F-1: Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is work authorization granted to international students in F-1 status to get practical training that is related to their degree and is an “integral part of an established curriculum.” CPT enables students to apply and practice the knowledge and skills gained in their academic programs.

Note: CPT involves both academic approval and immigration processing. Students should plan ahead before accepting an internship to ensure they meet the eligibility requirements below and as complete processing could take over two weeks. 

Academic Eligibility

Internships must be approved by the appropriate Babson department that oversees the academic​ component of the degree program. Review information specific to your program under Step 2. CPT is not available for all academic programs.

Immigration Eligibility

CPT is granted by the Glavin Office in accordance with U.S. immigration law. 

  • CPT is required for both paid and unpaid positions.
  • Students must have been enrolled full-time, in valid F-1 status for at least one academic year (two semesters) before applying for CPT.
  • The internship must be related to your field of study/degree and first approved by the Babson department overseeing the academic component for the degree program.
  • CPT authorization is date and employer-specific. There must be a bona fide employer-employee relationship. Activities that may not qualify for CPT: self-employment; starting a business; consulting or working as a 1099 independent contractor.
  • Students are limited to Part-time CPT (20 hours or less per week) during the academic year.
  • Full-time CPT (more than 20 hours per week) is available to students only during the summer break as long as they are enrolled in the next term (i.e. fall semester). Completion of a program in the summer forfeits the earned annual vacation so students would only be eligible for Part-time CPT. 

Internship Dates 

  • Internship dates must be within a given semester per the academic calendar.
  • Changes or extensions within a current semester require action with ISSS before the change occurs.
  • A new semester of an internship (even with the same employer) requires new CPT authorization, going through all approval steps (Steps 2 & 3) and the applicable course enrollment.
  • There is no limit on the amount of time you can be authorized for CPT. Only if you use 365+ days of full-time CPT would you lose your eligibility to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT).
  • Undergraduate: Monday, August 28, 2023 -Thursday, December 14, 2023
  • Graduate: Tuesday, September 5, 2023 - Saturday, December 16, 2023

CPT Application Process

For each internship, you must follow these steps to ensure you are authorized to work in the U.S.

CPT Application Process

In order to be eligible for CPT authorization, you must have an internship offer that is related to your degree/field of study.  Internship dates must be within the semester (based on the academic calendar). You should allow for at least two weeks before your internship start date to accommodate academic and CPT processing.

Tip: work with the Centers for Career Development to prepare for internship and job searches and to discuss your overall career goals. There are a variety of incredible resources available to will take you from preparing your resume to learning how to build your network. You should also think about the numerous skills you offer as an international student studying in the U.S. ISSS frequently collaborates with the Centers for Career Development to offer "Job Search Strategy Sessions" specifically for international students.

Be Prepared! Here is some of the information/documents you will need for the Internship Approval and CPT Authorization steps:

  • Internship Offer Letter
  • Internship posting/description - showing what the internship entails or what you will be doing (internships must relate to your degree/field of study)
  • Internship Employer Information & Location where you will be working
  • Internship Dates (make sure you allow enough time for the approval process and they meet the parameters within the semester)
  • Number of Hours
  • Internship Supervisor Information
  • Most recent I-94 (arrival/departure)

Undergraduate Students

Enrollment in MOB2322, the Career Exploration Lab (CEL) or MOB3531 Building Your Career: Internship Experience Lab (Summer only) through the Undergraduate Center for Career Development (UGCCD) is required. Find information on how to enroll in these courses and get your internship approved on the Undergraduate CCD Canvas Site (you may need to self-enroll for access): Modules > Job/Internship Search > Page: Career Exploration Lab and Building Your Career: Internship Exploration Lab.  

Questions? Email the UG Experiential Programs Team
Hollister Hall, First Floor 781-239-4215

MBA Students: One Year, Two Year and Blended Learning Miami 

Enrollment in EXP7501, EXP7502 or EXP7503, Inventing Your Career, is required and based on whether it is a student's first, second or third semester of having an internship. Complete and submit the Graduate Internship Course Enrollment Form to Graduate Center for Career Development (CCD) via Adobe Sign to get your internship approved and enrolled in the course. Information and resources can be found on the GCCD HUB page

Questions? Email GCCD
Olin Hall, 3rd Floor, Suite 320 781-239-4210

MSF & MSBA Students

MSF and MSBA students on the 3-semester track wanting to pursue a summer (full-time) or fall (part-time) internship, must enroll in either an Independent Research Project (1.5 or 3 Choice Elective credits) or EXP7501 Inventing Your Career through CCD before CPT authorization can be authorized by ISSS.

  • Independent Research: visit the MSF Hub page or MSBA Hub page respectively for enrollment details. Questions? Email Graduate Academic Services

  • Inventing Your Career course: Complete and submit the Graduate Internship Course Enrollment Form to Graduate Center for Career Development (CCD) via Adobe Sign to get your internship approved and enrolled in the course. Information and resources can be found on the GCCD HUB page. Questions? Email GCCD

Submit documentation to ISSS electronically to request CPT authorization using our online CPT Authorization request form >> 

  • An advisor will review and process your request. A new Form I-20 with CPT authorization will be issued electronically and sent to students' Babson email.
  • For those getting CPT for the first time, a virtual appointment will be coordinated to review additional information about CPT and to discuss obtaining a Social Security number if needed.

CPT processing could take up to two weeks. DO NOT begin employment until you are authorized for CPT.

After CPT Approval

You may only work for the employer specified on your Form I-20 and within the date range specified.

If you do not already have a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) you are eligible to apply for one after receiving your CPT authorization. An SSN is a tax identification number and would be typically required if your internship is paid. Additional information will be discussed during the required CPT appointment for first-time CPT students and can be found on our Social Security Number webpage.

Changes to CPT authorization need to be approved BEFORE the current internship end date or when the change will happen.

If there are any changes to your internship after you have been authorized for CPT​ (i.e. different dates, a different location) you must first submit documentation about the change to the academic office overseeing your internship (see Step 2). Then, you must use the ISSS request form found in Step 3 to obtain a new Form I-20 reflecting the changes and/or extension of CPT authorization.

Extensions apply only within a given semester. Continuing an internship into a new semester equals a new period of CPT, new paperwork and new course enrollment. (see New Internships).

If you plan to have a new internship in the next semester, either with the same employer or a new employer, new paperwork, new academic approval, and new CPT authorization is needed prior to starting the internship. Follow the steps in the CPT application process above for Academic Approval & CPT Authorization again.

Failure to comply with obtaining CPT authorization, or making timely updates may be a violation of your immigration status.