CPT Work Authorization
What is Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is work authorization that is granted to eligible F-1 students so that they may complete the requirements of a course or the Cooperative (Co-Op) Education Program.
Students must meet the eligibility requirements listed below to apply for CPT work authorization:
Be a full-time student in F-1 status for at least one academic year (one fall and one spring semester)
Be in lawful F-1 status at the time of the CPT application
Get approval from Academic Advisor
Be enrolled in the practicum course necessitating practicum employment or the Cooperative Education Program (Co-op)
Have a job offer that is directly related to your major
Have a GPA of 3.0 or above (graduate students) or 2.0 or above (undergraduate students). Students should contact the Stevens Career Center for GPA requirements for the Cooperative Education Program.
Be otherwise enrolled in a full course of study (9 credits for graduate students, 12 credits for undergraduates), unless you are participating in Co-op. For more information regarding course enrollment and CPT, please review our CPT FAQs Webpage
The work location must be within a reasonable commuting distance (no more than 75 miles from campus). Students may work outside of the 75 mile radius during the Summer term, unless they will be completing their program during the summer
Students can only be authorized for Part-Time CPT during the fall and spring semesters. Students can be authorized for full-time or part-time CPT during the summer semester.
Students MUST continue to engage in a full-course load (9 credits for graduates, 12 credits for undergraduates) each fall and spring semester, unless it is their final semester and they have less than the full-course load credits remaining in their program.
Final Semester and CPT Work Authorization
Students in their final semester that have less than 9 credits remaining and have an approved Final Semester Reduced Course Load (RCL) from ISSS are permitted to engage in full-time work authorization during the fall or spring semester.
Students in their final semester that have 9 or more credits remaining will only be able to engage in part-time CPT work authorization.
What is Part-Time vs. Full-Time CPT Work Authorization?
Part-Time CPT: Employment for 20 hours or less per week is considered part-time CPT. Though there is no limit to the length of time you may participate in part-time CPT, you must be enrolled in a course requiring the CPT employment for every semester you participate. Part-time CPT authorization does not affect OPT eligibility.
Full-Time CPT: Employment for more than 20 hours per week is considered full-time CPT. Please be aware that more than 364 days of full-time CPT will cancel your eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT). All Cooperative Education (Co-op) jobs are full-time CPT.
NOTE: If you are not attending your classes or your academic work is suffering because of your job, you may not be able to participate in CPT in the future if your GPA slips below the required minimum or be approved for a program extension on the sole basis that you need more time because your grades slipped due to CPT.
As CPT work authorization is related to the requirements for the practicum course, the earliest a student may be approved to begin work is the first day of class for the term. The last day a student may be approved to work is the last day of the final exam period for the term. To find the dates of the semester, please use the Academic Calendar.
Fall 2023 authorization dates: Friday, September 1, 2023 - Friday, December 22, 2023
Spring 2024 authorization dates: Wednesday, January 17, 2024 - Tuesday, May 14, 2024
Summer 2024 authorization dates: Thursday, May 16, 2024 - Monday, August 26, 2024
Summer Session II dates: Monday, July 8, 2024 - Saturday, August 24, 2024
Fall 2024 authorization dates: Tuesday, September 3 - Sunday, December 22, 2024
Stevens’ academic policies indicate that students may earn no more than three (3) practicum course credits per degree program. Most academic departments will allow students to divide the three total credits between multiple semesters. Please check with your academic department if you have questions concerning its policy on the number of practicum credits you may take per semester.
Contact your academic advisor to determine if there is a course available in your major or Co-op opportunity that requires employment. A practicum course is one that requires employment of all students in that class in order to be successfully completed.
Get approval from Graduate Academics & Student Success to enroll in the practicum course. This process is done through Workday. Once Graduate Academics approves your practicum application, you will need to enroll in the practicum course yourself through Workday. If you are participating in Co-Op, the Stevens Career Center will assist you (undergraduates) or Graduate Academics & Student Success (graduates).
**Students in their final semester: If you have already submitted the Final Semester Form in Workday and you are unable to register for the course, you will be able to indicate this on the CPT request form and ISSS will assist you.**
Gather your employer offer letter and work with your practicum advisor to complete the Advisor CPT Recommendation Form. Once you have these documents ready for upload, submit the ISSS CPT Request found in the Control Center of your ISSS Student Portal. We recommend you complete this process at least 2 weeks prior to your intended start date. To avoid delays in the processing of your request, please ensure that your application has met all of the following requirements:
The application that you submit is completed and contains all required uploads.
The copy of your job offer letter contains all of the required information:
The company name and address
The address of the student's work location (if different from the company's main address or remote)
The student's title
A brief internship description
The number of hours per week to be worked
Start and end dates of the employment (within the semester dates).
The letter must also be on the company’s letterhead and must be signed by its author.
If you are working remotely, the offer letter must also state the fact that you will be working remotely, the name of your supervisor, and details on how the practical training will be supervised remotely.
Students in their final semester:
If you are taking less than a full-time course load (12 credits for undergraduate students, 9 credits for graduate students), you must submit a Final Semester Request along with your CPT work authorization application. If you have already submitted the Final Semester Form in Workday and you are unable to register for the course, you will be able to indicate this on the CPT request form and ISSS will assist you.
ISSS will process your application after you have successfully enrolled in the practicum course. You will be issued a new Form I-20 with your CPT/Co-op employment information listed on the second page.
Enrollment in the course is not enough to authorize you for employment!
You are not eligible to begin working until you receive the updated Form I-20 with CPT authorization on the second page and the CPT start date arrives. If you work before the start date listed on the I-20 or you work without the I-20 from ISSS, your F-1 status will be terminated.
Please visit the Social Security Number Information Page to learn more about the process of obtaining an SSN for paid employment. Please note that you cannot apply for an SSN more than 30 days before the start date of your CPT work authorization.
You must register in the practicum course in Workday for your major within 2 weeks after the add/drop period. Students will only be able to add the practicum course to their Workday schedule on their own up until the end of the add/drop period.
The add/drop dates are listed on the Stevens Academic Calendar.
Spring 2024 Semester: February 13, 2024*
Summer 2024 Semester: June 14, 2024*
Dates of authorization: May 16, 2024- August 26, 2024
Summer 2024 Session II Only: July 26, 2024*
Dates of authorization: July 8, 2024- August 24, 2024
Fall 2024 Semester: TBD
(please check with your Academic Department if there is a Summer II Practicum course)
You should also submit your application materials to ISSS by the deadlines above. You do not need to begin working by the deadline or receive your I-20 by the deadline, but materials and enrollment should be completed by the above deadlines.
*Students who have not enrolled in the practicum course by the end of the add/drop deadline should contact the Office of Graduate Academics & Student Success regarding enrollment options. If you are not approved by Graduate Academics and cannot enroll in the practicum course, ISSS will not be able to issue an I-20 with the CPT work authorization and you will not be permitted to engage in employment.