Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an F-1 visa benefit that allows students to participate in off campus internship, work, clinical placement or other experiential learning that is part of your academic program and directly related to your academic major. CPT must be authorized for both paid and unpaid experiences. CPT can only be granted when the internship/training is part of the academic curriculum. In some cases, on-campus internships must also be authorized by CPT.
CPT is authorized by ISSS and must be approved by ISSS BEFORE your internship or placement begins. ISSS does not charge a fee to process your CPT application. Apply at least two weeks in advance of your internship/placement start dates.
CPT can be granted for internships that earn credit, required clinical placements or field work, internships that are required to graduate. Internships for credit and internships that are required to graduate must appear or be added to your plan of study. Internships required for thesis or dissertation research must carry course registration representing the research or internship. CPT must be directly related to your major field of study, so if you are taking an internship course as part of your minor, or in an unrelated subject, it may not be eligible for CPT. ISSS will not authorize CPT for work teaching at other Universities, unless your program explicitly requires such teaching as part of the degree program, or for a particular course that explicitly requires teaching.
Other opportunities that require CPT authorization include undergraduate Co-op opportunities through UConn’s Center for Career Development, and UConn sponsored research and entrepreneurial programs. Speak to your academic advisor if you are unsure whether an academic internship or placement fits into your academic program.
Completion of an internship or experiential learning through CPT must be considered academic work, and may not delay completion of the degree program.
You must have been enrolled on a full time basis for two academic semesters before you will be eligible for CPT authorization.
If your internship is for academic credit, your internship is restricted to the following dates:
|Term Registered||Spring 2021||Summer 2021||Fall 2021|
|All Other Programs||12/21/20-5/08/21||5/9/21-8/20/21* Subject to change||8/29/21-12/19/21|
Work hours are determined by the academic requirements of your course or degree requirement; there are no minimum or maximum work hours permitted while on CPT. CPT will either be granted as part-time (20 hours per week or less) or full time (more than 20 hours per week). You are required to abide by the terms CPT authorization.
If you have other on-campus employment or pre-completion OPT, you may concurrently work using CPT. CPT hours do not count toward the maximum 20‐hour per week employment restriction during the academic year, because the work is part of your academic curriculum.
Students who have been authorized for one year of full time CPT in a given degree level (including other schools or programs attended) will not be eligible for OPT at that same degree level.
CPT cannot be extended. If you have been offered the opportunity to stay on with your internship provider, the new period of internship must be authorized as either OPT (pre- or post-completion) or as a new CPT authorization to fulfill a new course or degree requirement. Please plan accordingly.
Step 1: Attend an ISSS workshop about CPT and Pre-Completion OPT, in advance.
All students who apply for CPT must have attended a workshop on the topic at least once. Workshops are offered virtually for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 terms. Find an upcoming workshop to attend, here.
Step 2: Discuss your plans with your academic advisor.
Because CPT is authorized for work that is part of your academic curriculum, you may need to talk to your academic advisor, program coordinator or clinical coordinator about whether your internship fits into your academic curriculum. Your academic advisor will also need to confirm the details of your internship/placement as part of the online CPT application. You might find out in discussing your plans with your academic advisor that your program does not support an academic internship, and if that happens you can talk to your ISSS advisor about applying for OPT (Optional Practical Training) instead.
Step 3: Prepare the support documents for CPT application.
- Copy of an internship offer letter OR UConn placement paperwork. The document should detail:
- Internship or placement employer and address
- Start date and end date
- Hours per week
- Brief description of the activity/work
- Employer's signature or UConn placement authority signature
* Pharm.D. students doing clinical rotations in P4 may submit a list of all preceptor sites with dates and addresses for all hospitals/pharmacy sites attached. Other students participating in clinical placements may submit a copy of the academic contract with the placement site, or email notification of your clinic placement received by your program.
- For paid internships: ISSS_368 CPT Employer Addendum. Your supervisor or other relevant hiring authority should complete the form and return to you. Your employer may either complete the form from a template.docx (copy the template content into their own document, and update the sections in BOLD ITALICS before signing), or they can complete a fillable pdf.pdf. After updating the relevant form sections, they must sign and return the addendum to you. Electronic signatures will be accepted if they are representations of an actual signature, drawn by a pencil tool, or if they are date/time stamped electronic signatures. This form will be required for CPT applications submitted after March 8, 2021.
- For credit bearing internships: Print out of your internship or placement course registration (enrollment shopping card) from Student Admin.
- Co-op Agreement, if participating in a UConn Co-op through the UConn Center for Career Development.
Step 4: Submit the CPT application to ISSS.
After your CPT is Approved
ISSS will issue you a new Form I-20 updated to list your CPT authorization. If you are a paid employee, show the I-20 to your employer as proof of employment authorization.
If your internship is provided by an E-verify employer, you may receive a “tentative nonconfirmation” when your employer runs your record through the E-Verify system. This is because E-Verify does not have access to CPT records in SEVIS. Simply follow the instructions given to you/your employer with the tentative nonconfirmation to resolve the issue.