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Curricular Practical Training

Getting an off-campus internship

Applying Curricular Practical Training towards your Experiential Learning requirement is an excellent part of an Education Plan! Permission for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) may only be granted after you complete your first year of studies, can be approved at Knox by the International Advisor (DSO), doesn't require USCIS filing fees, and can be processed in as little as 24 hours. CPT may be granted during the school year for no more than 20 hours per week.

CPT is approved on a term by term basis and requires faculty endorsement.

CPT needs to advance your understanding of your major or minor area of study.
Start by making a list of three to five things you want to learn while working, and take the list with you when you meet with your academic advisor. Faculty endorsement is required before CPT approval.

Your faculty advisor needs to know how you plan to relate CPT to your studies.
Meet with your advisor to discuss what the internship will be and what you hope to gain from the experience. Ask them to send an e-mail to the international advisor indicating that they:

  • understand the connection of the job to your academics
  • agree that the work will enhance your academic development as an element of the
    experiential learning requirement, and
  • state that they endorse your employment as described by you

You may only ask for a CPT endorsement from your advisor or a professor in whose course you are enrolled.

You need to provide a formal letter from your employer to the DSO.
This letter should be on the company letterhead and give your name, along with the name and address of your employment site, the job title you will have, the duties you will perform, the name of your supervisor, and the start and end date of your employment.

You need to make an appointment to complete a new I-20 listing the approved CPT.
Meet with the International Advisor to turn in:

  • The endorsement e-mail from your advisor or professor
  • The job offer letter from your employment site
  • The Knox CPT/OPT Request form

Your employer is required to maintain tax withholding records for you.
This is the same as is done for any paid employee, with the exception that Social Security and Medicare taxes are not withheld on F-1 student workers. Be sure to provide your employer with your Knox mailing address for receipt of your W-2 wage statement at the end of the calendar year. It is your responsibility to file an IRS 8843 form and a 1040NR-EZ to obtain any tax refund you may be authorized.

Remember that as an F1 student, you are only authorized to work on campus, or in an off-campus internship clearly related to your intended curriculum area.