Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a type of off-campus employment authorization for students in F-1 status. The employment must be in their field of study and an integral component of their academic curriculum. CPT has a curricular purpose and is meant to further a student’s academic studies; it is not employment for financial reasons.
For information about CPT, eligibility, and the application process, click
here. For the general F-1 CPT Request Form, click
. If you are an artist pursuing a one-time gig/performance, please click here here. Also, for information about internship course registration, click
Failure to apply for CPT prior to beginning off campus work is a violation of your F-1 Visa status and considered unauthorized work.
Do I qualify for CPT?
CPT must be granted by the DSO through an update in the student's SEVIS record.
In order to qualify for CPT, students must have been enrolled full-time for at least two consecutive semesters and be in F-1 status.
Students must also be in good standing with the university, maintaining F-1 status and making normal progress towards the completion of their degree.
I am in the AEP. Do I qualify for CPT?
AEP students in F-1 status are prohibited from participating in CPT, which includes unpaid internships, until they have completed two consecutive full-time semesters of college credit courses. A full-time course load is 12 credits or more per semester. Therefore, most AEP students will become eligible for CPT after the completion of their second year of studies at Messiah University. The only exception to this policy is if their program of study requires an internship experience within the prohibited time period.
When should I apply for CPT?
Applications for summer 2019 CPT experiences are due by May 1, 2019.
All students planning to take the internship course over summer will be required to attend an orientation on May 4th.
What information should my CPT offer letter include?
Once you have secured a CPT opportunity (paid or unpaid), you must provide Lydia Skulstad with an offer letter from your internship which includes:
(1) job title
(2) job description
(4) number of hours you will work per week
(5) start date
(6) end date
(7) the specific work location (the address where YOU will work)
(8) name of your supervisor and a contact phone number or email for them
your offer letter. Lydia Skulstad
When can I start my CPT?
You may begin CPT once your new I-20 with CPT work authorization has been issued but not sooner than the start date listed on the new 1-20.
How many hours may I work for my CPT?
During the academic year, students at Messiah University on an F-1 Visa are limited to a combined total of 20 hours per week of employment (inclusive of on-campus employment and any CPT).
Over summer, students may be authorized to work full-time (20 hours+) but they still must go through the CPT approval process.
If the CPT experience is connected to a major-related course, the student may work more than 20 hours a week if that is a course requirement, such as for a field placement. For specific questions about a field placement or practicum, please contact the Intercultural Office.
I have done CPT before, do I have to apply again?
Yes. Even if you want to extend a current CPT option to another semester, a separate application must be submitted and work must not occur outside of the dates of each CPT authorization.