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CPT Information for Employers

What Employers should know about Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a type of work authorization available to certain F-1 students in  good academic standing to engage in an off-campus internship. 

At NC State, most students enroll in a “Cooperative Education” (Co-op) course in order to undertake CPT. Co-op is a course taught by the Career Development Center  which facilitates students obtaining valuable work experiences as part of their academic program. 

Students must have been enrolled full-time for one academic year and in F-1 status, and CPT can only be used before a student completes their degree requirements.

In order to hire an international student through CPT, employers will need to provide the following to the student:

  • A written job offer.  The offer must contain the following: job title, job description, salary, start and end dates, number of hours the student will work per week and the actual physical work address.  If the student will be working remotely, the offer letter must state that the work will be performed remotely and include the remote work location.
  • A signed CPT form.  The student will give this to you, and will upload this form as part of their CPT application. Digital signatures are accepted.

Application process

After the student has obtained a written job offer and signed CPT form from the employer, they submit their request to their academic department for approval.  The department will ensure the student is academically eligible and has enrolled in the appropriate credits.  The CPT request is then submitted electronically to the Career Development Center, and finally, to the Office of International Services (OIS).  If everything is complete, OIS will make every effort to process the CPT authorization within 10 business days of receipt.


The Summer 2023 CPT application window will open on March 15, 2023.  Please plan on 2-4 weeks for processing after the completed application is received by the Career Development Center.  Applications are processed in the order they are received. While every effort will be made to issue CPT authorizations prior to employment start dates, please note that this is a very popular program and expedite requests are rarely approved. 

No. The only cost to the employer hiring international students on CPT is the time and effort to interview and select the best candidate for the job. 

No. International students must have the work authorization before they begin actual employment, but not before they are offered employment. In fact, an offer of employment is a prerequisite to approving CPT.  Students can give employers the dates in which they are allowed to work, as well as a reasonable estimate of when they expect to receive work authorization from NC State.

Students can be authorized for either part-time or full-time CPT.  Part time employment is employment for up to 20 hours per week; full-time is 20 hours or more. 

During the summer term, students approved for full-time CPT may work more than 40 hours per week, subject to wage and hour laws.

In some cases, depending on the requirements of their degree programs. Students must re-apply for each semester or term of authorization, as each semester OIS must determine the student’s academic standing and eligibility for CPT.

Possibly. Students should check with OIS to see if work authorization is needed. The employer should ensure that the company is allowed by law to offer unpaid internships. More information about unpaid internships can be found at the DOL website at

No. CPT is an academic endeavor where hands-on supervision and mentorship are central to the purpose of granting such authorization. OIS will not  authorize CPT for positions under a 1099 independent contractor arrangement.

Please contact Heather Dellinger in the Career Development Center at