Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) allows you, as an F-1 student, to accept an internship or employment offer off-campus, as long as it is an integral part of your curriculum or is directly related to your curriculum.

Immigration regulations make CPT authorization available to F-1 students who have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for at least one academic year and such employment is in his or her field of studies, which is an integral part of the curriculum or degree.

Note: in the case of Gabelli School of Business graduate students, lawfully enrolled full-time for two trimesters is considered eligible for CPT.

Steps to Apply for CPT

  1. Obtain an offer, and an offer letter.
  2. Bring your offer letter to:
  3. Your Academic Advisor/Assistant/Class Dean must complete the CPT Form through the OIS CPT Portal. They will upload the CPT Form and offer letter.
  4. An OIS Advisor will review the CPT application submitted by your advisor, and then OIS will issue your CPT authorization (a new I-20). We will notify you when it is ready, and send an update version to your Fordham email, which you should print and sign.

You may not begin your position without receiving CPT authorization from the OIS.

Once a complete CPT application is received from your Academic Advisor or Assistant/Class Dean, OIS requires 2-3 business days to process your updated I-20.

If the employment/internship is NOT required for you to graduate (this is the case for almost all undergraduates and most graduate students), then you will be required to obtain academic credit for the position. We will not be able to process your CPT until after we see your credit registration in the University database.

Do I Need CPT if my Job/Internship is Unpaid?

YES! In most cases, you must still obtain work authorization for this position. There is only one exception: if you will be a volunteer. To be considered a volunteer, you must:

  • Not be getting paid
  • The organization does not require anything from you (no documents, no academic credit)
  • No documents will be sent up to the US governments
  • The organization meets the Department of Labor guidelines of volunteerism.