International Student & Scholar Services

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training is a form of work authorization available to students currently studying under F-1 status. Visit our Social Security Numbers page for more information.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

REQUIRED FORM TO APPLY FOR CPT:
Curricular Practical Training Approval Form

INFORMATION FOR EMPLOYERS:

Click here for a document in which you can find any relevant information for employers: Information for Employers

INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS:

What is Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?

Curricular Practical Training, or CPT, is referred to by many different names. Whether you call it an internship, working off-campus, or a part-time job, it all refers to the same thing: CPT.

Beware! Not all off-campus employment qualifies for CPT authorization. Read below for more information about the types of employment for which you are eligible for CPT authorization as a Rollins student.

Curricular practical training allows you to work off-campus in a position related to your field of study. Employment under CPT must also be considered “an integral part of an established curriculum.”

1. An Internship that is an integral part of the liberal arts curriculum. Internships may be for-credit or not-for-credit.  
2. An Internship as required by a particular major or degree program. The following programs offer an internship component. Please consult with your academic advisor to learn further the requirements of your particular program of study:

Who is eligible for curricular practical training?

International students in F-1 status may be eligible to participate in study-related internship positions if they meet the following: 

  • Students must be fully matriculated into a full-time degree program (12 credits for undergraduate; 9 credits for graduate students).
  • Students must be in F-1 status and have been enrolled full-time for at least one full academic year.
  • The internship is directly related to their program of study.

Requirements for Authorization

Students must have the following to be authorized for CPT and begin an internship:

  • International Student Internship Approval Form with approval signatures from the Center for Career and Life Planning or the Crummer Career Resource Center, Internship Site Supervisor, and Faculty Advisor.
  • Statement of Purpose prepared by the student stating an academic objective and an explanation of how the internship is directly related to the student’s field of study.
  • If internship is approved, Curricular Practical Training (CPT) work authorization issued by the Office of International Student & Scholar Services on a new Form I-20.

Students are responsible for completing all necessary documentation before beginning any internship. A new Form I-20 must be issued with CPT authorization for each authorized period and specific employer.  Do not let it expire! Written proof of authorization to work should be shown to an employer prior to beginning the internship.

Employment Restrictions

Students may work in an internship position:

  • Part-time (maximum 20 hours weekly) during the academic year
  • Full-time during the winter, spring, and summer breaks from school
  • Students working on campus in a graduate assistantship or in an on-campus job cannot work in an internship if the total hours working will exceed 20 hours weekly during the academic year.

Finding an Internship

Internships can be found in a variety of ways. There is a list of over 400 internships that have been pre-approved by the Center Career and Life Planning and the Crummer Career Resource Center.  They are listed in Handshake, the online career platform that includes job boards, self-assessments, mock interview resources, and more.

Internships on Handshake
A listing of pre-approved credit-bearing internships can be found https://rollins.joinhandshake.com/login.  Accessing the database will allow you to search internships utilizing multiple criteria including organization, career field, credit requirement, term offered, and salary.

Additionally, students may request approval for an internship not listed on Handshake by identifying a company or non-profit organization where they would like to intern and contacting them. Students should be sure to research the organization and be prepared to discuss why they would like to do an internship there. Internship opportunities are not always advertised!

If internships are not listed on Handshake, an approval form must be submitted to the Center for Career and Life Planning or the Crummer Career Resource Center.

Internship for Academic Credit or Not
Whether the internship will earn academic credit or not, it must be approved through the same process and CPT must be issued for it.  In order to receive CPT work authorization, the International Student Internship Approval Form must be submitted to the Office of International Student & Scholar Services.  This form requires a Statement of Purpose written by the student stating an academic objective and an explanation of how the internship is related to their field of study.  If the internship is approved, students must obtain Curricular Practical Training (CPT) work authorization on their Form I-20 before starting the internship.

Authorization to Work

Students will be authorized to work for 1 semester or summer break at a time.  If they plan to continue the internship after their current authorized period, a new International Student Internship Approval Form must be submitted and a new Form I-20 issued.  This process should be completed prior to the expiration date of the current CPT authorization. Failure to keep employment authorization current may violate one’s immigration status!

Social Security Number

In order to be paid for work, students will need a Social Security Number. Please consult with the Office of International Student & Scholar Services for information about applying at the nearest Social Security Administration. Visit our Social Security Numbers page for more information.

After Graduation 

F-1 visa students working in an internship position may continue to work with their employer after graduation by applying for and receiving 12 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT) work authorization.  Students should check with the Office of International Student & Scholar Services at least 3 months prior to graduation for information on how to apply for OPT.