Sarah Curry

Designated School Official
Undergraduate or Graduate

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT is a work benefit that allows F-1 students to complete off-campus employment for class credit. In other words, CPT is the authorization an F-1 student requires to do an internship in the United States while studying at Anna Maria. CPT authorization can be granted by the CISS as long as students meet the immigration criteria, academic requirements of their program to complete an internship, and turn in the appropriate application documents (listed below).

CPT can be part-time (20 hours a week or less) or full-time (more than 20 hours a week). CPT is designed to provide work experience directly related to the internship course in which the student is enrolled. Keep in mind that a total of 365 days of full time CPT employment disqualifies a student for OPT. Traditional volunteer work (e.g. at a soup-kitchen, homeless shelter) does not require CPT. However most volunteer work that is employment-related, even unpaid internships, require CPT authorization.

More Information on CPT


At Anna Maria, full-time status each semester consists of at least 12 academic credits for Undergraduate students and 8 academic credits for graduate students.

The internship, practicum, or professional experience must either be a required part of your academic program or you must be receiving academic credit. If your graduate program requires you to participate in an experience in your first semester you may be eligible for CPT.

You must complete the CPT application form and return it to your International Student Advisor with all appropriate signatures in order for it to be approved and a new I-20 issued with CPT noted on page 2. on page 2.

To be eligible for CPT you must first complete two semesters of full-time study in the United States.

Employment Options

The work must be directly related to the student’s major field of study and integral to an established curriculum.

Part-time CPT

Employment for 20 hours or less per week is considered part-time. You must be simultaneously enrolled in classes full-time and be physically present on campus in order to maintain lawful F-1 status during fall and spring terms.

Full-time CPT

Employment for more than 20 hours per week is full-time. Please be aware that 12 months or more of full-time CPT will eliminate your eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Documentation Needed to Apply

The following should be submitted electronically to the ISO:

  • Letter from your advisor authorizing your internship (email your International Student Advisor for the CPT authorization template).
  • Proof of enrollment in the associated internship course (this can be a copy of your schedule from Self Service that shows you have registered for the internship course).
  • Offer letter from your employer. Your employer or company must officially offer you a training opportunity and provide you with an offer letter that includes the following:

      • Written on the company’s letterhead

      • Be addressed to you

      • Job title

      • Detailed job description (at least a few sentences describing specific duties, tasks, goals, etc.)

      • Specify the street address where employment will occur (street, city, state, and zip code). If you work remotely, the letter should specify this and list the company’s physical address.
        Specify the number of hours per week you will work.

    • Specify start and end dates of CPT employment (keep in mind that CPT can only be authorized one term at a time).

Send the completed application to your International Student Advisor via email with at least FIVE DAYS for processing.  Please be mindful of academic holidays.

Frequestly Asked Question (FAQ)

Can I request more than one period of CPT?

Yes, you are allowed up to three CPT authorizations per degree program, if permitted by your academic program. For each CPT authorization, you must get permission from 1) your Dean or Academic Advisor and 2) OGS. CPT must remain integral to your curriculum and cannot be used to simply facilitate employment

I work at the library for five hours a week and have been offered an internship off campus. How many hours can I request on my CPT Request Form?

While school is in session a student may only engage in a maximum of 20 hours of employment per week, on campus and off campus, paid and unpaid. A student who meets the eligibility requirements for CPT and works on campus 5 hours per week may be authorized for part-time CPT for an additional 15 hours. However, the total employment while school is in session may not exceed 20 hours per week.

My program/school does not have a specific internship course. Can I still participate in CPT?

To participate in CPT, the program/school must either have:

  1. An approved internship course that carries credit, semester dates, a faculty supervisor and is listed in the college catalog; or
  2. The academic program director or advisor must attest that the internship is a graduation degree requirement; or If the program/school cannot attest to one of the above requirements, then CPT is not an option and Pre-completion OPT or work with an International Organization may be alternatives.

Do I need to update my address if I will be living at a new address during my CPT?

Yes, F-1 students are required to update their local, U.S. address within 10 days of moving to the new address. Update your local off-campus address by contacting the International Services office or the Registrar.

Am I still in F-1 status during CPT?

Yes, you are still in F-1 status. CPT is not an immigration status. Rather, CPT is a benefit of F-1 status for off-campus authorization to engage in practical training in one’s field of study.

Do I have to pay taxes on my CPT income?

Maybe. If you are an F-1 student and have not been in the United States for 5 years you should not be paying Social Security or Medicare taxes. However, you may be subject to income tax depending on the amount of money you earn and your tax rate. Please contact the International Services office for assistance with tax information through our tax partner, Sprintax