CPT Eligibility

Students must meet certain requirements before being eligible for CPT:

  • You must be in active F-1 status for one full academic year (two semesters)
  • You have been enrolled on a full-time basis for one full academic year (two semesters)
    • The one academic year requirement may be waived if your degree program requires immediate participation or you have been in certain other immigration statuses. Check with your IPO advisor if you are unsure.
  • Your training is "an integral part of an established curriculum"
  • Your training is "directly related to the student's major area of study"
  • You will continue to be enrolled full-time during CPT if authorized during Fall and Spring terms
  • You should continue to make progress in your academic program while on CPT
  • You are NOT eligible for CPT once you have finished all degree requirements and after you have completed your program of study (i.e. course registration is no longer required, all academic requirements met, you have defended your thesis/dissertation, etc.)

If you engage in CPT during a semester, you must maintain your full-time student status/enrollment at UMass by making the necessary arrangements with the Career Development Hub and your department.

If you currently have CPT and wish to continue the same position without interruption following your completion of studies, you must apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) at least 3 months before your completion of studies date. Unlike CPT, OPT applications take approximately 3 to 4 months for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to process an OPT application, so plan accordingly by attending one of the IPO’s OPT workshops the term before you plan to graduate.

Important note: Students who engage in a cumulative 12-months of full-time CPT will not be eligible for post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT). Part-time CPT is unlimited and will not impact future OPT eligibility nor will it be subtracted from your initial 12-months of OPT eligibility.

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