F-1 students studying at an SEVP-approved “college, university, conservatory, or seminary” may be eligible to seek authorization for practical training to engage in temporary employment to gain practical experience directly related to their field of study.
The regulations state that a student may participate in a “curricular practical training program” that is “an integral part of an established curriculum” and “directly related to the student’s major area of study.” They define curricular practical training as “alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.”
A good general principle is to approach CPT primarily from the curricular perspective, and only secondarily from the employment perspective. That is to say, the school’s curriculum, not the student’s desire for employment, should drive CPT policy development. CPT policies and procedures should be clearly established and then followed consistently.
(NAFSA Adviser’s Manual 360, 11/8/2019)
*CPT authorization is only necessary for internships completed within the United States – students approved to complete internship requirement in his/her home country during the summer term will not need a change to his/her status in SEVIS