CPT guidelines for international students
Guidelines for International Students
If you are on an F-1 student visa, you must fulfill certain requirements in order to gain practical training through either a summer or semester-long Internship so that you don’t violate the terms of your visa.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is off-campus work experience (training) that is an integral part of an established curriculum. In practical terms, this means an opportunity must be required by the curriculum, or if not required, the student must receive credit for the training.
In the College of Engineering, there are unique requirements for off-campus work experience and training for undergraduate and graduate engineering students:
Undergraduate engineering students participating in an internship during summer or winter break must register for a 1 credit independent study course. Undergraduate students participating in a co-op program must sign a co-op contract but do not need to register for any additional course credit.
Graduate engineering students MUST register for a 1 credit independent study course in order to participate in an internship experience of any duration. Please note that Non-thesis Master’s students are only eligible to apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for summer or winter break internships.
How Do I Know if I am Eligible to Apply for CPT?
To be eligible for CPT, you must:
- Be in lawful F-1 status
- Have been enrolled on a full-time basis for one academic year (i.e. two full, consecutive semesters before applying for CPT), and be in good academic standing
- Have a job offer
- The position must be relevant to your field of study
- Not be enrolled in an intensive English language training program
- Have UMass approved health insurance
- * Note: students are NOT ELIGIBLE for CPT once they have completed all degree requirements.
Step by Step Instruction sheets for Applying for Curricular Practical Training:
The PDF forms list below are available here. NetID login is required.
- Undergraduate Co-ops: (Semester or Semester Plus)
- Undergraduate Internships: (Summer or Winter Breaks)
- MS & PhD Semester Long Internship
- MS & PhD Summer or Winter Break Internships
For more information about the CPT application process, please make an appointment with one of the following career staff: Graduate Students – Christina Mata; Undergraduate Students – Sally Darby. Appointments can be made through your UMass Handshake account.
Other Important Information
Please view the International Programs Office's F Visa CPT & OPT Information Page for a more comprehensive understanding of how going on CPT may affect your eligibility for future post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT), travel considerations, and social security card information.