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Curricular Practical Training (CPT) allows F-1 students to work off-campus in a job or internship that is "an integral part of an established curriculum." Your job or internship must relate to your major. CPT authorization is issued for a specific job or internship, and you can apply for CPT after you've been offered the position. You should not begin working until receiving CPT authorization. You are encouraged to talk with the international student advisor during your internship search to learn more about CPT.
To apply for CPT, you must either use your CPT job or internship to fulfill your Experiential Learning requirement, or receive academic credit for your job or internship. CPT can be approved at Knox by the international student advisor (DSO) and doesn't require USCIS filing fees. CPT may be granted during the school year for no more than 20 hours per week (part-time). During vacation period, CPT may be issued for up to 40 hours per week (full-time). Students who have 12 months of full-time CPT are ineligible for OPT.
CPT is approved on a term by term basis and requires faculty endorsement. Once you have a job or internship offer, follow these steps to apply for CPT:
1. Meet with your advisor to discuss the internship, what you hope to learn from the experience, and how the internship relates to your major. Complete Part A of the Experiential Learning form with your advisor.
2. Complete the CPT Request Form
3. Meet with the international student advisor. Bring your CPT Request Form, a copy of Part A of the Experiential Learning Form, and a copy of your job or internship offer letter. 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. The international student advisor will then be able to issue you an I-20 with CPT authorization. Do not begin working until you complete these steps and receive your I-20. Please allow 3 to 5 business days for your CPT to be issued upon receipt of your application.
While on CPT, 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. Learn more about filing taxes here.
Remember that as an F-1 student, you are only authorized to work on campus, or in an off-campus internship clearly related to your intended curriculum area. Always consult with your DSO before accepting off-campus employment.