Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
The CPT program is an employment option for off-campus jobs, much like the OPT program. It is intended for students in their second or third year of studies or those who have been in F-1 student status for nine months or longer. Smith's policies allow for students to use CPT authorization to pursue off-campus jobs and internships during Summer (and J-term under limited circumstance).
The CPT program differs from the OPT program in that the job for which you are applying is an integral part of your major and for which you will be receiving academic credit. The time you spend working on CPT is not deducted from your 12-month postcompletion Optional Practical Training program.
CPT permission is granted by the Office for International Students & Scholars. In order to qualify for CPT:
- You must be a sophomore or above
- You must have a declared major
- You must have a job offer and a letter from the employer in a field related to your major (not minor or concentration)
- The job must take place during Summer (or J-term under limited circumstance)
- You must make arrangements to complete a "Special Studies" course with a professor in the department of your major for which you will receive at least 1 credit. This course must be taken in the semester following your CPT internship.*
- You must be making progress toward your Smith degree in the semester prior to applying for CPT.
- You must complete a short application form
- Note: For students studying abroad or taking leave before or after CPT, it is advised that you speak with ISSO directly about your situation.
*This course may be an independent study with a practical component, or a course in your department which already has a variable credit given for independent research or study, such as a capstone, practicum or thesis research project.
How to Apply
CPT Application (DOC)
- The deadline to apply for CPT is the last day of classes. Extenuating circumstances must be discussed with ISSO staff prior to the deadline.
- You must allow up to one week before your intended employment start date for the ISSO to process your applciation. There is no guarantee that applications received within one week of the employment start date will be reviewed by the ISSO.
- There is no application fee.
You may apply for CPT during the summer of your second and third year of studies. The employment authorization page of your I-20 will specify the permission granted for CPT as well as the authorized period during which you can work. It will also have the name and address of your employer.