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.

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How and when do I become eligible for CPT?

CPT can be only authorized when students meet both eligibility criteria listed below. Students should first confirm their CPT eligibility before starting their internship search and accepting a position. 

Academic Eligibility

All internship positions must be approved by the Babson department overseeing the academic component for the degree program first. Review academic requirement information specific to your degree program under Step 2.

Note: CPT is not available for all academic programs.

Immigration Eligibility

CPT is granted by the ISSS advisor in accordance with U.S. immigration law. In order for F-1 students to be eligible for CPT;

  • Students must have been enrolled full-time, in valid F-1 status for at least one academic year (two semesters) before becoming eligible 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 can be only authorized for a specific semester. It cannot be authorized for consecutive semesters at once.
  • Internship start date and end date must be set based on the academic calendar dates
  • Internship length & hour requirement set by CCD must be met within the earliest and latest dates shown below
  Undergraduate Graduate
Spring 2024
  • Earliest start date: January 16, 2024
  • Latest end date: May 3, 2024 
  • Earliest start date: January 16, 2024
  • Latest end date: May 4, 2024
Summer 2024
  • Earliest start date: May 4, 2024
  • Latest end date: August 25, 2024
  • Earliest start date: May 5, 2024
  • Latest end date: September 2, 2024

Important CPT Details

  • CPT is required for both paid and unpaid positions.
  • CPT is a duration, location & employer specific work authorization that has to be authorized prior to the start date. 
  • 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.
  • Full-time vs Part-time CPT 
    • Part-time CPT is up to 20 hours per week, while Full-time CPT is anything above 20 hours per week
    • Students are limited to Part-time CPT during the academic year (Fall & Spring)
    • Full-time CPT is available 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. 
  • Part-time CPT has no impact on eligibility on Optional Practical Training (OPT). Only if students are authorized for 365+ days of Full-time CPT, they would you lose their eligibility for OPT.
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How do I obtain CPT authorization?

CPT Application Process

Since CPT is an employer specific work authorization, you must have an internship offer first to request one and be authorized to work for the specific employer prior to the first day.

  • The internship must be 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.

Undergraduate Students

Receive academic approval for your internship position and be enrolled in one of the required courses: MOB2322, the Career Exploration Lab (CEL) or MOB3531 Career Launch: Internship Experience Lab (Summer only). 

Find information on how to enroll in these courses and get your internship approved:

Graduate Students

Receive academic approval for your internship position and be enrolled in EXP7501, EXP7502 or EXP7503, Inventing Your Career, based on whether it is a student's first, second or third semester of having an internship. These courses are run and managed by Graduate Center for Career Development (GCCD) team. 

Submit the Graduate Internship Course Enrollment Form to GCCD to get your internship approved and enrolled in the course. 

Questions? Email GCCD

Submit documentation to ISSS electronically to request CPT authorization using our online NEW Semester CPT Authorization Request Form >> 

  • DO NOT begin employment until you are authorized for CPT
  • CPT processing could take up to two weeks
  • 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, an appointment will be coordinated to review additional information about CPT and to discuss obtaining a Social Security number if needed.
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After CPT approval

An SSN is a tax identification number and would be typically required if your internship is paid.

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.

Additional information can be found on our Social Security Number webpage

If there are any changes to your internship  (i.e. shorten the internship, a different location) after you have been authorized for CPT​, you must use the ISSS request to have your CPT authorization adjusted. 

Submit the online CPT Changes or Extension Request to have your CPT authorization updated. You must have a documentation (i.e. email from supervisor, updated offer letter) that confirms a new internship end date to complete the request.

Students are required to submit an extension of CPT request before current end date, if your employer extends your internship but it ends before the end of semester.

  • Example: Your current CPT is valid until December 1. Your employer wants you to continue your internship until December 10th. 
  • An extension request must be submitted and processed before the original end date
  • An extension is not possible once an authorized period of CPT expires
  • Submit the extension request via the online CPT Changes or Extension Request >>
    • You must have a documentation (i.e. email from supervisor, updated offer letter) that confirms a new internship end date to complete the request.

A NEW semester CPT is NOT an extension request:

  • A new semester of an internship requires new CPT authorization.
  • Example: You're currently authorized for Fall semester CPT until December 10th. Your employer wants you to work with them in Spring semester starting on January 15th.  
  • In order to request a new CPT in a new semester, you have to repeat the approval steps (steps 2 & 3 above) and wait for a new period of CPT authorized in a new term, even if you work with the same employer.

You will need to repeat the same CPT authorization process (step 2 & step 3) to request a CPT authorization in a NEW semester.

This process is still with the same even if you're going to resume working with the employer from previous term, or with a completely new employer. 

Follow the steps in the CPT application process above for Academic Approval & CPT Authorization again.

Failure to comply with obtaining CPT authorization in advance would be considered a violation of your immigration status.