Curricular Practical Training
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is practical work experience for F-1 students either required of all students in a specific degree program or, alternatively, listed in the course catalogue as offering credit that directly counts towards degree credit requirements. This might, but will not always, include for-credit internships and cooperative education programs. In certain cases, it may also include independent study and/or graduate research.
Academic Units (schools, academic departments or registrars) determine whether to incorporate practical training into the curriculum and stipulate when students may pursue practical training. F-1 students in programs that do not have the option of practical training for credit are not eligible for CPT. Not all programs give credit for practical training or allow for paid practical training.
CPT is available only prior to completion of the academic program. CPT employment may not delay completion of the academic program. Undergraduate students must have declared their major prior to applying for CPT. CPT is not approved for minors. F-1 students interested in acquiring CPT authorization should first complete the online Off-Campus Workshop (hosted on Canvas) to learn the regulatory requirements and authorization procedure. See the "How to Apply for CPT" section below for instructions on how to access the workshop.
For job search tips and resources, please visit University Career Services International Student Resources.
Off-Campus Employment Chat Sessions
ISSS is offering twice-monthly chat sessions on CPT and OPT that will be offered via Zoom. This is an opportunity for students to drop in and discuss their CPT/OPT questions with an International Student Adviser (ISA), as well as connect with other students who are also interested in off-campus employment. Below are the scheduled chat sessions with direct links to the Zoom room.
Spring 2021 semester sessions have finished. No sessions are currently planned for summer 2021 due to low demand. An updated schedule of sessions will be posted leading up to the fall 2021 semester.
F-1 students eligible for CPT are:
- Offered a paid or unpaid employment opportunity qualified for CPT
- Have been a full time student for at least one academic year (if a graduate program curriculum requires enrolled students to immediately participate in curricular practical training, F-1 students may be exempt from the one academic year requirement)
- In good academic standing
- Maintaining legal status
- Approved to register for corresponding course/credit for the practical training for the semester/summer during which the student is engaged in practical training
Full Time versus Part Time CPT +
In most cases, students may be authorized—with approval from Rutgers Global–International Student and Scholar Services—for part time CPT (20 hours per week or less) during the fall and spring semesters. F-1 students may be authorized for full time CPT (more than 20 hours per week) during the summer and winter break periods.
Exceptionally, with approval from Rutgers Global–International Student and Scholar Services, students may be eligible for full time CPT during the fall and spring semesters, following these conditions:
- Undergraduate students in the last semester to complete a degree program and authorized for less than a full-time course load
- Graduate students who have completed all course work, or are in the last semester to complete course work and are authorized for less than full-time course load
Please note that students who have received one year or more of full-time curricular practical training are ineligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT) at the same educational level. Part time CPT does not affect eligibility for OPT.
How to Apply for CPT +
- Complete the online Off-Campus Employment Workshop hosted on Canvas
- If you are unable to access the Rutgers Global - ISSS Canvas page, you will need to first submit the Online Workshop Access e-form via the RGlobal portal.
- Consult with your school/program regarding academic eligibility for CPT
- Submit your Curricular Practical Training (CPT) request online through the RGlobal portal.
- Students in the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy completing rotations should instead submit the PharmD Rotation: CPT Authorization request
- You will need to prepare the following for your request:
- Job offer letter
- Students in the School of Social Work are required to submit a Field Placement Confirmation form from SSW.
- Approval from your Academic Official (electronically via the CPT e-form), so discuss your plans with them first.
- For undergraduate students, your Academic Official is your Academic Dean/Advisor
- For graduate students, your Academic Official is your Graduate Program Director
- For RBHS students, your Academic Official is your Registrar
- Students in the School of Social Work should use the MSW Certification for CPT form
- Proof of registration for the CPT course if not yet appearing on your unofficial transcript (i.e. screenshot of web registration page showing your name, the relevant semester and course number)
- Job offer letter
- Pick up new I-20 with CPT authorization on page 2, after receiving an email saying it’s ready
Proof of Employment Authorization +
When approved for CPT, an F-1 student receives an updated I-20 with the relevant CPT employment information displayed on page 2. Authorized employment may only begin after the student has received the updated I-20 from Rutgers Global–International Student and Scholar Services and the start date shown on page 2 has arrived.
Changes to CPT +
CPT is authorized for a specific employer for a defined period of time. Notify an international student adviser if there is any change with your current CPT employment start/end date, address or number of hours per week. If you would like to change employers or extend your CPT authorization into a new term/semester, a complete new CPT application must be submitted. For CPT extensions during the current term/semester, contact an international student adviser for further guidance.