CPT Application Process

How do I apply for CPT authorization?
  1. Find a work training experience that meets the eligibility requirements.
  2. Make an appointment with your Designated School Official (DSO) in the Office of International Affairs (OIA) to confirm that you and the job meet the eligibility requirements. 
  3. Request an employment letter* from your future employer.
  4. Your DSO will give you a letter that must be signed by an academic advisor or professor in your degree program.
  5. If not in a for-credit course, you must work with the Career Center to enroll in a CO-OP course (0 credit hours).
  6. The Career Center will send completed paperwork to your DSO for authorization on your I-20.
  7. The DSO will authorize the CPT and issue a new I-20 showing CPT authorization.
*What does my employer need to do?

You should request an offer letter on the employer's official letterhead containing very specific information:

  • a brief description of job duties (a general statement or list of your responsibilities is sufficient)
  • a starting date and ending date (CPT is time-period specific)
  • number of hours per week you will be working (part-time is 20 hours per week or less)
  • name and contact information of the employer
  • your supervisor’s name and contact information

Here is a helpful letter written to a prospective employer. It explains the CPT process and your status as an F-1 student.

Do not begin the position until the CPT approval is granted. Violation of this condition will result in the immediate revocation of your authorization. It takes 7-10 business days for the Career Center and the Office of International Affairs to process work authorizations. You must plan ahead and you should inform your employer of your special requirements as a F-1 student. Do not continue employment beyond the date in the authorization on the 2nd page of your I-20. A CPT opportunity can be renewed but must be authorized again.