Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is available to F-1 students where the practical training is related to the student's field of study and is an integral part of an established curriculum. Eligibility and employment options for CPT are based on regulation, but implementation may differ from school to school.

Eligibility

Under the immigration regulations, to be eligible for CPT students must meet the following criteria:

  • Completed one academic year of full-time study in valid F-1 student status. Graduate students may be eligible for CPT before completing one academic year if the degree program requires immediate participation in an internship.
     
  • Have an offer of employment for work that qualifies for CPT.
     
  • Demonstrate through formal documentation that the employment is required for the degree program or a specific course. If the employment is required for a course, academic credit must be received.

Application Process for Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students with a declared major may be eligible to enroll in an Unspecified Graduate Course (UNSG) directly related to their major.  As the course is offered through the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies, students must enroll during an earned leave term.  

These courses will be graded on a Credit/No Credit basis and will carry 2 credits that will be transcripted by the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies but will not satisfy any undergraduate graduation requirements.  

OVIS will be able to authorize Curricular Practical Training ("CPT") for students who are enrolled in one of the UNSG courses and who submit a complete request for CPT authorization in iDartmouth.

Following enrollment in the course, which is approved by the Guarini School, students will receive an email with instructions and the link to the appropriate CPT eForm request in iDartmouth.  

For undergraduate students enrolled in other CPT-eligible courses, including FILM 80 and GOVT 93, you should use the CPT Request form in iDartmouth.

For undergraduate CPT requests students will need to submit:

  • Copy of employment offer letter
  • Copy of the front and back of most recent I-94 card (if entry to the U.S. by land), or I-94 record printout (if entry to the U.S. by air or sea).

Please allow sufficient time for review and processing of your CPT request. We recommend submitting your request at least one month before the beginning date of your internship.

Application Process for Graduate Students

Certain graduate degree programs offer internship course(s) or require internships for the degree.  Go to the Guarini School website for a list of internship courses at Dartmouth.  OVIS will be able to authorize Curricular Practical Training ("CPT") for graduate students who are enrolled in an internship course and who submit a complete CPT Request form in iDartmouth.

Tuck students will need to use the Tuck CPT Request form in iDartmouth.

For graduate CPT requests students will need to submit:

  • Copy of employment offer letter
  • Copy of the front and back of most recent I-94 card (if entry to the U.S. by land), or I-94 record printout (if entry to the U.S. by air or sea).

Please allow sufficient time for review and processing of your CPT request. We recommend submitting your request at least one month before the beginning date of your internship.

Criteria for CPT authorization in the final term of the academic program

The Guarini School maintains a list of courses approved by Dartmouth for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) work authorization.  Individual academic programs have specific guidelines on eligibility for course enrollment, including when the course can be taken, if it can be taken more than once, and required deliverables.

Depending on the academic program, some graduate students who pursue a thesis or dissertation may be permitted to enroll in a CPT-eligible course in order to engage in an internship with a third-party employer in order to successfully complete their thesis or dissertation research. 

OVIS will consider authorizing CPT for a student in the final term under the following circumstances:

  • The student has an approved Master's thesis or Ph.D. dissertation proposal;
  • The student meets the eligibility requirements for the CPT-eligible course in their academic program;
  • The internship at the third-party employer is necessary for the student to successfully complete his or her thesis or dissertation research.
  • Enrollment in the course and participation in the internship will not delay the student's degree completion.

As part of the CPT request, the student must submit a letter from the student's faculty advisor, on department letterhead, containing a detailed summary of the proposed internship experience and confirming the above criteria. 

Employment Duration and Compensation

CPT must take place during the term with the associated enrollment. CPT authorization dates cannot bleed into surrounding terms. The earliest CPT start date a student can request is the day after finals end for the preceeding term. The latest CPT end date a student can request is the day before classes start in the next term. (See academic calendar).
*Exception: PhD students in the research phase of their program may request a CPT start date after the last day of classes for the preceeding term.

No work may begin until CPT has been authorized in SEVIS and the Form I-20 has been issued. Students with CPT can only work for the employer within the dates of the authorized employment, which are endorsed on the Form I-20.

Certain programs/courses at Dartmouth require part-time CPT. However, in general, CPT at Dartmouth must be full-time. Full-time CPT may be used during a vacation or earned leave term. Students who work for 12 months or more in full-time CPT will not be eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT) after graduation.

The immigration rules permit receiving compensation for CPT employment. Students should check with their specific program as to whether compensation is permitted.