Curricular Practical Training (CPT) at Amherst College

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a form of work authorization specific to international students in F-1 status.  CPT is intended for off-campus practical experience that is integral to the curriculum and directly related to a student’s major.  


How can I learn more about CPT?

Am I eligible for CPT?

How do I apply for CPT?


How can I learn more about CPT?

Each Spring, the OIS offers a series of workshops to help students understand CPT.  Beyond these workshops, students are encouraged to email us or book an advising appointment to learn more.

 

Am I eligible for CPT?

To be eligible for CPT at Amherst College, a student will have to meet the following criteria:

  • Have been in full-time student status in the US for at least one academic year and be in good academic standing at Amherst College
  • Be pre-registered for Learning by Doing: Internship and Fieldwork Reflection (COLQ-390H) for the fall semester immediately following the summer employment/internship
  • Have received a summer employment/internship offer that directly relates to the student’s declared major, have obtained a CPT Verification Letter from the employer, and have the employment/internship offer approved by the professor teaching COLQ-390H
  • Be studying on-campus in the fall semesterimmediately following the summer employment/internship in order to participate in and complete COLQ-390H
  • Have participated in COLQ-390H no more than once previously

 

How do I apply for CPT?

To apply for CPT, follow these steps:

  1. Receive a summer employment/internship offer for a position that is directly related to your declated major.
  2. Enroll in COLQ-390H for the fall semester immediately following your summer employment/internship.
    1. If pre-registration is not open, be sure to register for the course as soon as you can.  You do not need to be pre-registered in the course in order to apply for CPT, though you will ultimately jeopardize your F-1 status if you do not complete the COLQ-390H course in the semester immediately following your summer employment/internship.
  3. Prepare required documentation:
    1. Obtain a CPT Verification Letter, completed and signed by your employer.
    2. Review and save a copy of your most recent I-94 record, reflecting entry to the US in F-1 status.
  4. Submit the CPT Request Form.
    1. Be prepared to provide the following in the CPT Request Form:
      1. Documentation listed above
      2. Information about you and your major
      3. Contact information for your academic advisor and professor of COLQ-390H
        1. Contact information for the COLQ-390H professor is provided in the request form for those who cannot pre-register and do not yet know who their professor will be.
      4. Details of your summer employment/practical training experience
      5. Statement of direct relationship between your major and your summer employment/practical training experience
  5. Wait for your academic advisor and professor of COLQ-390H to approve/deny your request.  You will receive automated emails to inform you of your request's progress.  If your academic advisor and/or professor of COLQ-390H requests more information from you, edit and resubmit your original CPT Request Form submission.
    1. Your academic advisor will be asked to confirm whether:
      1. You have formally declared the major/s listed on your request form
      2. Your employment/internship is directly related to your declared major/s
      3. You are in good academic standing
    2. Your professor will be asked to confirm whether:
      1. You are enrolled in (or, if pre-registration is not yet open, you will be eligible to enroll in) the CPT-eligible course for the term noted in your request form
      2. Your employment/internship is approved for inclusion in the CPT-eligible course
      3. The course description provided in the request form is accurate
  6. If approval is received from your academic advisor and professor of COLQ-390H, expect the OIS to issue your CPT I-20 in 1-3 business days.  You will receive a confirmation from the OIS once the CPT I-20 has been issued.


If you have any questions about CPT at Amherst College, please do not hesitate to email us.