Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an off-campus employment option available to F-1 students when the practical training employment is considered to be integral to or required of the curriculum or academic program. The experience must be related to the student's major field of study. It cannot be in a declared minor or program.
Any student interested in pursuing CPT is encouraged to contact the ISSO and speak with an International Student Advisor about CPT rules and procedures.
At Brandeis, CPT eligibility is based on the following:
- You have declared a major (undergraduates).
- The employment (usually an internship or practicum) is a degree requirement of all students in the program or major. Or,
- You will receive elective credit towards fulfilling your degree or program requirements for the proposed CPT employment.
Students must obtain an internship or employment offer before applying for CPT but may not begin working until after CPT has been authorized. For CPT during fall and spring semesters, students are required to be enrolled full-time and can only work part-time under CPT. The proposed start date can be as early as the first day of class and no later than the enrollment deadline.
CPT can be authorized for a maximum of 8 credits for undergraduate students.
In a student’s final semester, CPT can only be authorized through the last day of classes published in the university Academic Calendar.
CPT authorization is not needed for on-campus employment. See on-campus employment information for more information.
Employment (Paid and Unpaid)
Employment is defined by the Department of Homeland Security as providing a service for which you receive anything in return, or would normally receive in return. (Others are paid or receive benefits for providing the same service that you are providing.) Thus, both paid and non-paid positions are considered "employment" by the Department of Homeland Security and will need authorization before the start date of the work experience. All off-campus employment requires authorization. Failure to obtain proper authorization, even for an unpaid position, can result in a violation of status.
Under very narrow circumstances students may participated in limited unpaid volunteer activities without employment authorization (i.e., volunteering at a service or humanitarian organization). Before volunteering, please consult the ISSO to find out if authorization is required.
CPT Employment Dates for AY 2018-2019
Fall 2018 - start no earlier than Aug. 29, 2018, end no later than Jan. 14, 2019 (for December graduates, your CPT can not go longer than your program end date - this is typically December 20, 2018)
Spring 2019 - start no earlier than Jan. 15, 2019, end no later than May 14, 2019
Summer 2019 - start no earlier than May 15, 2019, end no later than Aug. 27, 2019
Submit a CPT Request
You must first complete ISSO Check-in via your Sage account and be SEVIS registered before ISSO can process your CPT.
Submit your CPT Online Application request before your CPT begins.
Once approved, your CPT employment recommendation will be submitted to SEVIS and a new I-20 with CPT authorization on page 2 will be issued to you within 10 business days. You will receive an email from the ISSO as soon as your CPT I-20 is ready.
Present this new I-20, along with your passport and I-94 record, as proof of employment authorization to your employer.
A Note of Caution to F-1 Students: Do not begin any off-campus employment (paid or unpaid) without first obtaining employment authorization from the ISSO. Working off-campus without obtaining employment authorization is a serious violation of F-1 student status.