Curricular Practical Training
The application for Fall 2021 CPT is closed. We are now accepting applications for Spring 2022 CPT.
The earliest possible Spring 2022 CPT authorization start date is December 15th. Those students for whom Spring 2022 is your final semester, the latest possible CPT end date is May 7th, 2022. For those returning in the Summer 2022 or Fall 2022 terms, the latest possible CPT end date is May 17th, 2022.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a type of employment authorization for students in F-1 status that allows students to engage in off-campus employment* in their field of study when it is a required component of their curriculum, integral to their thesis or dissertation research (e.g., collecting data or testing hypotheses in a real world industry environment), or part of a co-operative education program in their field of study. Many students do not engage in CPT during their studies, but many others do take advantage of this benefit. Please note, CPT is a benefit of the F-1 visa status, not a right, as you are here to be a full-time student and not to work. CPT requires accompanying enrollment (which is why it is called Curricular Practical Training), which at NC State University is accomplished through co-op enrollment (COP 500 or COP 501), enrollment in research credits if basing CPT on thesis/dissertation, or enrollment in an internship course if the CPT is a required component for all students in the curriculum.
- Part-time Co-op is not available to undergraduate students during the Fall and Spring semesters.
- CPT cannot be authorized for positions under a 1099 independent contractor arrangement.
- CPT internships should be of at least 6 weeks duration.
- CPT is authorized on a semester-by-semester basis: each semester of CPT requires a new complete application.
- For questions about doing CPT elsewhere in the U.S. along with online classes, please refer to our answer on OIS’s FAQ Page
If you have questions, please first take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions page on CPT. When you are ready to apply, please visit our How to Apply for CPT webpage (or follow the link in the left hand navigation column).
- Students must have been enrolled full-time for at least nine months (two consecutive semesters) and be in F-1 status
- Students who have met the above requirement but are new to their degree program must also complete at least one semester in their curriculum at NC State
- Students must be maintaining lawful F-1 status
- Students must be in good academic standing (students whose academic programs are listed as suspended, terminated, probation or warning are not eligible for CPT) and must meet the minimum G.P.A. requirements (3.0 for graduate students; 2.5 for undergraduate students)
- CPT will be revoked if the student does not maintain good academic standing throughout the duration of the CPT authorization. It is the student’s responsibility to end employment immediately and report to OIS if the student is placed in suspended, terminated, probation, or warning status and if the student is involved in any academic integrity or student conduct violation or any other action that results in the loss of good academic standing
- Students must be making normal progress towards completion of their degree program
- All students must obtain the recommendation of their academic advisor. Graduate students must also obtain the recommendation of their DGP
- Before submitting the CPT application, the student must be enrolled/registered for classes for the semester they plan to use CPT. Additionally, students applying for summer CPT who will be resuming their studies in the Fall term must register for subsequent Fall semester coursework prior to submitting CPT/Co-op materials
- CPT cannot delay or interfere with the student’s progress in the degree program
- Student’s employer must not prevent the student from discussing the co-op activities with their academic advisors at NC State
Part-time (<20 hours per week) CPT is possible for eligible students (concurrent full-time enrollment is required in the Fall and Spring semesters). Students may be eligible for full-time CPT during the academic year only if the CPT is justified because it is a standard requirement of the academic program [for all students in the degree program or track] or integral to the student’s thesis or dissertation.
CPT is authorized on a semester-by-semester basis. Each semester of CPT needs a separate application. Please see the NCSU Three Year Calendar.
Earliest start date: Day after spring ‘Commencement’ (aka graduation)
Latest end date: Day before ‘First Day of Classes’ in the fall semester*
Earliest start date: Day after fall ‘Commencement’ (aka graduation)
Latest end date: Day before ‘First Day of Classes’ in the 1st summer session*
Earliest start date: Day after 2nd summer semester ‘Final Examinations’ end
Latest end date: Day before ‘First Day of Classes’ in the spring semester*
*unless the student is completing degree requirements during that semester
Students who are eligible for and would like to request an extension of a current CPT (i.e. an additional few days or weeks within the same semester) for the same employer (and nothing has changed except the new ending date) will need to submit a completed CPT Extension Form, also found on OIS’ Forms webpage. This should be submitted to OIS at least 2 weeks prior to the current CPT end date or the extension will be denied and you would be required to stop working on your existing CPT end date, no exceptions.
Students who are eligible for and would like to request a second rotation or additional semester of CPT should complete the CPT application materials again by following the steps outlined above, as all new material will be required. Note: Students on an approved CPT are not eligible to continue working beyond the end date of the CPT authorization as indicated on the second page of the I-20.
While on CPT, students are still required to maintain health insurance coverage that meets or exceeds the minimum coverage of the NCSU Student Health Insurance Plan. Those students enrolled in a COP course during the fall or spring semester will not be automatically billed for the NCSU Student Health Insurance Plan. If the CPT employer is providing health insurance or the student wishes to purchase other insurance, it must meet or exceed the minimum coverage of the NCSU Student Health Insurance Plan. If it does not, students can enroll manually in the Student Health Insurance Plan by following these instructions:
Steps to Enroll
- Access the NCSU Student Blue Helath Insurance website www.bcbsnc.com/ncsu
- Click “Enrollment & Waiver” on top menu bar
- Scroll down and select “Go to Enrollment or Waiver”
- If you already have a student blue account login, otherwise select the new users tab and click “Enroll”. You will then create your account using the student ID and DOB.
- Fill in all required fields and submit. You should then receive your enrollment confirmation. Your insurance card should arrive within 2 weeks at the address you provided on your registration.
Since the premium for insurance is not automatically included with tuition for these students, the charge will be added to your account during the reconciliation period. If you wish to have the premium added to your account before this occurs you may call the Student Health Center (919-515-2563) and the premium will be added manually.
CPT will be revoked for students who do not maintain adequate health insurance coverage.
- Time spent doing CPT is not subtracted from the 12 month maximum period of OPT (Optional Practical Training), but students who engage in 12 months or more of full-time CPT are ineligible for any OPT for that degree level.
- It is possible even during enrollment terms to engage simultaneously in both part-time on-campus employment (at a maximum of 20 hours per week) AND part-/full-time CPT off-campus employment, if authorized, as these are two separate types of F-1 employment and therefore subject to different rules and regulations. In which case, the total amount of employment hours (combining on- and off-campus employment) could exceed 20 per week.
- Students who engage in off-campus employment without obtaining CPT authorization, or who work before or after the approved dates on the CPT authorization as listed on the Form I-20, or who are employed differently than defined by the CPT authorization on Page two of the I-20 will be considered to have engaged in unlawful employment.
- Students engaged in full-time CPT in the fall or spring semester are required to maintain full-time enrollment. Typically full-time enrollment is fulfilled through enrollment in the full-time COP course. However, students should obtain the approval of their course registration from their DGP or Coordinator of Advising.
- In order to accept salary or wage payment from a U.S.-based source, it is necessary to obtain a Social Security Number.