation, or practicum and receive a formal offer letter from your work site.
- Register for the appropriate course that ties your experience to your curriculum.
- Complete a CPT Request and Acknowledgement with signature(s) from your academic advisor or your school’s internship placement office.

Once your CPT recommendation is complete, bring your completed and signed CPT Form and Acknowledgement, along with your F-1 immigration documents, and drop-off your CPT request. Completed requests will be evaluated for approval within five business days.

When to Apply

You must receive your updated I-20 with your CPT authorization listed on it before you report to your internship, rotation, or practicum placement (this includes attending orientation sessions!).

CPT is authorized by the Immigration Services Office for a specific employer, location, hours per week, and dates. You should always plan to obtain the CPT authorization at least a few weeks before you wish to begin your placement. If there is a change of employer, job location, or dates of employment, you must reapply for CPT.