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CURRICULAR PRACTICAL TRAINING

What is Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?

CPT is defined by federal regulations to be “internships, cooperative training programs, or work-study programs which are part of an established curriculum” –– 8 CFR 274a.12(b)(6)(iv). Note that CPT employment may not delay completion of your academic program.

CPT is limited to part-time while classes are in session and full-time during school breaks. If you accumulate 12 months (365 or more days) of full-time CPT, you are ineligible for OPT or time may be deducted from Post-Completion Optional Practical Training. Part-time CPT (fewer than 12 months) does not affect your OPT eligibility.

  • Full-time CPT: Employment for MORE than 20 hours per week. Twelve months or more of full-time CPT will eliminate your eligibility to obtain OPT.
  • Part-time CPT: Employment for 20 hours or less per week.

NOTE:
CPT is NOT available to all F-1 students because it is dependent on the academic requirements of your program of study.

Eligibility

F-1 students may be eligible for CPT authorization for work experience or internship that is a required or an intergral component of your program of study. Additonally, CPT authorization is based on both program policy and federal regulations, and must be directly related to your major field of study - paid or unpaid. A request of authorization must be made to the Designated School Official (DSO) and students may begin employment only after receiving his/her I-20 with the DSO endorsement.

There are two types of CPT:

  • Required CPT - when the porgram of study requires practical work experience for all students in the program to graduate.
  • Optional CPT - when the program of study does not require practical work experience to graduate. However, the work experience MUST be directly related to your field of study.

You may be eligible to apply for CPT if:

  • You are in a valid F-1 status
  • You must be enrolled full time for one full academic year (30 weeks of instructional credit hours) if CPT is NOT a requirement for your degree program
    • An exception to the “academic year” rule is provided for students whose graduate studies require immediate participation in CPT. The internship must be a degree requirement for all students in the program for graduation.

    • For non-required CPT, you must be enrolled in an independent study course. Your program of study can help identify the appropriate course. Additionally, non-required CPT is only allowed in your final semester/term if you are also registered for courses that are required for the completion of your degree program.
  • Have a job/internship offer

NOTE:
CPT is authorized semester by semester according to your program guidelines. Student may only begin working on the start date and must stop working on the end date listed under "Employment Authorizations" on page 2 of your I-20. Do NOT start working until you have received the new I-20 with CPT authorization.

How to Apply: CPT

MASTER's DEGREE STUDENTS

For Master's students, note that non-required CPT is only allowed in your final term if you are also registered for other courses which are required for the completion of your program of study.

If you are enrolled part-time in your final term before program completion, you must request for a Reduced Course Load (RCL) authorization at least two weeks before the term/semester in which you will be enrolled part-time.

Reduced Course Load Authorization Request E-Form

1) Register for the Course

2) Gather the Following Documents:

  • Program approval form
    • HPR Students - Obtain HPR CPT Application from your program
  • Unofficial transcript from LEARN showing CPT or independent course enrollment
  • Employer letter on official company letterhead, including:
    • Start and end dates
    • Number of work hours per week
    • Exact work address or location
    • Position title and detailed descriptions of the position

Email all of the documents listed above to WCM-ISS@med.cornell.edu

3) Pick Up Your I-20

Do NOT start working until you have received the new I-20 with CPT authorization. Please allow up to 5 business days for us to process your application. We will email you when your new I-20 is ready to be picked up.

PhD STUDENTS

Generally, PhD students who have completed their coursework and working on their thesis will still be enrolled full-time. If you intend to participate in an internship or externship, you must adhere to WCGS policy in addition to the federal requlations. For more information, please refer to the WCGS Externship/Internship Policy document.


1) Gather the Following Documents:

  • Completed and signed Internship/Externship Application
  • Employer letter on official company letterhead, including:
    • Start and end dates
    • Number of work hours per week
    • Exact work address or location
    • Position title and detailed descriptions of the position

Email all of the documents listed above to WCM-ISS@med.cornell.edu


2) Pick Up Your I-20

Do NOT start working until you have received the new I-20 with CPT authorization. Please allow up to 5 business days for us to process your application. We will email you when your new I-20 is ready to be picked up.

DESIGNATED SCHOOL OFFICIALS

PDSO

Clive Liew

Student Services Administrator

cll4002@med.cornell.edu


Book an appointment with WCGS International Student Services using SetMore

Weill Cornell Medicine Graduate School of Medical Sciences 1300 York Ave. Box 65 New York, NY 10065 Phone: (212) 746-6565 Fax: (212) 746-5981

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