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CPT (Curricular Practical Training) is an employment option for off-campus career opportunities, much like OPT (Optional Practical Training). It is available for students 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 -- paid or unpaid -- during Summer (and J-term under limited circumstances).

CPT differs from the OPT in that the job/internship for which you are applying must be an integral part of a curricular opportunity at Smith. In other words, this internship must be an essential part of your coursework and relate directly to your major course of study. CPT can be issued on a part-time (20 hours per week or less) or full-time (more than 20 hours per week) basis.  Part-time CPT will not interfere with the ability to pursue your 12 months of Optional Practical Training.  Full-time CPT that totals 12 months or more will result in a student being ineligible for OPT.

CPT permission is granted by the International Students & Scholars Office. In order to qualify for CPT:

  • You must declare your major.
  • You must have a job offer letter from your employer in a field related to your major (not minor or concentration). The job/internship must take place during Summer (or J-term under limited circumstance). The offer letter should be on company letterhead and contain the following:
    • Your name
    • Your position title
    • A brief description of the job/internship duties
    • Number of hours per week expected
    • Name of company/organization
    • Name and contact information of employer and/or supervisor
    • Physical address where job/internship will take place
    • Dates of employment/internship, as specific as possible.
  • You must complete a CPT application - and Educational Plan Addendum, if applicable - detailing how this internship is an integral part of your curriculum at Smith. 
  • You must apply for Internship Credit (IDP 117) or another applicable course (see CPT application for other curricular justifications).
  • Note: For students studying abroad or taking leave before or after CPT, you must speak with the ISSO directly about your situation.

  • The priority deadline to apply for CPT is June 9.
  • If you are still awaiting an offer and will be applying late, you must discuss your circumstances with ISSO staff in advance. 
  • Please allow up to one week before your intended employment start date for the ISSO to process your application. 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 more than once. 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. It is a violation of your visa status to work outside the dates or for employers other than those printed on your I-20. If the dates of your job/internship or the employer change, please consult with the ISSO before engaging in unauthorized work.

CPT Events & Information Sessions

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Contact International Students and Scholars

125 Wright Hall

Smith College

Northampton, MA USA

Phone: 413-585-7598 Email:

Open office hours: Schedule a meeting with Dean Caitlin or with Claire Seely when it’s convenient for you!