F-1 students may be authorized for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) to engage in a temporary practical training experience directly related to their major field of study when it is considered to be an integral part of an established curriculum.
The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations defines CPT as “an integral part of an established curriculum” and as ”alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.”
In order for any CPT request to be considered, the alternate work/study, internship, or cooperative education must be required by the curriculum, or the student must receive credit for the training.
- You must have been lawfully enrolled as an F-1 student for a minimum of one full academic year. This means no break in your enrollment or F-1 status in the year prior to the internship dates.
- Students who have taken a leave of absence can contact ISSS to verify their eligibility.
- Must be in F-1 status at the time of submitting the CPT application.
- The internship must relate directly to the student’s academic major.
- Must be enrolled in a course or program which requires the off-campus training experience.
- You must have a training offer that qualifies for CPT prior to applying for the off-campus training.
- CPT start and end dates must be within the dates of the academic course or experience to which it relates.
- CPT may be approved for part-time (20 hours or less) or full-time (over 20 hours). If you use 12 months or more of full-time CPT, you become ineligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT) at the same educational level.
- All requests for CPT must be received and approved before the start of your practical training.
- Students may only begin the off-campus training on or after the CPT start date on their updated I-20. This includes any training or orientation that may be required prior to commencing the experience.
- CPT authorization is employer/program specific and for the designated period of time only. Any work that you engage in outside of your dates of approved CPT will be considered unauthorized employment and may lead to a termination of the SEVIS record and the student’s F-1 status.
- NOTE: The employment/internship/practicum must be with a bona fide employer. CPT cannot be issued for freelance or self-employment opportunities. (These are sometimes presented as 1099 Employments for tax purposes.).
- International students who are outside the U.S. and who have an internship with an organization based outside the U.S. do not need CPT, which is a U.S.-based practical training authorization. (Students should follow guidelines of the host country.)
- International students who are inside the U.S. and have an internship with a U.S.-based organization need CPT authorization, which may include MiddWorks opportunities. Consult with ISSS to be sure.
- International students who are inside the U.S. and have an internship with an organization based outside the U.S. are advised to obtain a letter from the organization confirming that no compensation is being provided. (CPT will not be issued in this situation.) *Consult with ISSS, if needed.
- Not sure any of these scenarios describe your opportunity? Consult with ISSS.
For Middlebury College Students
Middlebury offers winter term and summer internships that are approved for credit and may qualify for CPT. See below for more information about each of these opportunities.
For Winter Term Internships
Eligible students must first apply to the Center for Careers and Internships (CCI) to be approved to enroll in the Winter Term internship course. Be aware that the winter term internship course dates coincide with the Winter Term academic session dates. Your CPT authorized period must reflect or be within these term dates (this also must include any orientation or training related to the internship experience). Before proceeding, we recommend that you review the Eligibility and Internship Scenarios sections above, as well as the CCI Winter Term Internship Timeline and Checklist.
Please note that CPT for Winter Term follows a different process than for summer. For more information about the CPT Application, visit our “Apply for CPT” information page.
For Summer Internships
Typically, CPT authorization for internships that qualify for enrollment in the summer fieldwork course are offered through the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
The summer fieldwork course will be offered to Middlebury undergraduates for Summer 2024. (Watch for updates for 2024 in April.)
Note: The internship must take place within the course dates of the undergraduate section. For 2023:
- In 2023, the start date can be on or after Wednesday, May 24, and no later than Monday, August 7.
- The end date must be before or on Friday, September 1, 2023.
- July 10 is the latest date to apply to CCI to enroll in the summer fieldwork course for an internship that will start on August 7 (i.e., must apply at least 4 weeks prior).
Internship Scenarios and CPT:
- Internships taking place in the U.S. for a U.S.-based employer—on site at the employer’s workplace or at another U.S. location—are eligible for CPT.
- Internships being done abroad for a U.S. or non-U.S. employer—are not eligible for CPT. These opportunities may require employment authorization for the country where the experience will take place.
- Apply to enroll in the undergraduate section of the Middlebury Institute Fieldwork course offered during the summer. To do so, you will need to complete the approval process through the Center for Careers and Internships. Submit all the necessary documents with all the required information. Failure to do so will result in a rejected application.
- If you are approved for registration in the course by CCI and the course instructor, ISSS will be notified.
- For students who qualify, ISSS will authorize CPT. ISSS will update your SEVIS record with an endorsement for CPT and will produce an updated Form I-20, showing the dates of authorization and details about the internship sponsor.
- The updated I-20 can be used to satisfy I-9 requirements at the organization. Students may only begin the internship on or after the CPT start date on their updated I-20. (This includes any training or orientation that may be required prior to the beginning of the internship activity.)
For All Other Practical Training Opportunities
- Contact ISSS at firstname.lastname@example.org to review your request for CPT. If you and the opportunity meet the eligibility criteria, you’ll be instructed to complete a CPT Application form and submit it to ISSS. If not, you may be able to consider pre-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT).
- Pre-Completion OPT will require early and timely planning, so please prepare accordingly.
For Middlebury Institute Students
Institute students need to review the “CPT Presentation (for Institute Students)” on the Forms and Resources page in the Student Employment Authorization section. This presentation has specific details about CPT regulations and policies at the Institute.
CPT may be required for a degree program or for a course for which the student is enrolled. Please see below for additional details about each.
If your degree program requires an internship or culminating experience in order to complete the degree, then you are eligible to apply for CPT during your program of study.
Certain courses may require an internship or practicum as part of the curriculum. If you are enrolled in a course that requires an off-campus experience, CPT can only be issued at the time you are enrolled in the course. CPT will not be approved if the course has already been completed, or if you will enroll in the course in a future term of study.
ISSS encourages you to begin the CPT Application process as soon as possible. Students are encouraged to submit all documentation in a timely manner prior to their requested CPT start date. From the time a completed application is submitted, it can take 7 to 10 work days before an approval is issued. Please review the Apply for CPT for Middlebury Institute of International Studies section to ensure you have all needed documentation before starting your CPT application.
Note: If you plan to enroll in the Fieldwork Course, the CPT application is part of the enrollment application. Please find more information about the Fieldwork Enrollment Application on the CPT Applications page.
Updated on 02/22/2024