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Off-Campus Employment

Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is the program for F-1 students through which you may be authorized to work off-campus in the United States before you graduate.  Work that is part of this program must be credit-bearing practical training that is part of your course or degree.

Eligibility

  • After you attend a U.S. college full time as an F-1 student for at least two consecutive semesters in good academic standing, you may apply for CPT.  
  • MICA undergraduates are only eligible for CPT through internships. Before you can begin to work, you must (1) obtain approval for an internship from MICA's Career Development office, (2) register for the academic credits at MICA during the same semester that you plan to intern, and (3) obtain approval for CPT on your I-20 from MICA's International Affairs office.
  • *MICA graduate students may have additional CPT options. See International Affairs for details and to learn if your proposed employment might qualify as CPT.*

Type of Work

  • The CPT employment must meet a requirement of your degree program (for example, an internship).
  • Authorization is for a single employer or job. You must seek separate CPT authorization for each job. Self-employment is not permitted on CPT.

Amount of Work

  • You may work part time (20 hours per week or less) while school is in session or any number of hours (full or part time) during vacation periods.

Authorization

  • CPT authorization is granted by the Office of International Affairs and registered with the U.S. government. Be sure to apply to International Affairs at least three weeks before your intended employment start date.  Authorization is only for the CPT dates and employer printed on your I-20. You are not eligible to work until your I-20 is authorized for the CPT employment and the authorized start date has been reached.
  • You will show your employer the CPT authorization on your I-20 as proof of your employment eligibility.
  • You must be enrolled in the academic credits at the same time that you complete the CPT work. (For example, if you complete an internship in the summer, you must register for summer credits.)

Reporting Requirements

  • Students on CPT must report to International Affairs if they end their authorized CPT employment early or to discuss their options if they wish to extend or change their employment.

Application

  • Please meet with your counselor in the the MICA Office of Career Development to complete the MICA Network Internship Application. The successful completion and approval of this application will enable International Affairs to create your CPT I-20.