What is Curricular Practical Training ? Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an employment opportunity, in the United States, available to an international student in their field of study, while in valid F-1 visa status.
Curricular Practical Training In order to be considered CPT the experience must be an “integral part of the established curriculum” and “directly related to the field of study”. The program may not be restructured, ad hoc, as a work-around to F-1 visa regulations. CPT benefits student academic training – it does not benefit the supervisor or provide a revenue stream to “interested parties. ”
CPT Credit-bearing training opportunities that are an integral part of an established program of study may be used for CPT. Non-credit internship or training opportunities that are required by an established program of study may also be used for CPT.
Eligibility for Curricular Practical Training Student must have maintained fulltime enrollment for one full academic year (2 semesters) to be eligible. Exception: Graduate students whose established academic program requires immediate curricular training are eligible only if the training or internship is listed as a required element of the academic degree program in the current UC Merced General Catalog.
Eligibility exceptions for CPT A student who applies for and is granted a reinstatement to F-1 may be eligible for CPT if the student accumulated fulltime enrollment of at least one academic year prior to falling out of status. If the student did not complete one academic year of fulltime enrollment prior to reinstatement, the “year “ begins after the reinstatement is granted. If the training is a required, existing part of the established academic curriculum for the field (such as work on an archaeological dig), an exception to the 12-month rule may be considered.
Time and CPT Students must apply for and use CPT prior to the completion of the academic program. A student who has completed all of the academic credits required for his or her degree program is not eligible to apply for CPT. CPT approval will not be given if the credits are in excess beyond the amount required and/or are not integral to the completion of the degree program.
Eligibility Exceptions for Curricular Practical Training Students approved for an authorized reduced course load taken during the first academic year are still eligible to apply and receive approval for CPT.
Time and CPT CPT may be approved for full-time (20 hours or more per week) or part-time (less than 20 hours per week). Certain conditions apply that determine whether the CPT can be full- or part-time. CPT can be approved for holidays, vacation periods, or during the semester.
Time and CPT Students may apply for full-time or part-time CPT during their winter or summer vacations only if it is accompanied by registration for an approved credit- bearing course with UC Merced (such as research units toward the degree) or if it is a published requirement of an established curriculum.
Time and CPT Time spent in a study abroad program may count toward the one academic year requirement only if the student had completed at least one semester of fulltime enrollment in the United States prior to going abroad. Study abroad outside of the United States, if longer than five months, could negatively impact a student’s F-1 status – and CPT eligibility – if the student’s study abroad program does not permit student to maintain active enrollment status at UC Merced.
Time and CPT The curriculum of a student’s degree program and the terms of the CPT training offer determine if CPT should be full-time or part-time. Students using 12 months or more of full-time CPT (20 hours or more per week) are no longer eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT) at their current degree level.
Time and CPT At UC Merced, given the current structure of the academic programs, CPT is authorized by the semester. CPT authorization from International Students and Scholars requires a letter from the CPT employer; approval from the dean, faculty advisor and/or academic advisor; and proof of current student registration at UC Merced.
Applying for CPT A student meeting the eligibility requirements for CPT must also: Be registered for the credit-bearing course and have written approval from their department stating that course is an integral part of the degree program – or – Show that the proposed CPT activity is a required part of the established curriculum and have written approval from their department – and - Present a confirmed offer of employment
Applying for Curricular Practical Training at UC Merced Office of International Affairs
UC Merced Application Process for Curricular Practical Training The student will discuss the CPT with their Academic Advisor, determining the feasibility of a CPT experience in the particular degree program. The department must agree that the credits acquired during the CPT (if training is not already a requirement for the established curriculum) will be used as part of the degree audit for certification. The student may be required to provide documentation including but not limited to a letter from the company at the end of the CPT acknowledging that the student accepted and fulfilled the original job requirements, and may be required to prepare an academic paper.
UC Merced Application Process for Curricular Practical Training The student will seek and acquire a CPT employment opportunity which is in their field of study. The student will submit a completed CPT Request Form to ISS. The student will request a signed offer of employment on company letterhead stating the following: beginning and end dates of employment/internship, the number of hours per week they will work, the salary, the duties of the position, full name, and full address of company location where they will be working, and the name and contact information for the supervisor
UC Merced Application Process for Curricular Practical Training Student will return to their academic or faculty advisor and request CPT approval letter on the school’s official letterhead. No electronic approvals will be accepted by the ISS The approval letter for graduate students must be signed by the faculty member responsible for awarding the course credits, the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research and the Dean of the School. Undergraduate students should see an international student advisor for guidance on this letter.
Letters Required for Curricular Practical Training The letter format and signatures will vary according to the specific CPT opportunity, and whether the student is enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program.
UC Merced Application Process for Curricular Practical Training Student makes an appointment to discuss CPT with International Student Advisor Suki Nawaz, firstname.lastname@example.org, and submits documents at that time email@example.com Student brings an original letter of employment, original signed letter from department and proof of enrollment for course(s) or published requirement for training as part of existing degree program.
UC Merced Application Process for Curricular Practical Training Ms. Nawaz will access the SEVIS database record and approve the student for CPT for the dates stated on the letter of employment and the signed approval letter from your school or academic department. The student will receive a new I-20 which will list the CPT approval and the dates approved for the CPT on the third page.
On Curricular Practical Training A student in Curricular Practical Training is still considered to be in F-1 status. This F-1 status must be maintained according to the regulations at all times. If the CPT requires a change of address - even for a summer or semester – the new address must be reported to the Office of International Affairs (OIA) within 10 days of the move.