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Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Overview

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a type of work authorization for students to learn practical skills related to their major area of study. Common forms of CPT include paid or unpaid internships, fellowships, and part-time or full-time jobs.

 

CPT is an integral part of the student’s established program curriculum. Students who complete CPT will earn 1 credit after the course is completed, but neither the CPT course nor the CPT experience is required to graduate.

 

The CPT policies and procedures set forth by WUST are in full compliance with the regulations propagated by USCIS. 

Eligibility Requirements
In order to be eligible for CPT, you must:

  • Have an active F-1 status

  • Have completed 1 academic year in a degree awarding program (not an ESL school). This is equivalent to 3 quarters at WUST (or 2 semesters at a semester-based university). 

  • Be enrolled for a full course of study while engaging in CPT

  • Have a CGPA of at least 2.0 (undergraduates) or 3.0 (graduates)

  • Be in good academic standing

  • Adhere to the ongoing rules and obligations of your F-1 visa

  • Clear any outstanding balance (or be in compliance with your payment plan, if you have one).

If you fail to maintain the eligibility requirements once your CPT has been approved, your CPT authorization may be revoked or any extension request may be denied.

 

WUST offers Day 1 CPT to transfer-in students who have completed one academic year in a degree awarding program, or those who are coming off of OPT and are beginning a new program. Transfer students must provide an official transcript from their previous institution as proof they meet the eligibility requirements.

When to Apply

Eligible students may apply for CPT before the quarter begins. It is strongly recommended students apply for CPT 1-2 weeks before their projected start date so there is enough time for WUST to process the CPT application. The application deadline is the first day of the new quarter.

 

Late applications may be allowed on a case by case basis, so long as the application is received before the end of the Add/Drop period. Since the CPT course cannot be added to your course load once the Add/Drop period ends, any applications received after that date will be denied.

CPT Quarter
Spring 2024
Summer 2024
Fall 2024
Winter 2025
Application deadline:
April 1, 2024
July 8, 2024
September 30, 2024
January 2025 (Exact date TBD)
Add/Drop period ends:
April 8, 2024
July 15, 2024
October 7, 2024
January 2025 (Exact date TBD)

How to Apply

Application Materials
There are 2 documents you will need to apply for CPT. 

1) Job offer letter
You must obtain a job offer letter before applying for CPT. The letter must have the following:

  • Position title

  • Job description, duties, and responsibilities

  • Start date (end date is not required)

  • Number of working hours per week

  • Work location (if the position is remote, it must be stated in the letter)

  • Supervisor’s name and title

  • Supervisor’s email address 

  • Signed by the employer 

  • Must be on official company letterhead

Example 1

Example 2

2) CPT Application Form
You can download the CPT application form
here. Make sure you fill out the form completely.

Once you have both the job offer letter and the completed application form, you can submit your CPT application through the link. CPT Application Upload Form (forms-db.com).

Example 1

Example 2

Application Fee
Once you submit your application, it will be reviewed by Student Services. The CPT fee will be added to your Populi account. You must pay the fee before your application can be approved.

 

CPT Fees:

  • First time CPT application: $420

  • All other CPT applications: $75

 

CPT applications typically take 1 week to process after employment verification has been completed and the CPT fee has been paid.

 

Important Things to Know

CPT Start Date

Your earliest possible start date is the first day of the quarter you are applying for. You cannot begin CPT before the following dates.

CPT Quarter
Spring 2024
Summer 2024
Fall 2024
Winter 2025
Earliest possible start date:
April 1, 2024
July 8, 2024
September 30, 2024
January 2025 (Exact date TBD)
Latest possible end date:
January 5, 2025
March 2025 (Exact date TBD)
June 2025 (Exact date TBD)
September 2025 (Exact date TBD)
cpt-form-example.png

CPT End Date

If your job offer letter provides an end date for the offered employment, you must use that end date on your CPT application.

 

If no end date is specified on your job offer letter, you may create your own end date or leave the end date blank. If you leave the end date blank, WUST will authorize your CPT employment for the maximum time you are eligible for (up to 3 quarters or until the end of your program, whichever is shorter).

 

WUST currently authorizes CPT for up to 3 quarters at a time. As the end of your authorization approaches, you may apply for a CPT extension if you choose. An employment verification letter will be required from the employer instead of your original job offer letter.

 

Full-Time or Part-Time

On your CPT application, you must indicate whether the job is full-time or part-time. There are only 2 options.

 

Part-time employment: 0-20 hours per week

Full-time employment: 21-40 hours per week

 

Students are not authorized to work more than 40 hours per week.

 

Dates of Employment

You cannot begin work until you receive an updated I-20 with CPT authorization on it. You can only work during the dates specified on your I-20, and only for the employer specified on your I-20.

Any work that occurs outside of your authorized CPT is a severe violation of the terms of your F-1 visa, and may result in the loss of your F-1 student status.

Student Responsibilities While on CPT

Students must maintain the following terms in order to stay on CPT, renew CPT, or change employers on CPT:

  • Must maintain a CGPA of at least 2.0 (undergraduates) or 3.0 (graduates)

  • Must pass the CPT course(s) you are registered for

  • Must attend at least two-thirds of your on-campus classes every quarter

  • Must stay in good standing, which includes your F-1 status, academic standing, student conduct, and financial standing with WUST. 

  • What do I do if my CPT ends early?
    If your CPT employment ends early, you must notify the International Students Office of your last date of employment in order to update your SEVIS record and have a new I-20 issued.
  • Will working on CPT impact my OPT application?
    Students can participate in unlimited part-time CPT (20 hours per week or less) with no consequences. However, there is a limit on how much full-time CPT a student can participate in. If a student does 12 months or more of full-time CPT over the course of their program, they will lose their eligibility to participate in post-completion OPT. We recommend limiting your full-time CPT to less than 12 months if you plan to apply for OPT. If you do not plan to apply for OPT, you can participate in full-time CPT for any amount of time as long as you are eligible.
  • Can I extend my CPT authorization?
    Yes, you can extend your CPT authorization. You must submit a new CPT application. If you are continuing with the same employer, you should submit an employment verification letter instead of your original job offer letter. If you are changing employers, use your new offer letter.
  • Can I change employers on CPT?
    Yes, you can apply to change employers at any time while on CPT. Your new job must still be directly related to your major area of study. You must submit a new CPT application and pay the $75 fee. You cannot begin your new job until you receive an updated I-20 with the new CPT authorization on it. Nor can you begin before the start date on the I-20.
  • How do I apply for a Social Security number (SSN)?
    Once you receive your I-20 with CPT authorization, you can apply for a SNN. You must do so directly with the Social Security Administration. You will be required to gather the required documents and visit a Social Security office in person near you.
  • How long will it take to process my CPT application?
    CPT applications typically take 1-2 weeks to process. An exact processing time cannot be given because some of the processing steps are outside of the university’s control. You can speed up the process by ensuring your employer responds to the employment verification email, and by paying your CPT fee once it is added to your Populi account.
  • How do I find a job so I can apply for CPT?
    If you need help or advice on finding a job, please contact the Career Service Center.
  • Does my employer have to sponsor me to work in the U.S.?
    No, your employer does not need to sponsor you in order for you to work on CPT. The university is authorized by USCIS to grant CPT authorization to eligible students. All you need is an I-20 with CPT authorization.
  • Can I have more than one job on CPT?
    It is possible to have 2 part-time jobs while on CPT. Both jobs must be related to your major area of study. It is important to note that USCIS will consider having 2 part-time jobs at the same time as full-time employment.
  • Where can I work?
    Your work location must be within a commutable distance from the university. Or the position must be remote.
  • Can I be excused from classes if I have to work that day?
    No. Employment obligations cannot be used to excuse you from class. Your number one priority as an F-1 student is to be a student. You are fully expected to attend all of your classes, whether on campus or online, and to keep up with your course work. If you are unable to do so, your CPT authorization may be revoked.
  • I was offered on-campus employment. Do I need to apply for CPT?
    Student workers hired for 20 hours per week or less do not need to apply for CPT. In these circumstances, the employment does not need to be related to your degree program. Student workers hired for more than 20 hours per week must apply for full-time CPT. The duties and responsibilities of the position must be directly related to your major area of study.
  • Can I apply for OPT while I am working on CPT?
    Yes. You can submit your OPT application in your final quarter. However, once you submit your OPT application, you will not be allowed to extend your CPT or change your employer. Doing so could jeopardize your OPT application with USCIS.
  • Do I need to keep my CPT I-20?
    Yes. You should keep all I-20s for your records. WUST does not keep I-20s on file for an extended period of time.
  • I have more questions about CPT. Who can I talk to?
    If you have more questions about CPT, please contact iso@wust.edu. CPT applications should be submitted by the beginning of the quarter you are applying for. It is best to apply at least 1-2 weeks prior to your projected start date.
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