Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
CPT is a benefit that allows F-1 students to accept off campus employment / internships in connection with the Vassar curriculum. CPT must be directly related to your major field of study.
- CPT is available to F-1 students
- The earliest that an F-1 student can access CPT is the summer after their first academic year.
- CPT must be directly related to your major field of study.
- CPT is available part tie (up to 20 hours per week) during the academic year, and full time during academic breaks.
- CPT is a benefit available as a function of OIS and the Office of Community Engaged Learning.
Applying for CPT
- Unlike OPT, there are no external deadlines.
- CPT is mostly used for summer internships. The key internal deadline is that you have to register with the Office of Community Engaged Learning (OCEL) by the end of May.
- Our recommendation is to reach out to OIS as soon as you land a position, and we will walk you through the steps.
- How to Apply
- The first step is to land an internship or other form of off campus employment. The employment must directly relate to your major field of study.
- For summer employment:
- Arrange to get credit for your employment
- Make an appointment with the Office of Community Engaged Learning before the end of the semester.
- Follow the OCEL process for arranging for summer credit
- Complete their forms as required.
- Send via email to OIS a letter of employment, which must:
- be on official company letterhead
- include a specific start date and a specific end date
- include the complete street address where your work will be performed
- have the number of hours per week you will work
- describe what it is you will be doing
- be signed and dated by your employer
- Once we in OIS have received confirmation from the OCEL office along with your employment letter, we will issue a new I-20 authorizing CPT
- For employment outside of the summer:
- Make an appointment with the Office of Engaged Learning to explore what may be possible.
- CPT FAQs
- Can I take a semester off and do CPT?
- No, you cannot do CPT (or OPT) during a leave of absence. You need to be a full-time registered student in order to be able to apply for CPT.
- Can I do CPT during my first year?
- The earliest you can do CPT is the summer following your first year.
- Does the use of CPT impact my eligibility for OPT?
- It technically could, but it is very unlikely. You would need to amass 12 months of full-time CPT to become ineligible for OPT.
- Do I need a job offer to apply for CPT?
- Yes. Unlike OPT, CPT is job-specific.
- Is there an application fee?
- How many hours per week can I do CPT?
- CPT + any other employment, including on campus, cannot exceed 20 hours per week during the academic year.
- There is no restriction on hours during academic break periods.
Applying for CPT
- What is the latest in the spring semester that I can apply for CPT for the summer?
- We recommend you apply for CPT by the end of April.
- The one fixed deadline is that the Office for Community Engaged Learning requires you to register for summer work by the end of May.
- Note also that it can be difficult to arrange for faculty sponsors beyond the end of classes.
- How do I apply for CPT?
- See section on applying for CPT, above.
- Reach out to OIS if you have any additional questions!
- How do I know if my CPT has been approved?
- You will receive a new CPT I-20: we will notify you when it is ready to be picked up.
- Your CPT authorization will appear on Page 2 of the I-20. If your employer wants proof of authorization, this is what you will show to them.