CPT Graduate Students
As an F-1 international student you may qualify to apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT).
CPT is employment that is an integral part of an established curriculum. CPT is defined to be alternative work-study, internship, or cooperative education arranged with the approval of your program, or any type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements. CPT may take place during the academic year and/or in the summer and must be undertaken prior to the completion of a course of study. Because USCIS uses a broad definition of employment— any activity for which a student receives a benefit, monetary or otherwise—even unpaid internships require CPT authorization.
For CPT, you must register for an internship course at Baruch College. You will receive credit(s) for the internship course and can be paid by the company. Your CPT will not be deducted from the 12 months Optional Practical Training (OPT ) you are eligible for as an F-1 student, unless you complete 12 or more months of full-time CPT. (Undergraduate students are only eligible for part-time CPT, up to 20 hours per week.)
If you are authorized to work on campus and also choose to engage in Practical Training (CPT or Pre-OPT), per ICE regulations the total number of hours for the practical training and on-campus employment cannot exceed 20 hours while school is in session. You may work full time during periods when school is not in session or during your annual break.
To qualify, the CPT course must be an integral part of your established curriculum. ISSC must validate to the USCIS that the CPT course represents satisfaction of the requirements for your particular degree. However, a course offered for the primary purpose of facilitating employment authorization does not qualify for CPT.
Steps toward CPT qualification
The following three items are required to be completed and submitted to ISSC to process an application for CPT.
1. Completed and signed academic advisor’s recommendation form. Zicklin School of Business students must also obtain the internship contract from the Graduate Career Management Center (GCMC).
2. Offer letter from employer on their official letterhead stating:
- The starting and ending dates of the placement
- The number of hours per week (maximum of 20 for Part-Time CPT)
- A brief description of duties to be performed
3. Proof that you have registered and paid for the internship course
Once the CPT application is complete, ISSC will update the SEVIS record and print a copy of your SEVIS I-20, authorizing CPT with that employer only. You must be issued the SEVIS I-20 before commencing employment.
Certain graduate programs have a number of credits you must complete prior to registering for an internship course. MBA and Zicklin MS students must complete a semester with full course of study to be eligible for CPT.
In addition to the required credit completion, international students on F-1 visas must have been lawfully enrolled in school on a full time basis for at least one full academic year before becoming eligible for practical training. Exceptions exist for graduate students whose programs require immediate curricular training.
All graduate students must have at least a 3.0 GPA.
All students must obtain an internship or other experience that complements and/or enhances their academic study, as approved by the Graduate Career Management Center and or faculty supervisor. This experience must further incorporate at least 135 experimental (work) hours in the registration, as well as all required academic projects and supervision as assigned by the faculty supervisor.