Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is the immigration program that will help you obtain permission to work off campus in a job related to your field of study, or to participate in a paid internship.


  • You cannot participate in CPT until you have been in enrolled full time in legal F-1 status (at any U.S. school) for at least one academic year (9 months). ESL students are not eligible.
  • Those students who have a required internship/work experience with their program are exempt from the above rule.
  • CPT is limited to Part-time (less than 20 hours per week) during Fall and Spring semesters.
  • You still must be a full-time student during the fall and spring semesters.
  • CPT must be done for academic credit, even if you are participating during the summer months.
  • CPT can be required for the degree program, or optional.
  • CPT requires an academic advisor, registration for a course, and will carry a grade. The work experience must be related to your major field of study.
  • CPT can be approved for one year for part-time work (renewable), and for up to one year of full-time work.


1) First, find a job! You can start by looking in the newspaper (both the Ashland Times Gazette and the Mansfield News Journal are available on the main floor of the library and online). Career Services Center can provide information on internships and preparing a resume. You will also want to talk to your academic advisor to make sure that you can get obtain academic credit for the type of job you might be interested in.

2) If any prospective employers are not sure about your authorization to work in the United States, please give them this letter: PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYER GUIDELINES.

3) Once a job offer has been made, you will need to complete the following paperwork to obtain authorization to work off campus:

  1.  Letter from the employer.
  2. Meet with your advisor to decide on the academic work that will be done (if any) and how many credit hours will be awarded. Have the CPT APPROVAL FORM completed and signed by your advisor. (MBA students must also have the Career Services Center sign the form.)
  3. Register for the course, and obtain proof of registration.

4) Bring the employer letter and proof of registration to Scott Parillo in the ISS office. He will need at least 24 hours to obtain CPT approval for you. He cannot do so until you have given him these three documents, and you cannot start working until CPT has been approved.

Please note that you must have approval for Curricular Practical Training BEFORE you can begin work. Not doing so puts you out of status, which then makes it impossible for us to approve you for CPT.