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. Since CPT is curricular in nature, CPT can be a required experience towards the degree/program or can be an elective or required course where the applied learning aspect of the experience or the off-campus training must be required of the course.


  • Must have been lawfully enrolled for a minimum of one full academic year in continuous F-1 status. 
    • This means no break in 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, and intending to enroll at Middlebury for at least one academic term of study after the internship or fieldwork course session.
  • The internship must relate directly to the student’s academic major or program.
  • Must be enrolled in a course or program which requires the off-campus training experience.
  • Must have a training offer that qualifies for CPT prior to applying for the CPT authorization.
  • 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). Note: If you use 12 months or more of full-time CPT, you become ineligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT) at the same educational level.

Important Considerations

  • If the student and the experience qualify for CPT and all required CPT application materials are received, ISSS will update the student’s 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. 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 starting 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.).

Internship Scenarios and CPT

  • Internships taking place in the U.S. with a U.S.-based organization—on site at the organization’s workplace or done remotely at another U.S. location—are eligible for CPT authorization. Consult ISSS for any clarification.
  • International students who will be located outside the U.S. and doing 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 employment-related or other guidelines of the host country where the experience will take place.)
  • Internships done remotely from inside the U.S. with an organization based outside the U.S. will likely require CPT and students considering these types of opportunities are advised to consult with ISSS. 
  • Don’t see a scenario that describes your opportunity? Consult with ISSS staff. 

For Middlebury College Students

Middlebury offers winter term internship and summer session fieldwork courses offered for academic credit that qualify for CPT.  See below for more information about each of these opportunities.  

For Summer Internships

Typically, CPT for summer internships is authorized based on enrollment in the summer fieldwork course (IPMG 8650-M) offered through the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Section M is designated for Middlebury undergraduates. 

Note: Students must attend a Summer CPT/Internship Fieldwork Course Enrollment information session to qualify for enrollment in the course and CPT. Watch for an ISSS email inviting eligible F-1 undergraduates to sessions being held via Zoom (on Wed, April 10, 4:30-5:30 pm EDT, Thurs, April 18, 4:30-5:30 pm EDT, and Mon, April 29, 11-12 noon EDT) with a link to register. Students only need to attend one session.

The summer fieldwork course will be offered to Middlebury undergraduates for Summer 2024.

Note: The internship must take place within the course dates of the undergraduate section, which are Wednesday, May 22 to Friday, August 30, 2024.

  • The start date can be on or after Wed., May 22, and no later than Mon., August 5, 2024
  • The end date must be before or on Friday, August 30, 2024.
  • Mon. July 8, 2024 is the latest date to apply to CCI to enroll in the summer fieldwork course for an internship that will start on August 5 (i.e., must apply at least 4 weeks prior to proposed start date).

Next Steps:

  • Secure a qualifying internship that will occur within the dates of the undergraduate course section.
  • Apply to enroll in the undergraduate section of the Middlebury Institute summer fieldwork course no later than 4 weeks prior to your intended start date to allow sufficient time for course enrollment and CPT authorization. Failure to do so may delay your ability to begin the experience.
  • To apply, you will need to complete the approval process through the Center for Careers and Internships (CCI) Summer Internships for Credit process. Submit all the necessary documents with all the required information. Failure to do so will result in a rejected application.
  • After CCI and the course instructor approve the student for registration in the course and the Registrar’s office confirms enrollment, ISSS will be notified and will authorize CPT for F-1 students who qualify. 
  • ISSS will update the student’s 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.  

Important notes: 

  • 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.)
  • Students are expected to submit all required course deliverables by the deadlines and complete the course successfully. Please direct all questions about the summer fieldwork course to the instructor.

Before proceeding, we recommend that you also review the Apply for CPT section of our website.

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 All Other Practical Training Opportunities

  1. Contact ISSS at isss@middlebury.edu 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).
  2. Pre-Completion OPT will require early and timely planning as it involves applying to USCIS, 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.

Degree Program

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 04/08/2024

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